I started building a John Welsford Pathfinder in July 2008. The boat was completed in Oct, 2010.

This blog now records our use of the boat, but documentation of building the boat can be found in the archives.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lake Travis on Halloween

The ramp I usually use on Lake Travis was closed today so we went to Cypress Creek where we had to tack up through a 2 mile long cove to get to the lake.  The wind is channeled into the cove so you are almost always trying to move directly upwind.  That, plus the fluky wind that comes with the hilly terrain made a slow entry to the lake, but once out, we enjoyed some good 10-15 mph winds.

Total distance sailed 11.3 miles.

Friday, October 29, 2010


The Pathfinder is very easy to sail single-handed.  It is also pretty easy to get on and off the trailer and to and from the dock with a long rope.

I started with 1 reef  and quickly set the full sail.  Wind was 5 to 10 going out and 5 to 0 coming back.

Today's sail was 10.6 miles.  Canyon Lake seems smaller now.

Monday, October 25, 2010

2nd sail, 7.6 miles

new video

I have the onshore video of the launch now...you can see how easily this boat moves both under power and sail.

launch video

And from the 2nd sail, more onboat video:

Sophia at the helm.

Moving nicely

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2nd sail

Took the family out today.  More wind forecast this time.  I put two reefs in the mainsail to be extra careful since the boat is still untested and the kids were onboard.  We really didn't have that much wind, mostly around 10mph with some gusts up to 20, so the the reefs were overkill.   The boat still ran around the lake nicely with a 6.4 mph maximum (according to gps)  even with that tiny reefed mainsail.  Mostly in the 4-5 mph range.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sailing Video

Chuck Leinweber took this short video on the boat while we had a gentle breeze blowing.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Boat Launched

The boat was launched Oct 17th.  We scheduled the date about a month ago.  Amazingly the weather was absolutely perfect for a first sail, light winds with occasional extended periods of about 10knts.

Chuck Leinweber of Duckworks met me for the launch.  Chuck is a super nice guy, very laid back, unassuming and casual.   He invited a couple of other boat builders who were also extremely friendly and relaxed.

The boat performed excellently.  Exactly what I wanted.  Super stable, easy to handle, lots of room.  The boat accelerates to its max speed with not all that much wind.  Didn't have any problems tacking, jibing, working upwind, etc. 

We weren't in any real wind or waves today, but I got a feel for how the boat will handle, and I have no complaint.