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SmartTri 40… second sail.

The second sail on the SmartTri 40 was a very good day on the water in Table Bay. The rigging still needs to settle so we left the Port fairly early to get some gentle breeze and bed everything in again. Over night, the seals did a great job for guarding the SmartTri. Why have a dog when you can have one that smells like a fish!

I’m still impressed by the electric drives.
You can see them hanging off the transom like small outboards. As we know, electric motors are all the rage but better than that, they provide pure linear thrust. They are very easy to control and totally silent with no vibration.

I think the Smart thing about the Smart is the electrical package. Just have one decent sized generator with a good battery bank and then you really can have all the comforts of home. While this SmartTri40 is the ‘test mule’ and as such she has not yet been fitted out down below she still has a full electric flush toilet, boiling water, a microwave and air conditioning! The generator is housed under the forward vee-berth and even then, the boat floats perfectly on her waterline. The Torqueedo drives also retract completely leaving a smooth under belly that is good for speed! The Torqueedo’s will be swapped over for a proprietary system that will be simpler and more powerful. The current set up has no trouble pushing the SmartTri forward into breeze at an easy 6 knots.

The Smart was designed for fast, relaxed sailing with a family onboard. She is not a radical machine and was not intended as such. The amas sit on heavily curved beams that in modern fashion, transmit the working loads vertically into the beams and then distribute the load into the main hull bulkhead. The SmartTri 40 can be disassembled and shipped in 2 40′ containers. This includes the 55′ Carbon spreaderless mast. That makes sailing anywhere in the world a rather hassle-free affair – pack – ship – sail!

The SmartTri was also designed for offshore sailing and so there is even a life raft mount just ahead of the dash board ahead of the companion way! Sailing offshore in South Africa is a big thing – big wind and big waves so all the systems need to be thoroughly thought out well before hand. As we are discovering here, people are vary aware of their conditions and generally have a lot of experience to rely on. Good thing to considering the Cape of Good Hope is just around the corner!

The dagger boards are impressive and project about 2.5m below the hull when fully extended. As she is still new, we’ve been sailing with the foils about half way up… But today we had a little more in and the ‘bite’ on the water was remarkable. The boards are straight as Danie the designer didn’t want to have any negative pitch when running into big waves. By having a dagger board in each ama the interior space of the main hull is freed up and there is no messing about with a foil on the foredeck!

Some of the nice touches are,
– having a winch located right on the rotation arm. This takes the chore out of raising the mainsail, pulling on the cunningham, taking in a reef or two etc…
– the navigation lateral lights are built into the end of teh self-tacking track.
– without a daggerboard in the main hull the foredeck is really freed up and in this case, completely flat so that lounging is very easy.
– the Autohelm is tucked away in a shrouded cabinet under the rear main traveler, very tidy and hands free sailing at big numbers is really possible!

Today we eased into it sailing in a gentle zephyr that saw us ghosting along at 7 – 9 knots in a totally flat manner. We headed out of Table Bay chasing a cat but when we caught up we realised that they actually were running their leeward motor! After that we headed back into Table Bay and tucked in one corner is where all the boats ‘play’ as a steady breeze fills this quadrant every day.

Going uphill we watched the numbers steadily climb to settle between 11 – 13 knots going uphill! We did use about 3/4 dagger board down just to see the effect. Get the boat up to 13 knots steady and then just gradually bear away on the building apparent 14, 15, 16, 17 18 knots – that was a good measure of the boat and she still sails perfectly flat! The windward ama breaks out of the water at around 15 knots of boat speed and then the speed piles on as the wetted surface area drops away… Oh what a feeling and, still flat. At 18 knots uphill we were still not getting wet!

An exercise in reefing was called for just to see what difference it would make. Well shortly thereafter we watched the boat speed go to 20.6 knots. With that under our belts we then knew that she can hold full working sails a lot longer as she still wasn’t pressed that hard.

The Carbon spreader-less mast is working very well. It is a clean aerodynamic foil and when we left port this morning I saw 3 knots with bare poles so it is a real wing section! Control of the mast column is achieved by cap shrouds and lowers. We’re just working on getting some more forestay load on there but that will come once the fibres have all been ‘stretched’ into place.

So all in all, a great a successful day on Table Bay. The wind is building all week so we are expecting even more excitement over the next few days especially as the rigging will start to settle down and be ready for more stress.

About prosailing

In Southeast Asia a long time and all the while, sailing cats. But the cat love-affair began when I finished building my first catamaran at age 15... "never again". After building 2 more Formula 16 cats in Malaysia it's really 'never again'. Now we have a large fleet of high-tech speed machines including the Nacra 20 Carbon. Then we decided to spread our wings a little more and imported the Corsair Dash 750. Now we are well on the way to establishing a Coastal One Design Dash Class. As a test bed, we had 4 Dashes take part in the Neptune Regatta and now the plans are rolling out.


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