We just came back from two days of (Happy Easter!) sailing with J and O. This time we tried our best to optimize the sailing performance, and the results were quite encouraging!

Still Cold

“Please! Can’t we go out sailing again,” O kept asking me, over and over again.

Earlier in the week, we (me plus J, O, and M) had spent the night at anchor, just half an hour from our harbor. He had clearly enjoyed that, and so reminded me every day (a few times a day) that he wanted to go again.

“Sure!” I said. “But the weather will be quite a bit colder now. It’s dropping down to freezing in the nights again,” I added. “But we’ll go and we’ll be fine, absolutely!”

That plan was to not go too far: just a few hours away to a nearby island called Seili.

Also, the plan was to not stay at anchor this time, but to actually get the boat into one of the small marinas on the island. (Since this early in the spring, we’d surely be the only ones crazy enough to go out there!)

So, on Friday in the morning, a bit before nine, we left.

O at the helm!

We’re Going Fast!

“8.5! We’re doing 8.5!” I shouted to J and M, who had decided it was too cold to be out in the cockpit so they were inside instead, playing cards.

“Whooa!! That’s fast!” they both shouted back, and then quickly looked down at their cards again. (Could it be I was more into it than they were? 😆)

The boat felt great. The wind was on the beam, cycling between ten and eighteen knots, and our Hanse 388 was flying!

Here’s the picture to prove it:

The red line is our absolute max speed (six second averages), and the dashed black line is a comparison to Hanse’s optimal polar speeds with the same wind.

Quite amazingly, we were doing polar speeds and at times even better!

A breakdown of how much better or worse than Hanse’s polars we did on different angles of wind and wind speeds. The +20% on 6-8 is probably mostly due to the boat still having some momentum when the wind dies down. BUT STILL!
Same, but with averages of absolute differences in speed (knots).

Byt Why?

I think there are two main reasons why we performed quite nicely.

Firstly, we now had a clean (de-barnacled) bottom. When we lifted the boat last fall, it was terrible, but the terrific people at our yard grinded it down and put three new coats of greatness on it. Now it’s perfect.

The second reason is that I finally got around to using a code zero sheet as an outboard lead (or sheet) for the jib. It made the jib look great again, even when not going tightly upwind!

Jib with outboard sheet led back and to the secondary winch.

Reef Testing

On the way back I tied the reef lines around the boom (hadn’t had a chance to do it before) and we did some reef testing.

Second reef in! Sail shape looks a-ok! ✅- I think? (Speed wasn’t great, though 😎)
First reef in. The sail looks ok apart from a wrinkle down to the right.

We sailed all the way back with the first reef in. Not because it was absolutely necessary but mostly because I wanted O to start the season with a perfect sailing experience. (Not being afraid of too much heeling.)

And here are the stats for the return journey:

TWS was mostly between 8-14 knots, so sailing with the first reef in resulted in speeds about 9-14% less than polar speeds.
As far as max speeds go, we weren’t that far off! And we got over 8 knots again!

Summing It Up

I think our first sailing trip (as in really sailing sailing) was a great success!

Performance-wise, we achieved Hanse’s maximum polar speeds (cheers!). Also, we did this season’s speed record 8.5 knots both on our way there, as well as on the way back (double-cheers!).

The biggest success, however, was that O felt great all the way!

No seasickness, no queasy feelings, no nothing. What a relief. Well done, O! Well done, J as well, of course!

As far as the anticipated cold and the island exploration were concerned; the cold was bearable (with five degrees in the water, though, the floor was pretty chilly!) but we didn’t go to the marina after all.

Apparently, there were quite a few other crazy sailors with the same plans as we had, so instead of jamming ourselves into the crowd, we chose to social distance ourselves at anchor.

Until next time.

O to the left, J to the right. Right after we had arrived at Seili.