Doris goes Sailing


Doris goes Sailing
by Gavin Atkin
More about Doris the dory

Here's some pictures of me sailing Doris this afternoon. The wind ranged from F2 up to F4; what you see here is a time at the end of the afternoon when the wind fell back to a steady F2 and I decided to try the boat with its new 60sqft spritsail but without the ballast, which I regard as Doris'
secret weapon.

In this condition the boat is livelier but distinctly less stable - getting out a few yards off the beach without filling the boat is quite tricky, and I may decide to use the pontoon jetty in future! It's significantly easier to get in and out with the ballast in place.

sailing on her ear

Some of the pictures here show Doris sailing on here ear in the approved fashion for dories. This is an unfussy position for sailing this boat: it neither pulls up-wind like a racing dinghy, nor does it try to run off downwind. What's more by the time the boat has heeled that far it's dory hull has stiffened up nicely, particularly if the ballast I mentioned is aboard. Notice also the near complete lack of a wake with this boat - even when sailing at near hull speed it's almost spooky how little wake it produces.

almost no wake

Right up into the F4 range, Doris proved that she will plug well to windward all day; she's not fast when sailed close, but she's certainly in the same league as many other boats on our lake in terms of upwind ability .

One change I am planning is to move the mast aft by a couple of inches, as I still think the weather helm is a little too light, which I think is causing a few problems in going about - I missed stays three times in an afternoon's sailing, twice when the boat had no ballast and therefore had less momentum to get round. Another planned change is a retaining clip for the rudder, which is quite deep and when it grounds it can cause the rudder to lift off one of its pintles. And another is a new longer peak sprit, as the current one is a little short and doesn't give quite the required power - you can probably see that in the photos. I think that's enough changes for now LOL!

a good second outing

All in all it was a good second outing. I spent a long time working my way to windward against the sea breeze up a narrow channel, and had an excellent fast run home in an F3-4, before playing the with boat without its ballast as the wind fell to F2. It's really not bad, is it, for a boat that can also row? Well done Doris...