The inaugural sail of the RAVE V took place last week in Sandusky Bay, Lake Erie. True to its design plan, the RAVE V is as easy to launch from a trailer as the WR17 – simply telescope the amas and back into the water. We deployed the foils prior to launch, but the final design will allow you to lower the foils once you are in the water. The boat rests nicely alongside a dock, and once the small trampolines are installed, it will be easy to board from the amas or the bow.
Larry Knauer, designer and test pilot intentionally chose a light wind day – about 6 knots – in order to test the foil/rudder steering, A-frame sail plan and overall get an initial “feel” for the boat. Because of its design, the RAVE V could be paddled out of the harbor – again, similar to the WR17 or WR16 WindRider models. The steering pedals attach to push rods, rather than the cables in a WR17 or WR16, in order to have less “play” in the mechanism.
Another key objective which we have met is an enjoyable sailing experience even when not foiling. The boat performs even better than a WR17 with the foils in the water – both for pointing to the wind and faster speed. In the 6 knots of wind, the RAVE V was doing slightly better than 6 knots. We estimate it does about 1.2x wind speed.
We had an overnight mishap which was both bad news and good news. Leaving the boat in a slip in the marina overnight, the forestay pin broke and the double mast came down during the night. It was found resting backwards on the akas, with no damage to the carbon fiber akas or the mast. The good news is that the pilot or passenger would not be harmed in a de-mast scenario given the A-Frame shape. A reinforcement and safety line are now attached to both forward and aft stays
While the wind picked up slightly the second day, it still wasn’t adequate to “fly” the main hull. Larry determined that having the foils attached to the hulls closer to the water line will provide greater lift in lighter winds (it puts another 8 inches of foil to work). That modification will take place over the next couple of days and then we will be on the water again.