Category Archives: Sailing

Awesome!

In one word, she sails awesome!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Wind: 10 kn TWA: 65 deg Speed: amazing

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.

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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.

The bow enters soft and smooth

The bow enters soft and smooth

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 🙂

First Family Cruise

Summer holiday is over and we are back from our first family cruise. To say it in one sentence – we love our boat! Unfortunately we had some bad luck with our main sail which hasn´t been delivered in time. It´s an exhausting story but we are still hoping to get it before the season ends. So after being forced to stay in the marina because of strong winds up to 35 kn we finally took off, only with the 26 sqm jib to find out that the Arrow 1200 is a runner. In 18 to 22 knots of wind atTWA of 120 to 140 deg we almost hit 10 knots of boatspeed – promising 🙂

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It was only a two hour trip from Schleimünde to Marstal because we didn´t want to overstrain the children but soon they all fell asleep and everything went fine. All systems worked well. The B&G instruments, chartplotter and autopilot did their work and Julia and I enjoyed our first sail with our Wild Thing.

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Then came the first real challenge for the electric propulsion. To reach Marstal harbour we had to motor against 15 knots of wind and 1.5 knots of current. I did not want to stress the system that was all new to us, so we only went half throttle. The power consumption was 100 Amps, 80 delivered by the Generator and the rest from the batteries. SOG was about 3 knots which was okay for the 1.5 miles through the narrow channel. It drained the battery by only 10 % but at the time we tied the lines in Marstal the Generator had filled them up to almost 100 % again. Later that week we tested the system in depth at zero wind and these are the figures: Full speed is 6.4 knots, power consumption is 280 Amps @ 24 V what gives us about 80 minutes at full throttle. The speed we could reach with the current only delivered by the generator without draining the battery is 4.3 knots. Actually I was hoping for a little more but I think we might be able to improve the performance with a higher pitch of the propellers. Since the boat has to come out of the water to change the blades we can only try this next year. At least we know that everything works and the system is reliable so far.

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The rest of the trip gave us fair winds and some sunny days as we did island hopping in the danish south sea. One of the many highlights was beaching the Catamaran at the easterly end of Avernako. What a sight, the boat half a meter ashore and the children playing on the beach. We stayed that way during the whole night, lying quiet and calm in the light breeze only hearing the hulls scratching the sand from time to time. The rudder boxes with hydraulic rams were uphauled and we were pleased that this worked fine as well.

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Sailing with three very small children is a challenge. Safety is the main goal, no one must never ever go over board. What we do for their and our own I will let you know in a separate post. Also I plan to give you more information about some specialties of our yacht as there are electrics, rudder boxes and hydraulic steering, deck layout, interior … If you have any special interest let me know. We will try to cover as much as possible as far as our children let us 😉

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August 2016, Julia, Chris, Hugo, Jamie and Matilda on WILD THING

 

 

Gone sailing

Last week we transfered Stephan’s 50 ft cat from northern Germany to Portugal. Actually I just hopped of the boat in La Coruna after covering 1400 nm in 8 days. The north sea gave us a heavy ride with windforce 7 for 2 days into the English Channel.

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Strong currents up to 5 kn at Cherbourgh with wind from the same direction cost us almost half a day, but with the tide from behind we passed the channel islands with 15+ knots SOG. Fortunately the Gulf of Biscay was calm with easterly winds force 3 to 5 which made us sail with continuous 10+ knots across this dangerous sea area. So I’m about to fly back home while Stephan with Rolf, Christoph and Tina continue to sail to southern Portugal. The building is having a break now but I will post the latest progress when back home.

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Congratulations Illbruck!

Line honors for Illbruck! Yesterday Illbruck finished the German offshore race “Rund Skagen” first ship home!

http://nordseewoche.org/index_380-news.html?PHPSESSID=mr4vhtd7b95ft2inkfj3f2n1c0

On board: Skipper Olli and crewmember Felix – congratulations!

First ship home Illbruck

First ship home Illbruck

 

 

 

 

 

 

Illbruck followed close by Varuna

Illbruck followed close by Varuna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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