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Launch of “Three Rivers”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                 

 

                                                                                                       May 2007

The Chebacco "Three Rivers" was launched on a cool but sunny Sunday with much
fanfare, under a beautiful sky with a light breeze. The local newspaper even sent a crew out to report on the story (building a 20 footer in one’s garage, in landlocked Waterloo is newsworthy!).

 

 

Lots of spectators providing guidance for backing the trailer…

 

Everything went quite well. I was relieved that the trailer launching & recovery was fairly straight forward, as the boat ramp at our sailing club has a very shallow gradient limited by the shore line. Prior to the launch I had taken the boat and trailer through a weight station at the local dump. The total weight comes to 2200 lb. The heavy-duty weighs 700 lbs including the spare tire, so the boat weighs at 1500 lb, about right, I think, given the 250 lb of marine batteries I installed for running the electric motor.

 

 

There she goes, floating off the trailer.

 

 

 

Now moving the boat to the leeward side of the dock to make it easier to set sails. She wants to take off! With a cross wind of about 5 knots, the boat takes a surprising amount of effort to hold on to with the bow/stern lines. My reference is my 17 ft Marsh Hen, which has a fairly high side for its length, and the Hen takes much less effort. May be I do need a crew…

 Safely tied down….

 

The V-berth has a comfortable foam mattress. The ‘skylight’ hatch makes the cabin bright and cozy. One can rest down here after a hard day of sailing, read a book, take a nap…

 


 

 

 

 

The wind died (that was when the following sailing photo was taken), and we puttered around with the electric motor, sometimes with a full load of spectators. I like the motor! Nice and quiet, just turn the handle and it goes. The rudder is pleasantly responsive with a very tight turning radius. After a while the wind picked back up to 10 kts. She sailed well in this wind, and is extremely stable (again with my 17 ft Hen as reference). Response is slower than the Marsh Hen, which can be expected given two times the weight. Very sure-footed, comes about with no hesitation. At this wind there's a slight weather helm, just about right. The mizzen doesn't seem to do much, but I think I have much to learn yet about trimming the mizzen. I remember that someone commented on the webzine that the Chebacco can keep pace with performance dingies such as Wayfarers. Well, not quite. In light to moderate wind, Wayfarers can literally run circles around Three Rivers. So from that perspective I am somewhat disappointed. The raising/lower of the gaff takes more effort than I thought. Also, the gaff jaw rubs hard against the mast such that several spots were stripped bare of varnish, even though the jaw is covered with leather. I think I need to sheath the mast section with a piece of SS sheet. Does anyone else have this problem??

 

There are still a hundred other small things that need to be worked on, such as where to hang the fenders so they don't destroy the rub rail....but overall I am quite happy so far, and am looking forward to taking the boat to some faraway lakes and do some serious gunkholing…

 

 

 

 

 

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