First F-22 Launched in NZ
By Ian Farrier
The first local F-22 (built by Rob Densem) has now been launched in Christchurch, and has led our first
Owner Rob and son Fraser had setting up well advanced when I arrived at the ramp in
nearby Lyttelton Harbour.
Getting ready to launch at the fairly rudimentary ramp. Was once inside a marina, (piles behind) which
Now afloat, and about to be unfolded. It was the first time I had used this ramp, and the only way to
Now motoring up the harbour to clear a gathering yacht race fleet and to where we could safely
Main and jib up and starting to move - we were soon doing over 11 knots to windward, which
This is mostly due to the more advanced F-22 lines, the main hull being sharper in the bow,
It was rough, so occasional spray from main hull bow would come back over the wingnets when
This is because the larger and more buoyant floats kept the beams high, so that the new higher set
Lyttelton harbour heads are visible in this shot - head straight out, with a slight bear right, and the
Owner/builder Rob Densem at the tiller, with NZ sailmaker Roger Hall (Doyle Sails). No sign of any
Now heading back in, still under just main and jib. Conditions were a bit too boisterous to try the
Speed figures came from a portable GPS unit brought along by Grant Oborn, owner of a local
Now safely back on the trailer after some tense minutes at the difficult ramp. Probably not fair
Now heading for the de-rigging area
where Rob and son Fraser did most of the de-rigging. For just their second time out I was impressed
Note that with all amateur built and/or kit boats there are always some variations to suit owners preferences, and thus some items as seen on Rob's boat will not be used on the production F-22. The standard F-22 will come with a bolt rope main (my preference) coupled with a roller furling boomless mainsail, while a roller furling boom will be available as an option. Slides can also be used, but roller furling then does not work well, and lazy jacks may be needed to keep mainsail under control.
Standard wingnets will also be of a much more open mesh, as while the cat style tighter mesh nets as used on Rob's boat are preferred by some, they can also trap more wind underneath so one has to be a little more careful when sailing on the limit. I have always preferred to keep the net weave as open as possible.
Only a couple of small glitches, one being an aft wingnet corner starting to pull away, as these can become very highly loaded with tight nets, particularly when a couple of crew stands right in the corner. But an easy fix. The beam compression pads were also too tight, but being on top of the beams, and fully visible, it was easy to see and solve the problem. Otherwise folding was easy as per usual, as was going on and off the trailer.
Other things that worked very well included the 'two to one' jib sheets, where there was no need to use the sheet winch if tacking quickly. The simple mainsheet (4 : 1 and 8 : 1) also seemed up to the task, but this is still provisional. Time will tell, and all these little things will be finalized once we have our own boat sailing.
We are now looking forward to getting our Factory F-22R on the water, which will be faster again with its taller rig, but hand built boats like Robs are usually a little lighter when done well (as is Robs), so the competition could be close!