A couple of days ago, I took Gary, a visitor from Sydney for a ride in my TI. He was staying at the caravan park next to the boat ramp, and was using his Outback whenever he could, so getting him a ride in the TI was always on the cards!
The day was pretty windy, eventually reaching over 30 knots, but when we headed out it was probably no more than 15-20. We tacked out of the Forster channel, against the incoming tide, and made a quick decision when we poked the nose outside to do a U-turn, and shake out the reef. I discovered that the TI surfs way better with both seats occupied, and we covered about 200 metres with only about three waves! Yahoo! I prepared to return to the ramp (as I had suggested it would only be around 30 minutes for the trip) but Gary said he wasn't in a hurry, so we pressed on for another four hours!
It was a great "demo" sail, and Gary liked the idea of skimming along at up to 7 1/2 knots on flat water with the remnants of the incoming tidal flow into the huge lake! Eventually we headed back, into the wind, but now with a pretty weak favourable tide heading out again, but the wind was really picking up.
When we reached the Boat Harbour and furled the sail, I discovered that only having one Miragedrive on board (giving Gary a ride was a spur of the moment thing) I could not overcvome the windage from what was now a good 30+ knots headwind. So I took the cautious approach and ducked into the lee of the jetty (see photo) and pulled into the tiniest of beaches there, prepared to stay overnight if necessary until the wind subsided.
The Gary had a brainwave, and with the help of a friend who grabbed Gary's drive from his van, we removed the mast, and Gary fitted his Mk1 Miragedrive. This time we had heaps of horsepower (don't call me a wuss LOL) and shot back into the wind and to the beach next to the ramp.
Getting back onto the trailer would have been a struggle, but I attached a 15 metre anchor line to the stern, so it was a doddle to line up the hull onto the trailer despite the fierce crosswind.
Damage report? The cap popped off the longest vertical batten, which caused a diagonal crease as the sail sagged where the second batten ended, and I discovered that a small section of the long batten's pocket has torn, Not too bad considering we had spent more than two hours going to windward with a partly reefed sail. Everything else was perfect!
Another awesome day. I have lost count, but I reckon I must be close to 40 trips in my first three months of owning a TI. I think I am getting my money's worth!