Still in business

Last year I boasted taking on a trip to Gotland with Kvark. The pandemic put a dent in that plan. However this was a small dent and the plan still holds – now panned for July 2021.

Work was done on Kvark last season and it is ongoing this season too. We are planning on getting her launched in end of April.

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Back in business

This summer, I plan on sailing Kvark to Sweden. Starting from the westernmost tip of Estonia and finishing the first leg in Gotland, Sweden.

Kvark will do about 7-8 km/h in 10 m/s side wind. Total course length when drawn with a ruler is 210 km. When considering tacking, one multiplies this number with square root of two (from the diagonal length of a square), getting 296 km. Sailing time will therefore at worst be 43 hours(!). One would hope that winds are favorable and a single tack will suffice. Then we’re talking a mere ~32 hours sailing. For reference, we sailed to Finland in ~15 hours.

This leg from Hiiumaa to Gotland can take up to 42 hours when sailing with Kvark! That is.. intimidating.

This duration raises some issues:

  • Getting rest;
  • Being visible to tankers;
  • Eating warm food;

The first point combines well with the second. You cant keep watch when you are sleeping. And you cant sleep with nobody holding the tiller.

Self steering? Kvark is very difficul to trim, she wants to turn windward. She would benefit from moving the center of effort forward. I’m thinking of adding a bowsprit to bring the foresail effort forward. I’m also thinking of an electric autopilot, though these cost. Or simply take along a friend.

As for visibility. I will be adding lights to the boat. A 135 deg white light to the stern and a combined greed-red light to the bow. I could simply do away with a mast-top 360 deg white light, however I would have to run a cable from the top of the mast and this would all add weight above the waterline. She definitely does not need more weight in the mast, as she is wobbly enough already. I was thinking of changing masts for a lighter one. Different topic!

A radar reflector would also do good. However I have read that the “tube” variants are not very effective. There is a pretty decent review of the different types here. They should, however, be more effective than nothing at all. Again, my issue is that I want to add no weight to the mast. An active radar reflector would be cool, however this will cost.

I think I will try to find someone to join me on the trip. Then we can change keeping watch, steer the boat and keep an eye out for tankers.

Warm food will be the simplest task to solve. This means simply buying a gas stove and putting it on a gimbal. For this, there is space inside.

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End of season 2018

Hello, all!
Autumn storms are coming here in the Baltic. We receive progressively less sunlight every day, the sky is murky and the frequency of storms is increasing. Sounds like a scene out of a Nordic noir crime film. This also spells the end of sailing season for 2018. Usually sailboats here are taken out of water in the end of October, but I decided to act earlier, as the past storms raised water levels so high that the dock was underwater and the only thing seen was the sailboat.

I had three friends over to help with taking Kvark out of the sea. I had to move the boat from one pier to the other one, under engine, and decided to take the guys out to sea for a small run. It was raining all day. Fortunately we had moderate wind (around 9 m/s), and it was from the South, so waves were small in the port and not interfering with pulling the boat onto the trailer.

Now the next task is transporting the trailered Kvark to Tartu, a trip of about 180 km, which we’ll have to transverse 30 km/h due to the law.

For some reason WordPress does not allow me to upload a photo of where Kvark is on the trailer. I’ll post that next time!

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