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October 1, 2000 Issue

October 15, 2000 Issue

Car Top Loading Solution

By Irwin Schuster

If you car-top, you know the drill:

All of this except "Do your thing" is no fun.

The on-off, on-off of lifting and extending my arm to get my shell onto the roof rack saddles was creating shoulder problems for me, so I designed this rig to help. Study the geometry of your car and rack, and make the rollers high enough to allow you to advance the hull as far as possible before tipping/lowering it into the rack saddles (because once it's down, by design, it doesn't slide easily).

Dovekie vs. Sea Pearl Tri-21 -- My Experience

By Jim Plourde

Sailing Performance: Off-the-wind, the Dovekie sails well, but the Tri sails faster over-all, although it's not intended for racing. A boat like a Tremolino 21 Tri would be much faster, but at the cost of further complexity and set-up time. However, the Sea Pearl Tri is a very powerful sailor, with fully battened sails totaling 186 sf on carbon fiber masts (this year's model has less). It sails about the same as a good 30' boat, but not as fast as my Laser in planing conditions. The Tri is very stable, is easily balanced with sail trim, always turns through the wind when desired, and is routinely sailed with both sheets cleated. A novelty is being able to move around the boat while sailing on course. In rough water, it is wetter than the Dovekie because of spray coming off the wind-ward ama, which is usually out of the water but occasionally hits a wave top.

Set-Up Time: The Dovekie easily wins here. My observation about sailing is that no one job takes very much time but the total number adds up. A few years ago, I sailed with someone in a Daysailer who took about 1- 1/2 hours to rig it! Early-on, I took 20 minutes or so to set-up my Dovekie, but now I have it arranged so I can be on the water within a few minutes of arriving at a launch ramp. I raise the mast on the water and then attach and raise the sail. Because of the trees and birds, I have to cover both boats at home anyway, so I trailer the Dovelcie using the soft hatch covers-no problem, I don't see them flapping (the hatch covers, not the birds).

At the launch ramp, all I have to do is mount the outboard and remove the cockpit canvas. Undoubtedly, I can improve my set-up time for the Tri with planning and practice, but now it takes 30 minutes or so, although the literature and video claims 15 minutes overall. The amas fold out in seconds either on or off the water. Both sails remain attached to the booms with the full battens attached to the sails and the whole mess is stored in the cabin. I have sail covers, but don't use them since the sails are under cover. Nevertheless, there are two masts to raise and two sails to attach and rig. On my first time out, I wondered, "Does the M marked on the end of one boom stand for main or mizzen?" No doubt the previous owner told me, but I forgot. Overall: The Dovekie continues to be the shallow water camping and simplicity champion. It sails well but the Tri sails much better and is more stable. Again, please keep in mind that I haven't been able to make comparisons to many other boats so if your favorite has been left out, tell us about it.

(Reprinted with the author's permission from The Shallow Water Sailor. For further information about this newsletter write to The Shallow Water Sailor, Kenneth G. Murphy, Editor, 20931 Lochaven Ct., Gaithersburg, MD 20882.)

October 15, 2000

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