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By Simon & Kristi Lewandowski - St Petersburg, Florida - USA

Well what can I say.  This was probably the best sailing weekend of my life!  Burning all that midnight oil to get The Goat done in time for CK was beyond well worth it.  Both Kristi and I are still buzzing from all of the fun and excitment of launching and sailing the boat, for the first time, among the finest group of folks on the planet!  We had no shortage of help from Bill Wright and Luke helping unhitch and push the trailer down the side of Island Place to Bill Whalen and Dave Johnson (friend who came with us) helping with initial rigging to Steve and Ginny who helped us grunt the trailer and Goat up the hill Sunday afternoon.  Then there is Meade who generously shared wisdom on all kinds of cool carbon-wood boat structures which I will definitely implement as I fine tune the Goat rig.

Our new Goat Island Skiff rigged and ready for the first splash.

We had a blast sailing around and giving rides to a few folks.  The highlight was when Meade asked for a sail in The Goat!  For those who are not boat geeks, that's like having Les Paul want to play a guitar you just built or Burt Rutan want to fly a plane you just built.  You get the idea, pretty special.

Boats gathering Saturday morning.

So how does she sail?  I may be biased but first impressions are pretty positive.  The helm was just perfectly light with a touch of weather helm.  The boat is very responsive but not in a scary sort of way, well at least not in the light winds we had and with a crew of two.  Terry and I had a few puffs on Sunday that got both of us on the rail and it all felt very under control.  I suspect a good bit of that is due to the incredible sail that Doyle-Ploch/JSI whipped up just in time for the weekend.  For those who were not there it's a radial cut balanced lug.  The radial cut allows for better shaping and it really showed.  The sail assumes a nice shape as soon as there is enough wind pressure to fill it and then just stays that way as the wind strength increases.  Call me super impressed considering it's laced to a couple of sticks made by me.

Meade Gougeon at the helm of The Goat on her maiden day!  For those who are not boat geeks, that's like having Les Paul want to play a guitar you just built or Burt Rutan want to fly a plane you just built.  You get the idea.

OK enough blathering about the new boat.  We also had a wonderful time checking out other's boats and socializing.  The Treat's party was wonderful as allways.  Huge thanks go out to Ron and everyone who helped set up the cook-out.   We feel bad for not helping but were severely distracted.  We are officially signing up now for next year as servile burger flipping minions.

Nice to wake up Sunday to this view.

Pics of the event are here.

I've also started a Goat Island Skiff album for just Goat pics.

My build blog for the Goat is here:

John Welsford is coming to the USA. Here are some details of his trip and a chance to help out a bit.

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