Nigel Oswald has just taken delivery of his Melvest Marine built F-32RX in Friday Harbor (near Seattle), and writes:
Just wanted to let you know I have had ‘Blue Steel’ in the water now for a few weeks and been out about 5 times. I have a lot to do to get the systems ready from a racing perspective but I can go sailing.
I have not had more than about 10kts of breeze but she seems to go upwind at decent angles (no instruments or other boats to compare to but we where sheeted hard) at about windspeed in that. I have also been pleasantly surprised at how the boat moves (and tacks) in very little wind. I went out last Saturday with my 3 year old in 3-4kts of breeze and basically spend 2 hours short tacking up the harbor with just the main up and jibing downwind with the screacher. I was not expecting the boat to move as well as she did in that light breeze.
Andrew did a great job with how the boat looks - its stunning. Having not been on an F-boat before, I was also shocked at how well designed the folding system is. I had obviously read a lot about it but I really did not expect it to be so weightless during folding really impressed.
I was hoping to be able to race this coming weekend in the ‘Round the County’ - a race around the San Juans but I pulled the plug as it would have been too frustrating to try to race without everything setup properly. Next year..