Cowes Week 2011 Conclusions
Sailing and prize giving pictures by Rick Tomlinson, http://www.rick-tomlinson.com
The best boat test is to go racing. Cowes Week is a classic seven-day regatta held on the famous sailing arena – The Solent. The new SeaCart 26 only got two days of test sailing in Thailand before being sent to England in a 40 foot container. So to say that the boat and team was perfectly prepared is an understatement.
Conditions . Four of the seven days the wind blew 20–32 knots True Wind Speed (TWS) / 11–17 meters per second / Beaufort 6–7 / so the boat got plenty of hard workouts. Anyone who has sailed on The Solent in those conditions knows that it will provide boat breaking conditions when the strong tide runs against the wind.
Boat speed . We topped 24.3 knots on the downwind legs and 12–14 knots upwind in 20+ TWS. Our best Velocitek 10 second average was 23.3 knots – in other words fantastic figures for a 26 footer in choppy seas. We had two halyard slips (bad preparation from our side) so we had two DNFs but we managed to place second in our class behind our big sister the SeaCart 30, Buzz, which was a great success!
Sailing conclutions after seven days of racing .
0–10 knots TWS She feels a bit underpowered.* The SeaCart 30 has an advantage.
10–20 knots TWS She performs well, easy and safe to handle. Upwind speed 10–14 knots, downwind 16–22 knots.
20–32 knots TWS around 23 knots TWS it’s time to reef and you will fly by almost anything on the water (including the SeaCart 30). Upwind 12–14 knots, downwind 18–24+ knots.
* The SC26 similar to other one designs (Melges, J-Boats) has sacrificed some light wind performance to get a fun and easy boat to handle in the upper wind ranges. This is an important feature and will help attract monohull sailors to our class and mean that experienced sailors can push the boat hard in all racing conditions. Note November 2011; This have been addressed – Boat # 2 have 2 square metre extra in the Jib and Main sail – 4 square metre have been added.
Curved Float Foils . (Picture above) On the numerous windy days the curved foils were thoroughly tested both up and downwind. The steep and choppy seaway was made easy to handle due to the extra lift the foils produce giving extra speed and safety on all points of sail. They are a very worthy addition no matter where you intend to sail. Check the sequences from Beken of Cowes. Here’s a few more sequences; first plus a second and third.
Prior to the regatta we knew the mast needed more diamond tension and the mainsail required a minor recut. Due to late delivery of the container we did not have the time to perform these tasks but they have now been addressed.
Folding . As part of the testing program to learn more about boat handling, prior to and after, a regatta we performed a folding test in the water. It works very smoothly, more pictures will be presented in a separate article.
On the Road . Next test was to pack and bring the boat on a road trailer to Stockholm, Sweden (1200km). Our Lööve road trailer is a tilting flat bed made of aluminium (to be able to winch up the cradle on wheels) measuring 9.5m total length. A long trailer is a nice feature on the highway when driving at 100kmh / 60 mph.
SeaCart 26 OD is sailed with a crew of 3–4 is fun and incredibly fast, easily managed with a low operating budget. It’s easy to put on a road trailer or send (two boats) in one 40 foot container. Weight depending on the equipment onboard is approx 800kg.
Link to Rick Tomlinson site
Lot of photos in the Gallery
Categories: Articles, Build Update, Featured / White Papers, News, Press Releases