07 February 2011

C’est La Vie!

Her maiden voyage!

With the leeboard properly attached and one hiking seat ready to be used it was finally time to go sailing!

Saturday was Eloise’s first birthday party so it had to wait for Sunday. Because Cecile wasn’t impressed by St Heliers beach I thought we’d give Takapuna a go. By the boat ramp there is a nice rocky area with great rock pools for kids to play in.

Nico does the final pre-launch checks:

Getting ready:

Off we go:

Sailing was great, I was a bit rusty and without a wind vane was having a bit of a time of it trying to find the wind direction but I started to get the hang of it by the end of the day. 

Again I got a reminder of just how tippy the canoe is; this time she went over with me. So I got my first capsize lesson!

There was enough buoyancy in the mast and boom to keep her from going over completely so I just swam to the outrigger side and pulled her back upright and started bailing.

Of course I wasn’t wearing my lifejacket at the time. Something I fixed once I got back on board.  However I ended up going for another swim (while trying to clear up the main sheet) and found that the jacket actually got in the way. So all up I’m undecided on that.

Back to bailing, this took a long time and I’ll need to make a bigger one. I also took to sitting on the hiking seat regardless of the tack for ease of mind.

But it was a lot of fun! And when I got back we broke out a bottle of bubbly to celebrate. After the drink (and ice cream) I took Thys out for another short sail. Even with the extra person, there was no drop in boat speed.

At rest at the end of the first sail:


  1. You are unlikely to capsize again, it only seems to take once to sharpen your instincts. I carry a 10 litre plastic paint bucket for bailing.
    You can make a quick safety ama with some large foam pool noodles threaded on a bamboo pole.

  2. Thanks for you kind comments Gary, but if anything yesterday proved that my instincts are a little blunt and I may well need some more swims before they can be considered "sharp". All part of the fun!

    The bucket is a good idea, with a lid I can use it for extra stowage too.

  3. Well done, your sail rig looks beautiful and you seemed to be getting along nicely in fairly light wind. You must be rapt with that for a first time under sail.
    Hi Gary! I like the suggestions for safety ama and big bailer.
    I use a 10l pail with lid (and tether) for dry storage. I am going to push that inside a second one without lid: large bailer neatly stowed!

  4. Beautiful waka Bas, well done. I'm envious as hell!

    Sorry if you covered this elsewhere but can I ask where you got the paulownia?

  5. Thanks Nandor, I got the wood from Rod Laurence of http://www.paulownia.co.nz/ He was very helpful and even dressed the timber for me.