A Day on the Water
May 12, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend, 2012 - it kind of put a damper on boat building activities. This weekend was shortened to just Saturday.

It has been a long, dank, winter. Finally, the sun was breaking through. We need to get the Mollyhawks ready for the start of the boating season in a couple weeks, but a day like this . . .

Bud and Curt were already hard at it, sanding the second Mollyhawk, getting her ready for paint. I left them to their task and . . .

Set about rigging my Skin-on-Frame Shenandoah Whitehall, initial design by Dave Gentry. You can read more about how this boat has come about here: Andrew Linn's Shenandoah Whitehall Project

The boat itself weighs ~90lbs. The 8.5' mast weighs ~8, and the 47sqft sail made of 10oz canvas drop-cloth likes to lay it over on its side. Being so light, the boat is initially 'twitchy' - meaning it balances on one side, then the other, but it never heels so far as to even pretend to take water over the side.

Remember, I modified this boat for the Texas 200 - I needed it to sail in shallow waters. Still, a Whitehall is first and foremost a pulling boat. The daggerboard is 2' wide and extends into the water 2'. It displaces enough to float - easily fixed with a bungee. The rowing seat is perfectly placed, but I really don't like rowing all that much. I really want a sailboat.

It's a 14' long, 4' wide, 88lbs boat. Step into the middle of it.

That's my anticipated sailing position - between frames 3 and 4. Look how she trims.

Man, that's a purty boat. I need to work on this sail - I need to lash it tighter at the throat. This is my first sprit rig, I'm not sure I am a big fan. You can see I have a very shallow rudder, as well. This was done for 2 reasons: 1) The shallow waters of the Texas 200. 2) Because that's all the wood I had.

No wind. The rudder controlled the direction of the boat just fine, but there was no wind pushing on the boat at all.

So that's how she trims. If I were to carry gear, I'd carry it just aft of the mast and scoot back a little bit.

With no wind, the only thing to do was grab a 2x4, rip it up a bit, and make oarlocks out of it.

Bud and Curt (and Malika) had jumped into the 1st Mollyhawk and took her out for a spin. Damn, that boat rows nice.

So an 80lbs lab-mix makes the Mollyhawk trim a wee bit for'd. I can't help but think I ought to move that aft seat back a bit.

That was a damn fine day on the water. The Whitehall rows wonderfully and the Mollyhawk rows like a dream.