I have been very interested to read about UK RAID events and Raiding in general. There was the first Solent Raid this year (http://www.raidengland.org/) that looked great fun, the Scottish raid appeals even more as you travel from the East to West coast (http://www.sailcaledonia.org/). One of the boats that completed Sail Caledonia this year (2010) was a Goat Island Skiff designed but Michael Storer in Australia. My initial thoughts where that this is a pretty boat and of a size to make it suitable for single and two-handed sailing as well as being a relatively stable platform to load up with gear and take the kids sailing if suitably reefed for the conditions. I had some reservations about some aspects of the design such as the flat bottom and Lug rig but there were more down to my lack of understanding than a technical problem with the design and having had some conversations with the designer and reading lots of information about the boat I have come to the conclusion that the GIS is actually a very clever design.
In a nutshell, the GIS is a very light weight, traditional Australian skiff with a large balanced Lugsail. She has an easily driven hull and will outperform most “Character” boats of a similar size yet has the load carrying capacity to be used as a family or carry enough gear to go camp-cruising or Raiding. From what I have read the goals of the designer were to have a performant and pretty design that is relatively cheap to build and fun to sail, all the reports and videos that I have seen show that this brief was exceeded.
The GIS is 15ft 6” in length with a Beam of 5ft. The hull should weigh around 125lbs (depending on how it is built) and the rig has an impressive sail area of 105 sq ft (9.75 sq meters) although the sail is designed to have two reefing positions. As a comparison to a well known design, the Laser sailing dinghy is 13ft 6” (2ft shorter), weighs in at 130lbs (heavier than a GIS) and has a sail area of 76 sq feet (29 sq ft less than the GIS). All this adds up to a light boat with great performance. I have been reading quite a lot about the intricacies of the balanced Lug rig and how is it designed to bend and flex to absorb the energy of gusts, it is all very interesting stuff and I look forward to playing with it once the boat is afloat.
So here it is, the next build is going to be a Goat Island Skiff and below is a picture of the designer putting a GIS through its paces in a good breeze…
|Michael Storer sailing a GIS, Pic by Peter Hyndman|
Here is a great pic of a UK GIS called Blanche..
|Mark Sailing Blanche, Pic by Chris Perkins|