It was a beautiful day in Madison with mild winds to get a feel for our new boat. After packing the 19 for a day sail we trailered it into Lake Mendota. We found the 19 to be easily pulled with a 6 cylinder vehicle. We used Marshall Park ramp on the west side of Lake Mendota as it is the most sailboat friendly ramp on this lake. We backed the boat in and found we needed to go far enough down the ramp that the exhaust pipe was blowing bubbles in order to float it off the trailer. I guess a hitch extender will have to go on the "to-do list". The outboard started right up and we excitedly backed out feeling pretty proud of ourselves until we saw one of our keel guides float out from underneath the hull. Ooops. After some fancy steering in a tight area, we were able to snag the keel guide and strap it onto the lifeline stanchions. So much for a picture perfect launch.
|Brenda claiming her bow spot (couldn't do this on the 16). Note the rogue keel guide strapped to the stanchion.|
The 8 HP Mariner is definitely more motor than the 19 needs, although we could give the kids a pretty good ride on a tube if we decided to pull it behind us.
It was really nice to walk around on the foredeck and feel safe and stable. The lifelines and the 19's stiff sailing characteristics accounted for this feeling. One of the reasons we bought the Com-Pac 19 was that it prefers to be sailed flat - which with our limited sailing experience makes for more relaxed sailing. After all, that is what we are all about - relaxation! We enjoyed a fine afternoon of getting a feel for her and enjoyed the views on beautiful Lake Mendota practicing our tacks and jibes. As the day wound down, we headed back to the ramp wondering what entertainment we would provide for those at the docks. Surprisingly the docking went without a hitch and the boat floated smoothly onto trailer even missing a keel guide.
Overall our decision to move from the 16 to the 19 proved to be a great one. The 19 rigged quickly, the mast was easily raised by one or two people, it sailed flat, and the extra cockpit width was really nice. Extra points were awarded by the female crew for the onboard potty facilities.
Things we need to do: redo all the bunks and keel guides on the trailer, find an easier way to connect the front stay (for our non-sailing friends, this is one of the wires that holds the mast up) when stepping the mast. We also missed the halyard cam cleats mounted on the mast on the 16. Have to think on that one.
Overall it was a great day of sailing and the boat is a keeper.