The protei gang set off to test the first big scale summer protei in Kaag on the 23rd of July (last saturday). The main objectives for this testing session were to observe structural and hydrodynamics of the vessel; namely:
-Behavior in Waves
-General Behavior in water
We deployed Protei in the lake system (about 2m deep) in Kaag and controlled it using a stern line a bow line and a sheet. Conditions in Kaag were pretty strong, a constant 17knt of wind with gusts up to 20. We had little precipitation and considerable wave action (20 cm waves at least).
We extracted a lot of valuable information from the prototype testing. First we observed that the mast and boom rig has to be changed drastically, both spars bend way too much. Also the gooseneck (joint between boom and mast) needs to be made better to avoid jamming. Teh airbags in the hull need to be changed (or find a better way of sealing them) they were a pain to set in the boat and they lost air very fast once in the water. This messed up with the balancing of the boat
We started with 11kg of ballast however we had to add more weight to the prototype to observe better performance. We ended up adding an extra 14kg o ballast (25kg total) and we got better performance, however we will add more ballast. The beam (width) of the boat is very narrow, so the boat heeled a lot and often was laying with the sail almost in the water. Without the steering mechanism the boat would always head up into the wind when the sail was trimmed.
The boat was very very rugged. It absorbed the waves head-on pretty well. However without the sail she has a tendency to align herself parallel to the wavefronts. It was so rugged that Roberto jumped into the water and started "windsurfing" on her and she survived all that stress.
Overall, it was a successful test in that we got to experience the behavior of the prototype in harsh conditions and learned a lot for the next protei. We will be testing again later this week at a calmer setting in Kralingen Paas.