So the holidays are finally here and I’ve been looking forward to having a couple of weeks to get some work done on the island. I was also looking forward to taking the little Compac out for a sail.
Despite having a list of jobs to get done, I put the boat in the water and took off for a day sail to Peel Island.
So here I am at the tiller. The quick photo makes me look like I’m not having a great time, but I certainly was.
The weather was ideal. A little overcast and a decent breeze from the East. It was a gentle and easy sail straight across the sandbanks over to Peel Island.
After just a couple of hours I had anchored up in about one metre of water. A shallow draft means there is no need for a tender.
After about an hour in the anchorage and a swim I took off back home to the island. The wind had turned more Southerly and increased to about 15 knots. It wasn’t looking pretty. I took the shot below during a lull in the breeze.
There were storm clouds rolling in across the bay and at one point land was no longer visible. I put a reef in the sail about half way across the bay and it was a classic case of, “if you are thinking about putting a reef in the sail, then it’s probably too late”. Fortunately the little Compac is a very sturdy and stiff boat. At only 16 feet, it sails exceptionally well and is incredibly dry.
I’ve found a few things that I need to do to improve the Compac. The helm is extremely loose and I’ve since tightened the rudder bolts. This should make quite a difference when trying to tend sheets and sails as the little boat wants to immediately run off course.
There was also quite a bit of weather helm. I’m not sure if adjusting the rake forward will make much improvement since there isn’t much flexibility in the rig. Perhaps a bigger headsail will improve things.
All in all, I’m loving the little Compac. It sails at 4-5 knots easily and the shallow draft is a great advantage for sailing on the bay.