Messabout for Two at Horaceville

Messabout Aug 7-8 2017

The “Ottawa Small Boat Messabout” ( had called for a messabout in Pinhey Point on August 5-6. However, the weather-provider had other plans. Fortunately a window of opportunity opened a day later for an August 6-7 overnight. Unfortunately, this reduced the number of participants to only 2: “Woodpecker” and “Sassy Gaffer” (others may have shown up on the second day after Sassy’s early departure, see the page above for more details). Woodpecker wanted to try her new and flamboyant jug-rig sail, and Sassy wanted to try a new HF antenna for portable-afloat: a monoband 20m PAR EndFedZ rigged as an inverted “V” up Sassy’s mast.

The two boats sailed to Pinhey Point on Sunday on favourable winds of 5-10 kts in a very enjoyable starboard tack broad-reach and arrived at the cove almost together (actually, Woodpecker got there first, on account of the comparative ease with which its beautiful and well crafted junk-sail can be doused in comparison to Sassy’s cat-gaff rig).

By all accounts Woodpecker’s rig and new sail were a big success in the light breezy winds. The test with the 20m PAR mono-band was also deemed a success after allowing a QRP/PAF (portable-afloat) contact with Ed KP4DF in Aguadilla, PR.

Quite appropriate given the geography of the cove, the wind subsided and shifted to the SW during the night, and then to the NW during the morning of Tuesday for another nice and leisurely broad reach to the marina. However in the early afternoon the wind picked up with gusts above 20 Kts., which is more that Sassy can comfortably enjoy without a reef. Nevertheless after a few gybes in Lac Deschênes, she was again safely moored at her dock. Woodpecker, sailing a few hours later, found the winds to be a perfect match for her new sail design.