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Boats of Unusual Sail

Dave R1

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Saturday we got together on Lake Pepin for a sail. Bill Paxton arranged the gathering he called B.U.S. This was a smaller gathering than the Minnesota Messabout back in June but we had a good time.

The morning dawned with heavy overcast and north winds of around 10 kts. As the day progressed, it got windier. I don't know what the max was in our area but Nancy's calibrated hat blows off at 20 kts and it left her head at least once.

By about 14:00 the winds started to abate a little and it was time to put the boats in the water. The waves were still pretty good sized and still coming in on the ramp.

Mississippi Bob and I took Julie K out tried to keep up with the bunch. My GPS recorded a max speed of 7.5 kts and we were the slow boat so I know Bill's Surprise and Craig's Skipjack, Black Bark must have seen higher speeds than that.

Julie K experienced a first that day. She hit and came down off a couple of big waves that drove her bowsprit under. I fully expected something to break but was relieved nothing did. I had about a cup of water in the forepeak but nothing else. (I have to work on sealing a few opening, I guess.)

I found some interesting freeware that will take tracklog data from a GPS and make an overlay for Google Earth. FWIW, here's the tracklog from Saturday. The legs aren't very straight because the wind was starting to switch around and between gusts and waves if was next to impossible to maintain any sort of course. The first leg is to the northeast and the funny little loop just north of the dock (001) is where we rounded up to drop sails.


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Andrew, I have GPS Utility, too as well as a couple of others. I used one of them to collect the data from the GPS and then saved it as a GPX file. Then I went to GPS Visualizer and uploaded the file which returned a KML file to open in Google Earth. It seems to do a better job than which ever one of the apps I have at making a good KML file.

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I have used a bit of free software called 'gpstrackmaker' which was pretty handy for this stuff - would get the data from the gps, and then had a button which automagically opened google earth and loaded a kml file that it wrote all as one smooth operation.

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