Archive for September, 2018

Sailing Fee-Fi: Part 2

September 11, 2018

We are members of the Traditional Small Craft Association, a really interesting group for anyone interested in small boats. Our focus for the last couple of decades has really been with larger boats, but this year we decided to try something different and signed up for the Small Reach Regatta. For those not familiar with the SRR, it is not a regatta but more of a Maine take on the small boat “raids” that are so popular in Europe. Many small boats get together and decide on a destination for the day determined by weather and the size of the fleet, then sail, row, or paddle to that destination for lunch on a beach and return to the starting point after lunch and social time on the beach. The social time is continued at the campground used as a base for the fleet at the end of the day.

wvt0bf2ynol6pkiw3yv4sc3yk1z7qi5r

Pond Island lunch stop.

We thought it would be fun to bring Fee-Fi to the event and sail her with the fleet, and despite one rain day and two that included some fog, it was a lot of fun. The array of different small craft was amazing, a totally different experience to watching a fleet of sailboats that are all of the same class, this was more like stepping back in time when sail or oar were the only means of propulsion for small boats.

e8jxcu2yblvanex9hfc2ilmliegww4uf

Fee-Fi in the 2018 SRR.

The event was great fun and challenging since, though Fee-Fi has always provided basic launch service under oar or sail for us and our Friendship sloop, we had not used her before as our main mode of transport over distance. It was a different experience and a really enjoyable one.

55pfm8g4b32u3il6byouyd21u9b9beud

Some of the fleet heading to Naskeag Point.

4iwxqmzj77xuo53cmxnfhuz851rn0izk

Naskeag Point at the edge of the fog.

For us, anyway, mingling with other small boat sailors was almost as much fun as the actual sailing.

The three day event was sponsored by the Down East Chapter of the TSCA who did a terrific job as hosts despite the unfavorable weather.

Advertisements

Sailing Fee-Fi: Part 1

September 6, 2018

I have not followed up in a while with developments with our sailing tender Fee-Fi the Penny Fee design that we built to move us to and from the Friendship sloop, but she has gotten a lot of use in the last six seasons.

As I have written before on this site, both the rig and the interior layout are departures from the excellent set of plans provided, by Iain Oughtred, but we needed a simple, self contained boat to serve as launch and tender with as few spars and odds and ends to clutter the boat as we could manage. So we made changes that allow us to keep safety gear on the boat at all times and still allow us the maximum amount of room for cargo and passengers. I think she might go to weather slightly better with the yawl rig suggested in the plans, however, we needed closed storage aft where the mizzen would have been and that would have meant more spars and more pieces.

The big advantage to the sprit rig is that the sail can be furled by one long pull on the brailing line. The brailing line collapses and bundles the sprit and sail up against the mast. This allows us to sail right up to the mother ship and furl the sail in one smooth movement with minimal fuss. It also means that should the wind die completely, the sail can be brailed up and we can row without having to strike the sail. Should the wind reappear, we have only to let go the brailing line and we can sail again.

 

Here is a quick video that might give a better idea of what kind of performance we get from her under sail.