RE: Speeding up launch

Eric Johnson (
Fri, 23 Oct 1998 08:48:24 -0700

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West Wight Potter Website at URL
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> Really though, I've been UN-impressed with how long it takes me to get
> sailing, even though Southern Star IS in the water.

I hear ya! I've got the same problem..

> Maybe I can "steal"
> one of your ideas: Keeping the lapper bagged on the fordeck sounds good
> to me. I've seen other boats do it, just never even thought about doing
> it.

I've been meaning to make a foresail bag myself. It would cut a couple
minutes off preparation.

> Two questions of other Potter owners who keep their boats in the water:
> 1. Any problems leaving the "retractable keel" down? My boat is kept in
> fresh water and it is the newer galvanized version. It should be okay
> to leave it down, but I have been raising and lowering it every time I
> use the boat.

I always raise it, but my slip is extremely shallow, and so thats is the
main reason I do.

> 2. Leaving the rudder / tiller in place:. I wonder how much faster the
> wood will degrade if left in the water all the time? Taking it in / out
> of the cabin is time consuming, and always results in dinged up gelcoat
> and bodies.

Thats something I've been wrestling with too. I suspect the wood will
degrade much faster, especially if you have a kick-up rudder with a pivot
hole. If you have a one-piece rudder, with enough coats of varnish you
should be fine. I usually just keep my rudder in the cockpit. If the pivot
point was higher, I could just pivot the lower section out of the water
altogether, but on mine its still wet even when pivoted up.

I'm thinking of making a one-piece fiberglass rudder this winter so I can
keep it in the water, and won't get the drag of the pivot mechanism on the
beaching rudder.