Saturday, April 7, 2012


Actually, the boat is called Great Bear, or will be. But it still says Tumbleweed on the sides, and I like that name better.
So a while ago I was walking along the marina here and I saw a nice looking ketch sitting there with a young dude working on it. Then again, later, I saw the same dude working on the boat again. And again. He was always working on the boat. Sanding and painting and such. Eventually I met him and found out he is a cool guy, despite being a Canadian, and he is also a surfer. So we went surfing once at a place I hadn't been before, since you have to drive there. I had been trying to convince him that he should untie the boat from the dock since the moment I met him, and take it for a ride, but he is a diligent worker, and does a quality job of things, which takes time. I, on the other hand, do poor work and make things that just barely hold together and need repairs often, but for some reason I get the job done very quickly and then go sailing a lot.
Finally we went out sailing in his boat yesterday. It was the first time I had sailed a ketch, though I had been aboard two masted boats before. I got to play with the balance of the boat and it was very nicely balanced. And I made a movie of it.
The boat balances so well, I am reasoning, because it has two masts, which are like two feet to stand on. The single masted boats have a more tricky balance by using the main and jib to push against each other, but when you have two jibs and two mains you can balance the smaller ones and then use the bigger ones for power. And that is what we did.
I love a mizzen mast now. But I also don't want to have one on a boat. Sadly, the wonderful balancing act of the boat (going upwind) isn't worth the nuisance of having the mast in the way over the cockpit, the hassle of an extra sail, and how that sail blocks having a rack and shade over the cockpit. So I won't have one. And, since mostly boats that cruise are looking to go downwind, a boat that balances still needs to balance downwind, and the mizzen was all tied up and not in use for that direction. So I vote it off the island, sadly. I like it and don't want it on my boat.

1 comment:

Bob Pfost said...

Chris, Fantastic video, you gotta put it on Youtube.
Sounds like you are having a good time, I envy you.
Keep in touch.
Cousin Bob in Oakley, CA