Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Race to Alaska

As I write this, the last four boats in the 2016 Race to Alaska sailing towards the finish line are located here:


Team Bunny Whaler is sailing a 17' Boston Whaler Harpoon. Can't Anchor Us wends its cantankerous way in a 16' Swampscott Dory. Coastal Express moves along in a 16' Mirror Dinghy. Squamish meanders northward in a 20' Y6M. The fastest monohull under 20' in the Race, Team Excellent Adventure with a 17' Montgomery, was the 20th boat overall to finish this year, completing the course in 16 days, 2 hours, 15 minutes (12th in 2015 at 18 days, 22 hours, 52 minutes).

I am building Kingsfold with the 2017 Race in mind. This means that I am looking for ways to decrease weight and increase performance, and safety. I plan to install 2" of flotation under the entire deck surface, and 4" at the transom, and forward bulkhead. Additionally, I will be making this modification, designed by Paul Riccelli, to the stock keel and rudder.


The portion of the keel colored gray will be removed, reducing deadweight considerably. The (orange sections to be added) fin will be filled with flotation foam, and with the skeg and rudder will significantly improve performance. Paul described it this way,
[With] the revised profile, skeg and sectional shapes, you'll crunch any and all Weekenders you run across, especially upwind. About 20 years ago, we took a couple of common daysailors and fitted one with a full length, traditional yacht keel. Next we cut back the forefoot, then moved the back of the keel forward so the rudder would be under the boat. Eventually we ended up with a modern fin keel and a spade rudder. The unaltered centerboard sloop was able to beat the full keel version, but as soon as the full keel was cut to what is known as a "3/4's" keel (much like what I've drawn for the Weekender) the modified boat easily took over and started to point higher, had less leeward skid, could hold on in stronger wind strengths, etc.

As I build, I am also looking for a team member who is an experienced sailor that is up for the adventure. Interested? Contact me.

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