In one word, she sails awesome!
Last Friday morning we installed the mainsail and off we went. Windfinder predicted 15 kn from the east but as always, the 15 turned out to be 20. Our home port Arnis is about 4 nm up the Schlei, Germany´s only fjord and we had to motor 2.5 miles straight into the wind before out on the open sea. The electric motors work well but you have to adapt to the system. You must watch your electric balance closely and calculate the expected consumption. We left Arnis with batteries 90% full which means 180 Ah left. The first 1.5 miles we went slow because we needed to wait for the Kappeln bridge to open. The Generator was running and the battery´s charging state didn´t change. Behind the bridge we went full throttle, meaning 4 kn boatspeed into the wind force 5-6. Fortunately the current helped us with an additional knot that by the time the sails were up the battery was down to 20 %. Not really ideal but I think it is to early to draw final conclusions. I am sure that the pitch of the propellers is to low and we have not installed any other electrical sources like solar panels and windturbine yet – not to forget the possible recuperation from the motors. So stop complaining and benefit from the lightness of the system.
Julia was at the helm while Julius and I pulled the sails up. The main we only hoisted to the first reef and as soon as Julia was bearing off to a beam reach she couldn´t get the grin out of her face. For the next two hours the speedo didn´t fall below 10 kn, mostly staying at around 11 with max 12.5 kn without pushing it, only enjoying the fact that Wild thing sails so well! I admit that I was a little nervous, rather let go the traveller when looking at the dyneema shrouds I spliced myself. Not that there was any particular problem, I just have to gain confidence into the whole ship.
Two hours later we rounded the northern cape of Aero and hauled up to a close reach. Who says that catamarans don´t go upwind. Wild Thing definitely proves him wrong! From my last cat with fixed keels I was used to tacking angles of 120 deg. Wild thing tacks well below 100! With the wind dropped to 12 kn and the main unreefed we were going 7-8 kn at TWA 45 deg. For me this might have been the most revealing moment of the weekend. Never worry about going upwind again!
We dropped Anchor in the bay west of Aeroskobing after 3.5 hours of sailing, covering 33 nm. Well done Wild Thing! If anyone was wondering – the children were well asleep most of the time. The fresh air and the movement of the boat seems to be very tiring.
Saturday we decided to stay where we were. Julius and I had an awesome kite session. While I was only happy to be on the board again after 3 years of absence Julius was practicing the `dark slide´ – one of those sick moves that I am probably to old for … The children played at the beach, enjoying the very last days of summer.
Sunday morning we were up early and decided to do a quick 😉 10 mile dash to a yet unknown bay to have breakfast there. It is amazing, sailing is so much fun!
Soon the whole crew shouted pancake … pancake … pancake, so the captain was on duty again and was reminded that he wanted to install a maple syrup holding tank, maybe a task for the winter.
When everyone was fed we lifted anchor and headed home. The wind was still blowing from the east and once out on the open sea it reached 20 knots and more. The sea state was not very pleasant, but still Wild Thing sailed rather comfortable. Despite the hulls having a flat bottom there was hardly any slamming and I can´t remember one wave hitting the bridgedeck as I was used to from my old catamaran.
Only one noise was new to me. At about 13 kn boatspeed a gentle humming could be heard – caused by the daggerboards. Max speed that day was 13.5 knots but I am sure this is by far not the end of the ladder 🙂