Sea Trial: International Folkboat

What do you do when you arrive at the marina to solid whitecaps despite no fetch?
Bean meaning to really sea trial Silent Reach, our International (Swedish) Folkboat, in some snotty stuff.  But, didn’t get around to it.  The two guys below were more than willing to give her a whirl, so off we went in 17-25 yesterday (which was slightly down from what we arrived to but still no slouch).  Fittingly, it was Columbus Day…
Rigging up the ol’ Folkboat. Full main and small jib; about hoist sails in about 20 knots (17-25 during the sail).
Small jib; full main.  They wanted to reef it in keeping with what we teach. “If you’re thinking about reefing, you should have done it already.”  But this was a sea trial of a stiff, ocean capable boat.  So, no reef.
Didn’t really need it.  Sometimes we buried the rail in gusts, but even then, the boat handled well despite some extra weather helm.  The main thing was that this boat just ate up the heavier stuff.  We didn’t feel the waves at all.  The boat sliced through them effortlessly, and with a lot less spray than we’d anticipated.  In the cockpit, it was bone dry.  (We kept the camera phones secure anticipating getting wet, so no pics while underway.)
Beam reach, 20 knots?  Almost no heel.  Boat just sailed itself.  Downwind, I was able to go forward with such ease to tie up the jib after dropping it that I caught myself not even holding onto anything. It’s a surreal experience on a boat this small.  It just charged along like a surfaced submarine or something. Reminded me of a Soling, only more stable.
(Solings were often used in the Olympics as the 3-man keelboat with spinnaker.  They were common in sailing schools for a long time as well. Folkboats are also raced with chutes.)
Long Island Sound is a light wind region, you say?  You’re right.  We’ve already sailed her in zephyrs and light to low-moderate breezes and, surprise – she moves in light winds, too.  A truly pedigree sailing vessel.
Our Folkboat is available to our Sailing Club members, and for rent by our graduates and select well-qualified non-graduates.  Come and and experience fall sailing on her!

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