Thursday, October 27, 2016

Sailing Report on Didi 29 Retro

"Arabella", the Didi 29 Retro built by Bruce Mierke was launched in Oriental, NC, last week. Bruce has sailed her a few times and will now take her inland to Lake Lanier, GA. Early next year she will move to Clearwater, FL, before returning to Oriental in the spring.

Bruce has reported some impressive sailing, some of it by himself and some with two crew. He doesn't have an asymmetrical yet, so the top speeds are still to be experienced.

The first sail was in light winds, strengthening a bit during the sail. In 4 knots of breeze he recorded 3.1 knots of boat speed. In 9 knots she was doing 5.6 knots on a tight beat of 30 degrees. Falling off to 45 degrees "she screamed" (no speed reported).

The next sail was with two friends in winds from 10-15 knots. To windward in 13 knots they were doing 6.75 knots under Yankee and jib on a beat and 9.25 knots on a beam reach. "I can see me putting the 1st reef in main around 16 kts wind. But no matter what point of sail or combination of sail the helm is almost neutral, great sailer."
"Arabella" on the Georgetown Wooden Boat Show recently.
The next sail was by himself again, in 15 knots. He sailed next to a J boat of about the same size for 5 miles, matching it for speed and heading. Eventually the skipper of the other boat yelled across, asking what the hell kind of gaff rig boat she is.

Bruce has the cruising gaff rig and commented that the racing rig will be a bit of a handful. That is exactly what was requested by the man who commissioned the design. He wants her for Caribbean classic racing, expecting to have a full crew to ballast the rail. In that configuration or the 3rd option, a Marconi rig with squaretop mainsail, she will be very quick.
Marconi rig of the Didi 29 Retro
No sailing photos yet, I will post those when I have.

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