Carol & Crew,
I finally got to try out the new drifter that you made for Panope. You may recall from my sea trials of 2012 that with the two working sails, she sailed with a bit too much weather helm. You suggested that a larger, light air sail would be great for light winds and would help balance the rig a bit better. As I raised the drifter for the first time yesterday (6 to 8 knots of wind), and while it was still luffing, A bow wave suddenly appeared and started frothing about. I looked back to my father (who was at the helm) to see what was going on. He shrugged in confusion and said it was like the engine got turned on. The boat just leaped forward.
We also experimented with flying the drifter and the working jib simultaneously. Working jib low and hanked to the fore stay. Drifter hanked to the “fall” of an Amsteel halyard and set all the way to the mast head (like a Yankee, I guess). Boat made 6 knots on a close reach in about 10 knots of wind. Helm remained light, there was very little weather helm and Panope stood upright with a nice dry side deck. It was Amazing. Even when the wind died to next to nothing, the boat kept moving at a couple knots with a completely responsive helm. Panope has never sailed like this.
Thank you so much creating such a perfect solution for Panope’s mediocre light air sailing performance.