Preparing for third season on the sea


We spent our last weekend getting fried in sunlight, preparing the launch of Kvark for the coming season. Many thanks to Magnus Otsa and Katrin Nigumann for the help!

Kvark in Käsmu, early June 2018. Uku standing on deck and Magnus standing by.

Our previous launches have either been very expensive (order a large truck with a large crane, 350+ EUR per time) or very tedious (half a day of Ancient Egypt style construction work and labor). The idea of building a custom trailer has been in the air ever since Kvark saw daylight a number of years ago.

This year we finally took the time to act and start the construction of a custom Kvark trailer. For this, a Volkswagen Golf rear axle was purchased from a friend, and some 20 meters of steel profile in 3 meter segments.

All the brake calipers had to be removed from the drums first. The wheels would otherwise most certainly rust shut. It took a ton of grinder work to get all the rust off the axle. It came off of a junkyard car.

Next up will be adding four arms to the trailer, two on either side, to hold the sailboat in place. We’ll add some rollers under the keel to make it easier to get the boat off the trailer.

Katrin working on oak and varnish.

We also sanded the exterior oak parts of old varnish and applied three new coats. Some painting was also done, plus a few patches of glass fibre on the rudder.

Next up will hopefully be launching!

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A video that ended with rescue


Kvark ended its second season on sea. This time with some new type of “fat” under the belt. We took on a more serious journey from Käsmu to Tallinn (about 70-80 km). The trip took three days with plenty rests in between. Though, yes, all the sailing was in rather strong upwind 9-10 m/s and progress was slow. The motor helped at times. Here is a shot from the last day, right in the middle of Muuga bay, on shipping lane of the largest Estonian transit port, with rising strong wind and larger waves than the video can tell (they were 2 m):

So about two hours after this video was taken, we called a rescue boat to come tow us to port. It was declared a SAR call (search and rescue). Long story short: we lost our mainsail, the engine took in water and died, and we were going back-and forth on the shipping lane with big tankers on it. Shit hit the fan and we were tired of it. But everyone survived, including Kvark 🙂 Lessons were learned and next season will be better. The sail back from Tallinn to Käsmu was a one day trip with good downwind sailing. Thank you!

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News from the Baltic Sea

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Hello friends! A lot of time has passed and a lot of water has flown into the sea. I am getting close to the final stretch of my PhD, but this summer I was back in Estonia for an internship. … Continue reading

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