Last week we left Kiel for the first longer sail on Proasis. Our triangular test course brought us from Surendorf to Marstall (Denmark) to Schleimünde and back to Surendorf. The total distance of approx. 60nm took us two and a halve days due to very light winds (sometimes even no wind).
We spent the nights on anchor exploring places where almost no other vessel can go: Without leeboard and rudders Proasis has a draft of only 15 cm. This allows to anchor in knee-deep water.
We are very happy with Proasis’s sailing characteristics. As soon as the wind is above 8 kn she’s easy cruising at 4-6 kn. Top speed at about 15 kn of wind was 8 kn. In lighter conditions she feels underpowered but thats not a surprise, the polytarp sail is only 13 sqm. We might get an assymetric spi in the future.
The helm needs not much attention, the tiller is simply fixed in a certain position and the boat keeps on sailing on a steady course for hours.
Proasis sails upwind well at a tacking angle of 115° (could point higher but would loose speed). Thats not exactly where we want to be (100° would be nice) but a good starting point taking into account the cheap and wrinkly polytarp sail and the leeboard issues (see below).
Shunting turned out to be a very simple and reliable maneuver (at least in winds up to 20 kn, havent tried in stronger winds yet). It never went wrong and can be done singlehanded without any issue. The Rudders are inverted almost automaticly by pulling one line for about 2 seconds.
The most important downside of every shunting vessel is most likely jibing downwind. Instead of simply shifting the sail from one side to the other, a proa has to come upwind, perfom a shunt and bear away again. Compared to a simple jibe on a conventional yacht thats very slow but we take it as part of the game 🙂
Living on proasis is quite comfortable for two. During the entire trial we never went ashore. Sailing, eating, sleeping and repeat.
Despite our very pleasant sail, Proasis is not perfect yet. Following tasks are on our list for the next trial:
- Leeboard: The foil shape is to thick causing lots of drag and poor performance. We have to make it thinner.
- Mast: Needs some stiffening, we’ve observed to much flex.
- Sail step: We have to reposition it sligthly further forward to improve the balance of the boat.
- Interior design: We need more cupboards, hooks ect. to organize our stuff.
- Electric installation: We have non yet. We plan to install a solar panel, battery, navigation light and charger for chart tablet.