Summary of 2021, repairs in 2022

In 2021, we got off to an early start – we were in the water already April 24. We towed the boat from it’s winter quarters to the former Olympic marina in about 4-5h, going extra slow since we are using a suspensionless beach trailer.

Getting the boat off the trailer was very easy, since the slip is long and steep. We hooked the trailer up to some anchor line to retrieve it and everything went smoothly.

The spot we got at the marina was very cheap, but it also meant some serious acrobatics to get on the boat and to moor/unmoor. Still, we got to sail a decent amount in the summer, mostly on the bay due to lack of time.

The boat came out at the tail end of the season, on October 30, on a calm day. Getting it back on the trailer was a little harder than launching, but doable. We pulled the trailer out with an anchor line again, it wanted to tip over towards the slip quite a bit.

Right now, Kvark is staying on the hard, as we need to do some maintenance. Pictures speak more than words, so here they are below.

Now, we need to apply new antifouling, repair some of the paint on the deck, replace the cracked windows allowing for thermal expansion and we should be ready again!

Something to consider is finding a lighter mast, to reduce heeling action and to make it easier to step. The plans call for a 5.55 m, 65 mm diameter, 2.6 mm thickness 6261 T6 aluminum profile, which so far we have not been able to find, so we are using an over-strong ice boat mast with no backstay and shroud spreaders.

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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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