Why can't I leave well enough alone? [He says.]
I was out today in a brisk 13-15 knots, skirting the shoals northwards when I began to ponder the prospect that I may be complicating my sailing.
In today's conditions I had to 'trim' my sail by raising the bottom arm up to reduce the sail area. The irony was that the Flying Crutchman sailed better with the reduction in sail area. So I
thought that maybe I should consider reducing the forces bearing down on the craft rather than tweaking the craft to tolerate them?
If I made another sail more like a crab claw sail I could work through other options where design rather than sail area rules my motion forward.
With a trimmed design -- like in the image, left -- I'd get better vision side to side, reduce my tracking pressures and improve my maneuverability at a price of harvesting less of the wind.
I know that the trim works because I have already trimmed to good effect while out and about. To be closer to a crab claw I should run my mast more sharply into the vertical but if I did that I'm asking to tip over as my centre of effort will be way forward.
Another option is to shorten my mast to reduce the corner angle that mast and spar are the same length -- which is currently not the case.
Afterward: This is what I did. I cut back the mast and the sail to replicate a crab claw.
So that's two options....
Today's log:[SAILING + PADDLING + DRAGGING] Phew! Wind up and I sail long ways. Wind drops and is agin me so I make do. A bit of time on the waters seeking a cold bum.
Poling and Towing
Methinks that not only could I trim my sail a bit but I should also consider canoe poling rather than paddling. The conditions suit poling as the bay I navigate is so shallow and I rarely get to greater than a metre under neath. And each time I'm out I run over shoals and often have to use my paddle to pole me off. The only complication is that poling should be done while standing and with a sailing rig in place the deck is a bit crowded... But it is possible that on a stubby little craft like mine when the wind ain't there poling may get me from A to B with less effort than paddling from a seated position. Also with the sail rig dropped to the deck I can't sit but could stand by straddling the hardware. Poling is the tradition rather than double blade paddling in most shallow water regions of the world like mine...that and a flat bottom canoe such as a Bateau and a Pirogue.
As it is I have learnt to appreciate the ease with which I can 'barge' my craft -- usually against the wind. I call it 'barging' but what I mean is I tow the beast by dragging a line over my shoulder with it skimming behind me like a well behaved pet dog. It is effortless. So methinks it is a viable and respected canoeing option that suits the design. At low tide I can walk for kilometres in ankle deep water with my craft in tow and cover the distance much quicker than if I was paddling or trying to tack against the wind.