I’ve been following the project of two young men in Estonia as they build a Welsford Fafnir. One of the two has a dream of sailing her down the North Sea and across the Atlantic. I must admit, there is a bit of Walter Mitty in there for me, too, in a boat just like this, with dreams of the big ocean, but that’s another story.
After having spent a LOT of time in their build they have her sailing now and are looking at what they need to change. A good practice, that, building, sailing, and then adjusting.
In my case, I learned to always have two anchors so you can hold yourself in just the right place, given wind, currents, and such. Also, have one of those twist in like “anchors” that you would find at a pet store. Handy, handy, handy. Not for use in heavy current, but perfect for the sloughs.
Also, keep your boat ready to go, loaded up right and sitting snug on her trailer, or you won’t get out as much as you’d like. Anything that slows you down can also stop you.
Don’t stall out and leave things undone. It is SO easy to NOT finish.
Finally, use a four stroke outboard. Yeah, you can get an old two stroke for nothing these days, but these new engines are SO reliable and will run forever.
“Our first months sailing Kvark on an inland lake gave us some invaluable insight. Among other things on how to sail, where to place horn cleats and camcleats, how to use them, why reefing is good, how to run lines and finally: railings are good for preventing people from falling overboard. I’m sure I missed some details.
With that said, I have started moving things along to prepare Kvark for a new, better and grander season on the Baltic sea. She really needs fore railings. The one in the back was a blessing to have. For this, I have bought some slightly thinner AISI 316 tubing in the form of a powerboat windshield frame. My running shoe is there for scale (that is a nr. 45 EU size, 12 US). That will be grinded, bent, welded and finally bolted to the fore of the boat. There will be no horizontal tubing to link up the fore and aft railings to save weight. Instead I will use rope and net.
Another thing we will need on the sea are anchors. Of course this must be made DIY. So I have started designing a Rocna-spade style anchor weighing 6 kg and having a total “spade area” of around 500 cm^2. Rocnas are marketed very well, but they also seem to stand up to tests (in user feedback texts and videos). And they are a very new design. That goes to show that you can innovate seemingly obvious things in life. Just keep your eyes and mind open for ideas of improvement. ”
Here is their boat a few months, probably many months, back: