From Laughable Concept to Testable Hypothesis
July 7, 2016

When last we left the Corky, we'd suffered a pretty dismal sea trial, evaluated our setup, and made some changes. It was time to see if the changes had any affect.

We had a mini-messabout at Fern Ridge. Bob L had just finished his and wanted to see how she operated under power.

First, we had to have a Naming Ceremony - you can't just go tossing boats in the water and expect everything to be OK. Bob read a lovely poem, then . . .

His wife poured on a libation, and all was well and right with the boat universe.

John was there, too, with his new My Pod - a tiny trailer he will be towing around behind his Prius.

It's set up pretty nice - I think John is going to like it.

Enough about other people - it's time to test the Corky

Fern Ridge - the best sailing lake in Oregon. Every time I go there, the wind is flat and fluky. Today was no different. Joe held on to the painter while I went back for the dagger board. There was some discussion on whether or not the No Testing sign meant us. We decided not.

Want to know how to burn the crap out of your legs? Forget sun screen on an overcast, 70° day. What little wind there was came right in my teeth, but I had to try.

I made it across the launch ramp and rammed the boat across the way. He thought it was funny. The wind would kick up for a few moments - no more than 3-5mph - and I was learning how to balance the forces to be able to turn and gain a little headway.

I was able to (slowly) maneuver to the seawall and ask Joe to hand me my camera. This was as close as I could get, so ever the trooper, Joe crawled out as far as he could and handed it to me.

While I hunted for a breeze on "The best sailing lake in Oregon" Bob launched his S.C.A.M.P. and John when and retrieved his boat (can't remember the make) from it's moorage at the marina.

John came over and towed me out to where there was some wind - again, no more than 5mph. Corkys don't tow well - at all. I was doing some serious pig-rooting at just over 2mph.

I'm not sure, but this might be the first picture of a S.C.A.M.P. taken from this angle. See those sailboats in the background? One - sailed by a pair of attractive young women - sailed up to me and asked "Is that thing an inner tube?" As Babe Magnets go, the Corky is doing pretty good.

I borrowed Bob's GPS. Keep in mind these were very fluky winds, but on a dead run, I was able to touch 1.8mph and maintain in the mid-ones. The maximum theoretical hull speed (in knots) should be 1.34 times the square root of the length of waterline. My Corky has a hull length of 4.66', making the max speed possible 1.34 x 2.16 = 2.89 kts or 3.32 mph Context: max possible speed is expected to be slightly less than a PDR's average speed.

Pinching as tight as I could (maybe 20-30° into the wind?) was a little slower - but progress is progress. Just to bring this into perspective: .7 mph is a tiny fraction over 1 foot per second. If my best point of sail is 30° into the wind and my destination is directly into the wind, my Velocity Made Good is 6" per second at this speed - roughly 1/3 of a mile per hour.

Enough of that - I could feel the photons from the sun 93 million miles away burning into my skin so I called for a tow back to the docks. Seriously: The Corky does not tow well at all.

This round of testing was successful. I learned the Corky sails very differently from a normal boat - there is a lot more interaction between the sail and the rudder. I need to make a change to the rigging and a change to the caps on the stems, but other than that, I think the design has stabilized. Best thing about the Corky? One trip from the dock to the car.

And everything fits inside your standard Subaru.

That's it for this test. More to follow.