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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Launch Day! Blue Splash RG-65 "Mustang" takes to the water!

"May this boat sail straight & true, and may her hull keep out the water!"

Launch day arrives, and the Mustang takes to her home waters for the first time...unfortunately Roo was out of town visiting his grandparents, so Peck wasn't there to pace her, and he wasn't there to run the camera...

Anyhow, I used temporary patches on the deck, so you can see white tape lines, when I'm satisfied with everything I'll use semi-permanent adhesive vinyl and the deck will look very clean. Otherwise, flying red and blue bunting, I rigged her up at the lake and christened her with a bottle of Texas-brewed Shiner Bock. 

She sailed fast...thank God! I took the chance of canting her swing rig a degree or so forward, hoping to minimize the weather helm Peck exhibits. This allows me to add mast rake that matches the sail luff curve, properly opens the top of the mainsail, and generates just a touch of weather helm. 

First race was a respectable 2nd, and the second 4th, but with a penalty turn at start, she ran down the fleet and was within two lengths of 2nd again. Brought her in for a quick check, no water, a good sign for hull integrity! Noticed the jib luff was a bit excessive, and released the topping lift a bit...good adjustment! In the third race she went a rocket upwind with a touch of weather helm helping me get in a good groove. This design is always quick downwind, and I was first to the mark and ran away downwind...I had a massive lead rounding the last mark; 15-20 boat lengths, when the winch arm broke free of the winch fitting...a simple enough repair, but finished me for the day.

So...happy to be sailing her! Here's my quick observations:

1) Arne Semken did a good job designing the Blue Splash, and Eric Rosenbaum's rigs and foils result in a boat that is quick, handy, and blazes downwind. Mustang is no exception here!

2) The hull was completely water-tight;

3) Electronics installation, servo throws and controls are spot on;

4) Rig fittings allowed for fine and accurate control;

5) Good speed upwind, devastating speed downwind; and

6) Several minor nominal improvements made on the basis of sailing Peck for a year worked well.

And the bad:

1) Sail control arm came loose from the servo fitting, and splintered on attempted repair. I'll have to build a new one, minor problem, but it stopped racing for the day;

2) Standing rigging lines fray too easily;

3) Like the Peck, the jib boom should be shortened a bit;

4) Totally dissatisfied with the running rigging lines, too fine and stiff, doesn't slip easily enough and increases friction. Will replace; and

5) Need to complete the bow bumper.

Streamers & Bunting!

A boat themed after a Texas High School Football team needs to be christened with an appropriate beverage; in this case Shiner Bock, brewed in Texas!

Out from the dock, the Mustang gallops!

Streamers flying, heading out to race...

A brief debut, but she dialed in her speed fast...she had a big lead in her last race!

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