mercredi 25 novembre 2009

Thanksgiving eve

Today was a cool clear sky and an unstable 10 knot wind coming from the north sector.

We sailed from Seabrook with a friend and his proa. OK, Kerness is not a racing beast, so there is no point in comparing the proa and Kerness. I was doing a 3-4 knots going up wind and 4-5 knots going down. We sailed for 2 hours and I enjoyed every second of it.

samedi 31 octobre 2009

New boat

Today, I thought about building a new boat: Sport Boat 18. It is a very wide boat for its length and looks a bit more sophisticated to build than Kerness. I bought the set of drawing to have a look...

lundi 19 octobre 2009

Seabrook Sailing Club

Last year, before we started the construction of Kerness, we went to visit the sailing club in Seabrook. I found the place very friendly and we decided to go there last Saturday. The weather was perfect, nice wind and temperature, beautifull sun. It was the first time Kerness was in the water since we came back from Britany. We were very busy until now and Kerness needed some care after the Texas 200. During my inspection, I found that the rudder was cracked and had a big dent caused by an unidentified submerged object. I sanded and filled everything and applied one layer of fiberglass with some epoxy on each side of the rudder. I did so on the centerboard, at construction. But for several unexcusable reasons, such as lack of time, didn't do it on the rudder. So what should happen, indeed happened: the centerboard is still in perfect shape and the rudder was cracked. I don't know exactly when, but for sure during the Texas 200. So now, it is repaired. I also sanded slightly the bottom and laid a new coat of black paint. At the Texas 200, several razorblade oyster shells came scratching Kerness hull. Now it is like new again.

So the kids and I went for a little sail at Seabrook. We did very well going north, upwind in the bay. We sailed side by side with a Sunfish, Pol was steering Kerness, following the Sunfish ahead of us. Then Pol wanted to follow a much bigger blue sail boat, I imagine she was around 50 ft. We almost beat her in the calm, but the wind pick up again and we were left behind. Joël was affraid to have Pol steering with the brise coming, so I took back the control bar at this point. At some distance the Sunfish had capsized, so we turned around to see if some assistance was required. Arriving on location, the Sunfish was back up right with the upper portion of her sail covered with sticky mud, that the mast had dragged from the bottom. Both sailors were safely back on board, so we continued our way toward the coast. Then we turned again and headed back to Seabrook, downwind and surfing. The Sunfish was going faster than us in those conditions...

On arrival, Joël took the camera and got a couple pictures...

mercredi 15 juillet 2009


This is summer time, time for the Breton familly to go back to our roots in Brittany. When we are not in Houston, we stay here in a quaint traditional little farm at the extrem westernest tip of the old Europe.

My first try at boat building was a tender for our first boat . The boat was replaced last year, but the little tender pram is still in use. This little pram is ideal for oar sculling and the kids started to learn the right movement. Around here, they say that kids learn this just after they start to walk! It is so simple. One can barelly see the oar movement and the boat goes forward gently.

I made my own drawings for this pram, using a freeware: "carene". The constraint I had was to cut the planks in one 8 ft plywood sheet only, because I did not know how to join 2 planks in a scarf at that time. I used exactly the same stitch and glue technic as for KerNess, with the exact same success: quickly built, strong, light and good looking. After about 9 years of careless use, it is still in good condition.

jeudi 25 juin 2009

More pictures from KerNess at the Texas 200

Thanks to the participants who published those photos.

dimanche 14 juin 2009

samedi 13 juin 2009

Kerness at the Texas 200

The group of skippers with our grand guru.

In Port Mansfield, ready to go

On board Kerness, wing to wing in Laguna Madre, between Port Mansfield and the land cut. 6 knots average speed, one surf at 8.8 knots. Not bad for a 12'6" dinghy!

I enjoyed sailing through the land cut. It is comfortable, safe and reminds me my first experiences of sailing and kayaking.

Kerness ready for the night at the first stop, at the end of the land cut.

Kerness ready for the second day, between the land cut and Corpus Christi Yacht Club.

When the wind is not blowing too much, the auto-pilot takes care of the main trajectory. I have only to move my head to starboard side to have the boat going toward port and vice versa.

The chart table, with compass and GPS plotter. This was a very efficient setup.

Kerness moored at Corpus Christi Yacht Club after the second day.

Begining of the 3rd day, leaving CPYC, before the Corpus bridge. Very strong winds, up to 30 knots according to weather forecasts are heading in our direction. This is one of the last pictures I have, my camera decided the conditions where too difficult to work thereafter.