The chief problem that I had last week was the the daggerboard jammed
partway down, and I had to sail with only about six inches or so of it.
I still haven't had her out yet with the daggerboard all the way down,
so I can't comment on her helm balance, but leaving the jib down
compensated for the aftward shift in her lateral resistance well
enough that I was able to sail successfully for a week of afternoons,
with the only problem being the need to manually clear the foresail
boom over the top of the daggerboard when tacking.
With a fresh breeze, the tension on the main and foresail sheets gets
heavy enough that I think I really want a 2:1 purchase on both. I had
to use both hands to trim them. If I had had a chance to install the
tiller comb before launch (I drove to the launch site with a coat of
varnish drying on my tiller and epoxy curing in the last holes that I
drilled), it would have been easier.
I think I have the luff lacing reasonably well figured out, but how do
you tension the luff? Running the luff lacing through the tack
cringle keeps the tack up against the mast, but the boom jaws are in
the way of tying the tack to the boom.
Also, how do rigs such as this control twist in the main and
foresails? The sheet is rigged in a vang-y sort of way that works
well enough upwind, but offwind, the boom rises, and the gaff goes
forward farther than I'd like. I do have signal halyards (for the
ensign and a courtesy flag) rigged up to my peaks, that could be used
as gaff vangs in a pinch, but I'll have to think about some sort of
simple vanging arrangement.
The boat is supremely comfortable for lounging, at least in the main
cockpit. Due to scheduling hiccups, I was never able to get a
passenger out with me, so I can't comment on how comfortable the
forward cockpit is, especially with the boat heeled. The cockpit
coaming is an obvious place to sit when the wind pipes up -- and
there's even a picture of Tony Grove sitting there on Payson's site --
but 3/4 inch mahogany isn't very comfortable for my derriere. I'm
tempted to double or triple the coaming thickness at the very top.
I've been sailing racing sloops for most of my life (and just bought
another one for a pittance), and I really need to break myself of the
bad habit of trying to sail _Shrike_ too high.
The daggerboard is a bit of a beast. I can raise it by standing on
the deck and lifting with my legs, but I have a black belt in Tae Kwon
Do. Also, the deck doesn't seem to be quite strong enough between the
cockpits, and I have to be careful to place my feet near the deck
stringers. At some point, I'll consider reinforcing the deck around
there, which will be a royal pain because I have flotation foam
fastened to the underside of the deck throughout the boat.
A possible solution to the daggerboard problem might be to pull the
boat over on her side using the masts, and to slide the daggerboard
out horizontally. It remains to be seen whether the cockpit will
flood under those circumstances.
The jammed daggerboard was a blessing in disguise, actually -- the
slip that I was assigned for the week was in 18 inches of water. I
had to raise and lower the rudder every time I went out. At some
point, I managed to bend either the shaft or the tip weld holding the
rudder on, which I need to fix.
I rigged the boat with cam cleats fastened to the underside of the
mainmast partner for the sheets, rather than the belaying pins called
for in the plans. The control lines run through holes drilled in the
forward face of the cockpit coaming. It works really well, but I
should have placed my block for the foresail sheet a little farther
outboard -- it rubs against the forward cockpit coaming. I'll have to
add an additional fairlead for it, as the eyestrap holding the block
in is so firmly secured that I don't want to even attempt moving it.
One oversight in the plans: a cleat or cleats at the stern for mooring
in a slip or alongside a pier.
The plans seem to imply just one cleat at the front of each mast, for
all halyards and the topping lift. I installed two, which just barely
does it for the foremast, where there are four controls to belay.
I'm still uncertain what the cleats on the forward face of the aft
cockpit coaming are for. I used one to secure a spring line, and
another for the main topping lift.
I need to rig up a retaining pin and/or line for the daggerboard, to
prevent it from sliding out when the boat is knocked down or rolls over.
Nexus makes a wonderful racing compass that can be used as either a
steering compass or a hand bearing compass. There's a holder that
screws down to a deck or bulkhead that the handle slides into.
So far, her chief disadvantage has been that I've had to stop to
answer hails from every single boat that's passed me, complimenting me
on the boat and inquiring about her....