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Thread: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

  1. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Everett, WA, USA
    Posts
    362

    Default Re: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

    Looks really nice.

    I know you're still getting used to your new Alaska, but how do you find it compared to the Phoenix III. Is that your brother in the Phoenix? There's got to be some friendly competition going on.

    That's a beautifully set sail, by the way. How do you like the loose foot?

    Travis.

  2. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

    Travis,

    the Alaska (with only the mainsail as I'm sailing it) and the Phoenix III (yep, that's my brother sailing it) don't seem too far apart in performance so far, but it'll take more sailing side by side to know for sure where each has advantages. The Alaska might have a SLIGHT edge over the Phoenix III in rowing (maybe that's mostly that the oars are more than a foot longer), but not enough to be really discernible with a single person aboard each boat. It would outrow the Phoenix III if each boat had two people aboard, and it certainly has a lot more momentum once it's moving. But overall, it seems like the two boats will be a good match for cruising together.

    The Alaska sure heels much more readily, and (being more than 100 lbs heavier even without the 100 lbs of ballast I'm carrying) accelerates more slowly. But it seems to have a good reserve stability. Windy conditions seem to demand much more attention to using your weight to keep the boat flat--the Phoenix III is much firmer and less sensitive to weight shifts. The Alaska is a little slower at tacking, and maybe doesn't keep as much momentum coming about, so I'd expect to lose ground to the Phoenix III if short-tacking up a channel.

    And yes, I'm really happy with the sail--best sail I've ever used (by Stuart Hopkins of Dabbler Sails). The boomless set-up is very convenient in some ways, so I'm in no hurry to change that. It's pretty simple to rig an oar as a temporary boom for downwind work:



    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  3. #38
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Providence, RI USA
    Posts
    1,196

    Default Re: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

    Looking good, Tom! I'm enjoying the rigging discussion, too.

    Congratulations on a lovely boat.

    Mike
    "near it, a small whale-boat, painted red and blue, the delight of the king's old age."

  4. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

    Mike,

    thanks--how's your Ilur coming along? That design always strikes me as a little ship more than a boat--so much volume. Seems very capable, like it'll take excellent care of its crew. I love how there are so many different ways to design a great boat.

    Tom
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

  5. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    northwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,631

    Default Re: Kurylko Alaska Sea Trials and Outings

    I also wanted to post a bit about some self-steering options. For long days cruising, I've come to consider it essential to have at least some degree of self-steering. There are times when you want to grab a drink, or a bite to eat, or take a compass heading, or grab a jacket, or whatever, and that all becomes a lot easier if you can let go of the tiller.

    Neither my brother nor I had rigged anything for this yet, but at one point during our little camping trip, suddenly my brother was sailing around hands-free in his Phoenix III. When we landed I got him to show me what he had done--I knew it had to be dead simple because it only took him a few seconds to set it up.

    So here it is, set up on my Alaska: a dirt cheap, dead simple set-up to rig a tiller so that it will stay in position wherever you put it. All you need is a short line with a loop in one end:



    You run the other end of the line through the loop and tighten with a quick-release tension knot:



    So it runs across your aft deck between cleats like so:



    Then all you need is a short bungee around both the lines and the tiller, making an X shape:



    Take enough turns with the bungee to make it really tight, so it pulls the taut line up to the tiller:



    And the friction of the bungee and lines allows you to position the tiller anywhere you want it:



    This works really great in practice--the tiller slides easily for normal steering as usual, but has enough friction to stop anywhere you release it. If things get a bit loose, it's simple to re-tighten the quick-release knot in the line to increase tension again. If you want to disengage it, a simple tug on the quick-release loop allows you to undo the line.

    After I took a minute to rig this on my Alaska, I basically spent the rest of the trip hands-free, giving the tiller only an occasional nudge now and then. It's also useful to push the tiller to leeward and have it stay there when you park the boat to raise sail or whatever.

    One probably obvious caveat: if you fall overboard with this set-up, your boat will sail away from you forever.

    And, unlike sheet-to-tiller steering, this is not a self-correcting steering system. It just holds the tiller wherever you want it held. Still, it works really well, and is really nice to have aboard. I highly recommend trying it out next time you go out sailing. I doubt I'll have a boat without this system rigged again.

    Cheers,

    Tom
    Last edited by WI-Tom; 07-25-2017 at 12:45 PM.
    You don't have to be prepared as long as you're willing to suffer the consequences.

    Jagular Goes Everywhere: (mis)Adventures in a $300 Sailboat. Book release November 2014.

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