A Toy Boat for the Armada (2006 CE)

What did I get myself into?
Halima al-Rakkasa
Images of "al-Gazeel", after surviving the race:

There wasn't much time, for I had put my time elsewhere, but I felt the need to enter a boat into the races. I would not be left out of the games! Having some idea of the sailing vessels that plied the waters near Syria, I determined to quickly construct something that Halima might encounter, should she ever get close to water.

The hull revealed itself to me: it was on a shelf, laden with yarn... How apropos for a cargo vessel!

The mast and yard were handy bits of dowel (see? saving remnants works!); the sail, too, was a cotton remnant.

Ah, but I had only hours to prepare!

Jute twine sufficed for the lines. The sail was quickly cut to shape, allowing for proper warp direction, and properly reinforced with twine. Did I mention the use of waterproof glue? Well, now I have!

The completed sail was whipped to the yard in the correct manner. The mast was set with minimal stays, considering its small size, and the yard hung from the masthead with (surprise!) another tack, being there is no tackle sufficiently diminuative.

All the sail lines were set in place, with rolling-hitches to allow for adjustment.

I printed out some of my research, and wrote up a quick summary; I feel it was not as complete as it could have been.

The Race

The location had changed from a lovely flat pond in the center of the creek to a set of rapids, not the best for a true sailing vessel. But, no matter! In the first heat, al-Gazeel leapt over the first set of rocks, dove into the water, and filled nigh on to the gunwales. She sluggishly made her way around the convoluted course she had chosen, hit more rocks, which caused her to flip up and... dump the water she had taken on! She still finished ahead of her competitor. In the second heat, al-Gazeel seemed to think through the process... and chose the straight and narrow, which few other vessels had considered. She won the second heat. In the finals, try as she might, there was not enough water to lift her over the rocks, and she lost to a raft.

Maybe I'll keep her...