Saturday, August 23, 2014

Saturday Sail

Tim Terri and Lady went out for an extended afternoon sail on Saturday. Got to the marina around 1 and finished up around 6. Winds were fairly steady from the SE around 9-12 mph, and Terri handled the boat from our exit out of the marina until we got out on Lake Michigan (mostly on a run with just the mainsail, and we managed to sail all the way out the channel), at which point we set up the auto helm (or what we call "robosailor") and headed approximately 3 miles out to the southwest, eating our picnic lunch and enjoying the light waves and pleasant breezes. Turned around and kept the robosailor at the helm for most of the return trip, and then raised the headsail for part of the return trip, getting up to probably our top speeds of the day around 5 knots. We were only able to sail halfway down the channel before the wind died on us, and then we had a slightly embarrassing moment when the boat did a 360 on us when the wind backfilled our headsail and the engine we had just turned on couldn't compensate for it, and then Tim took over the helm for the return trip, doing several tacks across Lake Muskegon before we hove to, flaked the main and sailed for a while on just the headsail, then furled that and motored back to our slip. A pleasant afternoon with very little diesel motoring, and mostly competent sailing. Had a few discussions again about selling the boat, and the concept of perhaps chartering up north a couple times a year instead of owning/paying marina fees/upkeep.

To be honest, not sure what we can get for our boat, it has several cosmetic issues (brightwork has not been kept up, starboard winch is functional, but probably needs some maintenance as it is a bit loud), a few deck leaks and cracks (mostly over the aft bunk), but on the other hand, it is a good vintage 'old plastic' that has the original sails, a newer diesel in good shape with few miles on it,and a brand of which there aren't a lot of on the water anymore. 1967, hull #10 Chris Craft Cherokee sailboat in Muskegon Michigan for sale. Make us an offer.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Afternoon with Bud

Finally made it out to the big lake this year. Me and Bud went out for a Friday afternoon sail. Winds were projected to be steady and around 10 mph all day (at least earlier in the week), but the morning projections were looking like 7 decreasing to 5 by the late afternoon, but we decided to risk it anyway. We packed a lunch and left the marina around 1pm. Winds on Lake Muskegon were light to nearly nonexistent with occasional small breezes and we slowly puttered our way across the pond, watching a sunfish regatta over on the west side. Eventually we gave up sailing and put on the motor to head out to check out the conditions on the big lake. Much better once we left the channel, with a steady breeze out of the north and we got our best sailing in on a trip about due west, getting up to about 5 and a half knots, and eventually ending up about 4 miles offshore. We broke out the 'robo sailor' for much of this trip, and ate our lunch. Once we were virtually the furthest boat out there, we turned around and headed back on a similar reverse tack. Sometime around halfway back to the channel, the winds started picking up, and we reached our probable top speed of around 6-7 knots, at which point I was starting to get a little nervous that we were overcanvased (the sails were straining and we were doing a pretty good heel on a beam reach). We doused the headsail and continued for the last mile or so on just the main. We ended up seeing the ferry boat pass us on both the return to Muskegon and then again as it exited the channel for Milwaukee. We were able to sail about halfway down the channel with both sails back up, but then again, it switched to too much wind, and then just as quickly changed direction so it was straight at our noses, so we hauled in the headsail once again and motored the remainder of the channel. Winds were once again very flukey on Lake Muskegon and in just the wrong direction to head back to the marina so we tried a few tacks back and forth, but it was very difficult sailing, and eventually put all the sails away and headed back to the marina via the motor. Got tied up and tidied up the boat around 7:30. We both got a fair amount of sun this afternoon, and I slept like a baby once we got home.

We had left the battery on since the last time we were here (on 1), so I started the engine on battery 2, and then switched over to one while we were motoring to charge it back up again. Made sure to turn everything off this time before we left.

Using my mapping software on my phone, I took a screen shot of our location just before we turned around (pictured below). The GPS wasn't working (batteries were dead) so most of our speeds were estimates. I may have to look into some GPS apps and maybe some charting apps for my phone for future reference.