After a troubled first outing, the might Knotty by Nature, #134, was back at the Blackberry Boatworks garage to rectify some of the issues that emerged out of the Midwinters in Gulfport. Quick recap of those issues:
- NO feet traction at all
- Broken gooseneck
- Mast puller broke
- Traveler was ridiculously hard to control
- Boat took on massive amounts of water with no easy way of removing it
- Bottom finish was not exactly smooth
- Boat was awkward and hard to move on the dolly
New paint prior to buffing out
To resolve the water issue, I put a Super Suck autobailer in the cockpit. This was equipment was recommended by Joe B. These things really work and it was totally worth the extra pound. Rather than just extending a drain flap, this bailer uses venturi effect to more efficiently pull water out of the cockpit. Here's a picture of the product:
Bailer and added EVA foam pads installed
Cockpit with completed EVA foam pad
There was probably more that could be done, but for now this is good enough to head north to the Moth National Championship for a second regatta attempt in #134. The trip was an easy 10 hours with two Buc-ee's stops for a breakfast burritos and BBQ. I made it to South of the Boarder (NC/SC border crossing) at noon. Had to stop for a sticker for the transom. Seems like a rite of passage for my boats. I made it up to Elizabeth City in the early afternoon and had time to both rig up and catch up with the rest of the fleet before the sun went down.
Bullet proof gooseneck after composite failure in Gulfport.
PVC coupling, a laser cres steel gooseneck, and some band clamps
Bow of the boat showing puller and control lines
Aft side of the mast - boom vang, outhaul, and cunningham control lines
Fixed loose footed sail on boom
Vang attachment on the boom
Boat rigged up and ready to race along with the rest of the fleet
Showing off the transom with the new decal
Rigged up and ready for race one on Saturday
After some postponement ashore we finally made it out on the water. I was still a little nervous that the boat was modified to an extreme that was maybe not competitive with the mistrals. I got a little practice in before the start. Wow. So much easier to sail than the last time in Gulfport. I got a decent start towards the pin end of the starting line with two boats to leeward. The breeze was still patchy across the racecourse. I took an early hitch out to the right and found a good patch of breeze that got me in front of the group that went right. I made it around the first mark with a narrow lead and we took off downwind. The boat seemed a bit more stable than the mistral once I figured out where to sit. The first leg of the the triangles were quite deep with the second leg a close reach. Pretty fun, and with the patchy conditions, a good opportunity for the fleet to make gains. After another windward and leeward leg I consolidated a first place finish in the first race.
After a couple more races in similar conditions The boat seemed to have a slight speed and height advantage in the lighter breeze. It was a great first day with first place finishes and a second place. Day two started with another postponement, but turned into a great afternoon breeze that tapered off to nothing in the last race. It was another good showing for 134 even after an over early on one of the starts. At the end of the regatta I finished in first in the Gen 2 class. Cool moment.
The only pictures I could find from on the water were posted in the local newspaper along with a short article. Here's the link: Daily Advance
Trophy for the weekend
(the cup, not the bug spray😆)