Monday, August 30, 2010
The Hardangersjekte on the Water
The Valgerda by William Atkin that recently found it's way into Doryman's boatyard is back on the water.
The sail rig had not arrived, but the Valgerda was launched to attend the Toledo Wooden Boat Show.
It's nine miles from the marina with the sling to the site of the boat show. I had intended to row but a new friend, Bill came by the dock while I was still examining the boat for leaks (there where none) and offered to tow me up river. I threw him my painter and we were off.
Bill was piloting his new motor dory skiff. What a beauty! Hopefully he will share something about the build of this fine skiff with us in the near future. He towed the Valgerda for more than half the distance and I rowed the rest, anxious to feel how the boat handled.
Even without her motor, the Valgerda is stoutly built, a heavy little boat. With a good bit of effort I could row her at 2.5 knots in calm water, but a little opposing current slows her a bit. A headwind is much worse. Gusting winds on the bow slowed my progress at one point to 1.5 knots or less. The boat and I got into a rhythm of pulling hard when the wind slacked to build speed to coast though the puffs, just the opposite of what we would have done had we been sailing. I used a pair of twelve foot sweeps I made a couple years ago for the Thistle, which worked very well.
I resolved then to make use of a strong ebb tide for the return trip, as any prudent mariner would do. As it turned out, the next powerful ebb was after midnight and the story of that trip is in the post that follows, by the light of the sturgeon moon.
The design sail area for this boat is 72 sq.ft. in a low aspect ratio lug sail. The shoal fin keel is fitted with lead ballast of approximately 106 pounds, and as I said, the boat is built heavy. The new sail will be 110 sq.ft. and after spending a few hours rowing her, I'm convinced the larger sail will be very handy.
The next installment of this story will be the fitting of a new tanbark lug sail, along with new mast, yard and boom.
Please stay tuned!