I didn't expect it to be a planing hull . . .

. . . but I think it is! (At least in the right conditions.)

I was out on the lake in my Northeaster Dory today, sailing happily in moderate conditions. (10 - 15 mph breeze, gusting to 20). I stopped at a sandy beach for a swim and a sip of water. When I got back underway again and out of the lea of the island, the lake was awash with whitecaps and the wind was now 15 - 20 gusting to 25 - 30.

I've spent 25 years windsurfing and those are the conditions I used to love. But it's one thing to careen around the lake on a sailboard when the penalty for for being knocked down is just a welcomed rest and a refreshing swim. It's another thing in the dory.

I relished the chance to test the boat, but I also knew that my wisest course was to make a couple of long reaches back to the landing and then get off the water. Still those long reaches were pretty convincing evidence that the Northeaster Dory is very solid sailboat. The mast, spars, rudder, and daggerboard of my unreefed lug sail handled the loads. To the best of my judgment the boat seemed to get up on a plane quite happily and hold it as long as the gusts kept blowing.

But I was also happy to get off the water safely with no bailing and nothing broken. I consider this result a tribute to a very well-designed boat.


The graph below shows the steady wind speed at almost 20 mph with gusts near 30 during the period when I was on my last broad reach.

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