A Lunch Time Sail at Lake Woodlands
by David "Shorty" Routh

James Banik was the first one on the scene with his daughter.

James is a really big guy, yet the PDRacer floats with both transoms out of the water. Something you might notice on the following pictures is how we all are leaning way over on the edges of our boats. Might be a small boat, but it is very stable, and has a lot of room in it.

Doug Day was assembling his Rube Goldberg ... EERRRRR... I mean sprit sail rig on his PDRacer. Doug and I each were going to bring kids, but at the last minute they bailed on us, so James has the only kid.

In the first race, I had a standard boom with jaw along the bottom edge of the sail, and Doug had a sprit boom with snotter. The advantages of my boom is that it didn't lay against the sail on one of the tacks, so it theoretically didn't have a bad tack. Doug saw this and modified his sprit boom into a bottom edge boom. The funny part is that I switched to a sprit boom, because I liked Doug's setup so much! The boom vang I was using was having a tough time holding the boom down, and the vang went thru the middle of the cockpit. If I was going to take a kid with me, I wanted to get rid of that vang so it wouldn't sweep the cockpit on every tack, also move the boom higher so it won't BOOM my daughter on the head.

I guess the boat is always greener on the other side, or is it greener on the bottom side?

The wind would come and go, it was a very light day. This was James's first time sailing, so it was a good day to learn.

Chatting with James, he relayed that several relatives and friends were of the opinion that his boat would not sail, and would not work. I have received many similar comments from my non-boating friends and family, and has to be one of the top reasons I like this boat so much. It is SO unconventional, yet it works so good. Plywood box with a curved bottom, a bit of polytarp for a sail. If you start off with a $100 bill, you end up with a sailboat capable of carrying 2 adults and 2 kids, and have enough change to buy lunch for a week.

We made it to the dragon, (over my right shoulder) tied off to it's head and rafted the boats together.

We ate our lunches and chatted a bit.

Jessica fed the ducks, they swam around the boats and gobbled everything up that she would toss over.

After lunch we were expecting a fast run back. I lingered behind a little, Doug is just off the frame to the right ahead of us.

Poof, I hoisted my spinnaker and went flying down wind. Then the wind died, so we all sat and cooked a little.

Doug forgot his umbrella, so he pulled his jib over his head and became the polytarp monster of the deep piloting his ghost ship. Wish I had a zoom, was cool looking.

Rememberd to bring my GPS along. To windward, in about 8mph winds, would go about 3.2 mph. Peaked speed on a beat was 3.7 mph, not sure what the wind speed was, but the entire day was very light. On the gusty race the previous month, we reached speeds much greater than what we were running this day.