As an experiment, I installed the SmartTrack toe steering system (with trim tab) on my Triak about a month ago. I’ve been wanting to be able to brace my feet for paddling and wanted to give this a try. The only question mark was how well it would perform for sailing in high winds. I’ve been very pleased with it for paddling and for sailing in light winds. I had mixed results, though, last month for moderate winds while sailing. Today I took it out in high winds and was pretty frustrated with the steering performance. I finally decided I’d be better off with the original sliding foot peddles for steering for being able to sail in all conditions so I spent the afternoon putting the original sliding system back in. Sometime you just have to keep things simple. I will sacrifice some paddling efficiency but I need to be able to sail in all conditions including high wind.
On the plus side, I tried out my new claw anchor when out in a blow with white-caps and it worked well. I was able to deploy it from the cockpit, it set well, and with the line tied to the bow the boat was at a good orientation to the wind. I was able to retrieve the anchor with a second line spliced into the primary line from the cockpit. The only negative was the anchor line ended up looping around the bottom of my bow before coming back to where I cleat it off by the cockpit. If I had to sail a long distance like that, it might slow me down a tiny bit.
All in all a good learning experience today. I didn’t get many derby points, though, because I was just trying stuff out and then back to the workshop.