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Old 29-08-2008, 02:50   #1
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Test sail, what should I expect?

Am driving 6 hours up to marina tomorrow for a test sail, what do they normally do on a test sail, what should I expect, the guy doing it is fully qualified and is an instructor who runs a sailing school.

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Old 29-08-2008, 03:05   #2
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Take the polar diagram and assess performance against thoery.
Now you know what initial percentage to put on everything they say.
Check rudder position and helm loading at the various points of sail and get the 'experienced' sailor to trim the sails to balance the helm to acceptable. The boat should run 'in the groove' needing only corrections if the sail plan as fitted is balanced.
Do some slow speed manouvreing to see if you can live with the 'Prop' walk in reverse and check the rudder is big enough to be useful in a Marina.
Take some one knowledgeable with you to watch and listen. You'll forget most of what you learn as soon as you set foot on dry land. Talking it all over that night will lodge it securely in the memory banks unless you're my age.
You should have a good days sail, weather permitting, but that's a long drive to come away disappointed so don't let that affect your judgement.
Notepad and pencils. Have a good day out.

Ex Prout 31 Sailor, Now it's a 22ft Jaguar called 'Arfur' here in sunny Southampton, UK.
A few places left in Quayside Marina and Kemps Marina.
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Old 29-08-2008, 06:32   #3
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1. See how the engine starts, preferably when cold.
2. After it is warmed up and you leave the marina, run it around at FULL throttle for at least 15 minutes, and watch the temperature guage for overheating.
3. Bring a handheld GPS with you, and check your speeds. Boat should do at least 7.5 knots at full throttle.
4. Try backing up, and listen for transmission hesitation into reverse or forward gears.
5. Look at condition of running rigging, try each winch.
6. Hoist sails and look at condition--patches, stitching rotting out, chafe, etc. Make sure that roller furling systems run easily.
7. Look at sail shape-maximum draft should be about 30% back from front, leech should not cup to weather or flutter.
8. Sail to weather, and tack a few times. A good weatherly boat will be able to tack in 90 degrees or better in 10-25 knots--if it won't do better than 110 degrees, you are going to do a lot of motoring.
9. Boat speed to weather should be 5.5 knots or better in 10-25 knots of wind.
10. Heel should not be excessive (over 20 degrees)--you should not have to reef until wind gets above 15 knots.
11. Helm should not be heavy. Try autopilot, especially on heavy air reach.

If you are having fun, and love the boat, get out your checkbook...
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Old 29-08-2008, 09:27   #4
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You should expect it not to SINK!
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Old 29-08-2008, 10:16   #5
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Is there someone who could come with you who really knows boats who could give you some objectivity? Its easy to become really attached to a boat and lose some objectivity. Plus, two minds are going to be able to notice more things than one.

Every time I go to look at new cars my eyes glaze over and I cant think clearly. My wife is the objective one who ends up having to beat me over the head with reality.

Life begins where land ends.
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