Tom Vosmer, Construction Director

Tom Vosmer, Construction Director

Tom Vosmer, Construction Director

4th January 2010

Tom Vosmer, Construction Director

Things went so well today on the first sea trial. I’m exhausted and sunburnt, but relieved

We were towed out from the Shangri La marina and under tow we tested the steering systems first the median rudder and the quarter rudders. They both worked really well so our confidence began to grow. So we made some preparations and then we hoisted the mainsail.

And that was such a great moment because the ship handled really smoothly and the Jewel was under sail at last! We had fairly light winds starting off at 12 knots of actual wind (about 6 to 9 apparent) then easing down to 9 knots actual. We were sailing mainly downwind and we were making 2 to 3 knots.

She handled just beautifully. She was able to get much closer to the wind than we expected about 77 degrees. She’s so easy to sail, not heavy just a lovely little ship.

We noticed all sorts of things that we can improve and further tests we have to make like checking to see if each of the steering systems works OK independently. We can also probably get a few more square metres of sail on the yards. As we expected the mizzen interferes with the main in straight downwind sailing but it performed well with the wind abeam.

Everyone on board did brilliantly today. Babu Sankaran was there with some of the carpenters to shape wedges that we needed. The guys from the Royal Navy of Oman did a brilliant job. And Capt Saleh did a lovely job. A few times we had problems like when we were under tow or when we lost the rudder for a bit, but he was cool and calm. And then when we came back into our berth he just eased her up alongside the dock beautifully and I said “Perfect job Captain!”

We’ll be out again on Wednesday and we’ll start trying her out in more wind and seeing if we can coax a little more speed out of her.

I didn’t sleep so well last night thinking about how things might go, but tonight I’ll be sleeping better!

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