From: David E Sherman/DESQ (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Sep 16 2003, 4:28 PM PDT
Subject: Re: [sailing_canoes] Fulmar session
Brian...give me a clue as to what you're building .........I need some
impetus. Thurs/Fri wind /rain will give me a chance to sit down and
write something more comprehensive about the Fulmar experience.
Pulled it out today as everyone has decided to play it safe
notwithstanding apparent Isabel course to NC/Va. The surf has been
pretty normal here and Barnegat Inlet was plenty calm today with the NW
winds (at least on the ebb). Might have kicked up with the flood tide
but did not see it. Ocean plenty warm here still.
Had the Fulmar today in the Gunning River and sailed the Limestone
Channel. It was puffy, blowing mostly 10-12 knots but with bouts of
15-17knots. The Fulmar heads up in a gust and to derive speed out of the
boat you have to keep the helm to leeward. Bringing the centerboard up
on a reach or beat does not appreciably reduce the weather helm....can't
figure that out. Think maybe the mast could have been mounted a few
inches fore...or could use a rig with the CE slightly further fore.
Did a fair amount of downwind tacking home and noticed something
interesting. With the centreboard more fully deployed, it more easily
keeps a course to leeward...lift the board and the boat develops
immediate weather helm.
The boat has a nice sensitive feel and whenever you think mastery has
arrived, you learn something new. One thing I pay attention to is not
overpowering the vessel. It's tempting to let all the canvas fly. With
the unstayed mast and loose foot, you can tell when you have too much
sail when a little pocket develops in the belly of the sail...you'll
also see a windsurfer like bend in the spar. Reef in 10% at a time and
the pocket in the belly disappears and the boats actually moves faster.
Not sure if this is peculiar to a tri such as the Fulmar or simply a
matter of good sense and efficiency.
This is a dry boat in most inland conditions and offshore in big
rollers. In any type of short steep chop, be prepared to get wet. It
behaves much more like a monohull than a catamaran and coming about is
straightforward. just drive the boat upwing and haul in the main and 9
time out of 10 you'll avoid irons.
There is plenty of storage and reserve bouyancy. Have ssailed it with
three, even 4 persons. Two is about right if it's blowing as you can
dispatch your crew to hang out on the upwind ama...by sialing the Fulmar
a little flatter, you'll derive good speed.
One complaint on the Fulmar...the centerboard trunk is prone to jamming.
I deal with it by leaving the board out just about an inch when moored
or trailered. Just takes a little attention to get it to clear the
trailer bunks when launching. In warm conditions, no big deal as a
little yank from below the hull dislodges the CB, but in colder
conditions, it's a pain. Also, the boat may have been billed as a
cartopper......not happening...galvanized trailer a must IMHO. But you
can tow w/ a Tercel...Campbell proved it by coming all the way from BC
to the Chesapeake.
The outdrive, human powered is slick and full of costly engineering I
imagine. The beauty is that any determined owner can completely break it
down and rebuild/reinstall. That's a good feeling. Parts availability,
that's another story. I will at some point soon try to make contact with
Sinclair about the tooling.
Does anyone out there know of any other Fulmar owners..there are approx
20 in existence and I'd like to make contact. Thanks all for your
interest. I would welcome anyone in the East who would like to sail it.