Friday night Roommate Dan and I took our girlfriends out sailing around 7pm. Wind was a fairly consistant 8-9kts according to the birthday present from him, a Kestrel 1000 wind meter. Normally I would have just put up my normal working genoa (110%) in anything over about 8kts, but I figured as late in the evening as it was it should die down soon, so I had Dan rig my drifter. I don’t recall the exact measurements of the sail but the foot is roughly 22 feet long, giving it something close to 400sq ft of sail area. I cannot run it into the jib sheet car, as the track stops 5 feet forward of the clew of the sail. I have snatch blocks that I attach to the stern cleats and run the sheet line forward to the jib sheet winches. The only picture I can locate of it at the moment is this cell phone pic from last season.

Edit: Found another picture of the drifter, you can really get a feel for the size of the sail in this one.

under sail, but with almost zero wind

The wind stayed pretty consistant around 8 kts for most of the night, and I’ve never seen my boat move so quick! We crossed the sound in roughly an hour, with the GPS reporting speed over ground hovering around 6.8kts, and jumping as high as 7.3kts for brief moments (my LWL is 22.3 ft, so my calculated hull speed is 6.2kts). with the knot indicator reading pretty close to the same most of the time (so current probably didn’t play much into it)

We ended up sailing across the sound and tieing off at the Huntington town dock and having a very late dinner at Rosa’s Pizza in Huntington Village (highly reccomend it). Followed up by a couple beers at Christophers Bar before catching a cab back to the docks.

As we came into Huntington Bay the wind died down to 2.3kts (app), when I measured the wind speed in the slot, it was reading 3.8kts, and the GPS was reporting our SOG as 3.8kts and the knot indicator was reporting ~4 kts as well. The tide was going out, and we were heading into the harbor, so any current there was, we were fighting it. That means we were cruising along at 1.7 times the wind speed. 🙂

The trip back was just as quick as the trip there. We were on a reach, so I pulled out the whisker pole and attached it to the clew of the drifter with a shackle, unfortunately I am still working to come up with a good way to attach the whisker pole to boat with this sail. I have to use the shrouds to attach to. I don’t like doing that as it puts side load on the shrouds that they are not intended on taking, but until I come up with something better, that’s what I’ve got to work with.

While Dan took the helm for a while I took a few pics of the chart plotter with my phone showing the reported speed.

reading 6.7kts


reading 7.1kts


reading 6.7kts, you can also see the cabin in this shot, with the red night time LED lighting I installed this spring.

6.7kts wide

The winds held up for the rest of the night and we didn’t slow down until we entered Stamford Harbor and started to drop the sails.

2 Responses to “The fastest sail ever…”

  • Sue Kennedy says:

    What kind of chartplotter? Also, how much energy does it use (for some reason I never see amp hours in reference to chartplotters) Oh, nice site!

    • Its a Garmin gpsmap 540s, not sure about the amp hours, but its far less than my anchor light uses… after a full day of use it hardly drains the battery’s at all, and just takes a few min with the engine running to charge them back up.

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