Maiden Voyage of the S/V Desiderata

Went out for the first time on my boat without an instructor.  Two friends I’ve met went out and we put the wind to the sails. Driving a sailboat with a stern drive and a rudder is a lot different than how a conventional motor steers when you turn the steering wheel.  On a sailboat if you have no speed, you have no steerage.  You really have to factor the wind and current when docking.  I tried to back my stern out into the wind, but in retrospect I should have backed my stern downwind and let the wind bring my bow around.  As it was, I got all catty wampus and barely missed bumping into docks and boats on the way out but was able to avert disaster in the end.  We motored out to the middle of the river and pointed the boat into the wind and raised the main and jib.  Once the sails are up you turn the boat at an angle into the wind and the boat starts picking up speed.  When you get a really strong breeze the boat heels over about 20-25 degrees and you can feel yourself starting to quickly gain speed. It’s really an exhilarating feeling!!!  We played around for a couple of hours and I quickly learned that I need to get things in my “house” more secure because when we heeled over there was stuff flying down below.  It was really a blast to finally sail my own boat!  Added a video of when we hit a max speed of 6 knots.  Doesn’t sound like much but it’s a pretty cool feeling.  I felt like a pilot taking off of an aircraft carrier because I’ve read that even before they take off they are thinking of the landing.  Having not had the most successful start I was a little nervous about the return to the dock.  The wind was actually blowing pretty good and as I made my turn to enter my slip I thought I was going too fast.  I put it in reverse and gave it hard rudder to starboard and she slowed to a gentle stop at which time I eased her nicely into the slip. A great end to a great day!

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