Apple Pie Dinghy gets launched
So easy to transport, she fits in the back of a truck.
Grasshopper has her toes in the water waiting to be launched.
My little pram sits quietly at the dock.
She rows nicely and tracks well with a bit of weight in her.
6 year old had no trouble ferrying his brothers from the anchored Tanzer to a Toronto Island Beach, then back to the Tanzer for fun.
Here she is being towed behind the Tanzer. We are motoring, because there is no wind. She was well behaved and towed well.
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This is a short video taken from my cell phone showing the tender being towed.
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Just after launching we tried her out. She is a delight to row and is very well behaved. She is easy to move and to turn. Not much leg room but what do you want from a tiny boat. She is surprisingly stable and easy to get out of.
Apple Pie Pram flotation test
I tipped the pram this afternoon to see how well it floated. This also was very pleasing. It floats with water over 2 inches below the daggerboard slot.
When I got aboard the swamped boat she still floated with her gunwales above water. She was surprisingly stable when full of water. I don't think I could have bailed her in large waves, but I could definitely empty her in quieter water.
I finally got the gudgeon installed and took her out for a sail. This was met with mixed success. The mast step and partner are too large for the mast and I had forgotten the wedges I had prepared to snug up the mast. So the mast flopped around alot. Also I have never sailed a balanced lug so there was a learning curve here!! The sail flopped around a fair bit so I think I will need to attach the top and bottom spar to the mast with either parrel beads, or a loop of line. I was also confused about the rudder, its a push-pull style and I had been sailing the Tanzer with a regular rudder so I need to be retrained.
Take two on sailing
I got the mast wedged in, re-laced the polytarp sail so it set better, and moved the position of the sail further back. This significantly improved the handling of this little sailboat! It sails much better with slightly more wind. Someone on the wooden boat forum thought that the improved speed also improved the "lift" of the daggerboard and rudder.
I've been using the tender for 2 seasons now. It is perfectly suited for my purpose. To take me and my stuff easily and safely to my big boat.
In fact it is so much fun that I actually use it just to toodle around on the water when the waves are not too high. It has not been a great success as a sailing dinghy but since I have 2 other good sailboats I don't care. I think I need to put a taller mast and larger sail on her.
At first I stored her on a little trailer but later I put her in the club tender rack. There she sits on her bow. It's rougher on the boat but more convenient to store. I use the little trailer to bring her to the water. I don't like dragging her on the pavement. In the end this boat is a lovely tender and a nice design. 2 faults. It is heavier than I would like. This is partly the result of overbuilding. It is also short at 7.5 feet. This means that I have to fold my legs to row. IF I had made a smaller back seat It would be slightly more comfortable. It has carried 3 people and their stuff with no complaints but we had to be careful when stepping in and out to keep balance.
It took slightly over 110 hours to finish her, rig and all. I did not really rush and worked in a leisurely way. I expect that a perfectly usable but rougher dinghy could be made in half that time without a sailing rig.
This web site reflects my personal ideas and doesn't represent anyone else's point of view. I'm not an expert boat builder and don't suggest that how I'm doing this is the best way, use your head.