The more we sail Spy Hop the more impressed I become with her. Also, the more I realize that we need to improve the way we handle her. The last time that we took her out we realized that there is a lot of potential in the boat that we aren’t tapping into simply by the way we were sailing. The biggest change that we need to make is the ability to hike out onto the deck to better distribute weight when the wind gets a bit strong. Spy Hop can be depowered pretty quickly if needed, by easing the main and jib sheets, but it isn’t all that much fun when you end up loosing a good portion of your power potential.
The first time I hiked out on Spy Hop I realized that the Daysailer probably has more in common with dinghys than with yachts. This whole year I have been trying to sail her as if she were the Catalina 31 that I learned on, but the reality is that she isn’t. There isn’t a keel keeping the boat upright, instead she has a crew that acts as the ballast to keep her upright. That is all a long winded way of saying that we have some improvements to make to our little boat.
Three improvements that immediately come to mind:
1 – The coamings need to be modified so that the crew and skipper can quickly and comfortable get out onto the deck to move weight outwards
2 – A tiller extension needs to be added. (I have fairly long arms, and from the deck I was using my finger tips to control the tiller)
3 – Hiking straps (like on other small boats, it is helpful being about to be able to loop your feet through something to be counter act most of your weight being over the side of the boat.)
This late in the sailing season I have resigned myself to the fact that most if not all of these projects will end up happening next season rather than this season. These three improvements will have to get added to the growing list of winter projects to prepare for next year. But, that does allow for a good amount of time to actually get the work completed.