This weekend was much better than last. Instead of a freshwater hurricane over the great lakes, we had a massive high bringing blisteringly hot (and lovely) temperatures, along with light and variable winds. Instead of pounding my lovely new Alberg 29 through house-sized waves over the Niagara Bar, the lake was dead smooth, requiring some motoring to get the boat back to her slip.
I had read somewhere, the Cape Dory board I think, about how badly some of Carl Alberg’s designs handled under power in reverse. Not having an Alberg-designed boat, I didn’t pay much attention. Apparently sailboats with cutaway forefoot keeps and single propellors are a bit dicey when backing up.
I didn’t really believe it in fact, instead dismissing it as perhaps operator error. Boy was I wrong. The new boat is interesting in reverse. She’ll go backward, just not the way you think. Like Kennedy’s brain, she goes back, and to the left, back and to the left. Except when she goes to the right. It’ll take some getting used to, especially after my Contessa, which tracked like a car in reverse.
Of course, the boat wasn’t bought to go backward. It sails like a dream. Critics of the design have said its a dog in slow air. I disagree. Two knots of wind, two knots of boat speed does not a dog make. she was fantastic – stiff, responsive, easily handled and graceful. Once I get the minor slippage out of the hydraulic steering system, its good as gold.
Anyway, the boat is home, its even more amazing that I had already believed, and I’d rather be there right now. They tell me I can get wireless at the marina. If only my employers would let me work from “home.”