Today is the third day of the ANNAPOLIS BOAT SHOW the Zen/24 had a lot of new vistors. Several had said they read some review on the Zen24 and wanted to see it in person. Many were impressed with the solar setup and the electric drive motor system, over all the whole environmental setup. The most common question was how long will it run under the electric motor ( about 5 hours at 5 knots). The second most asked question is how fast will it run? (hull speed is 6 knots).
Another fairly common question has been how does it handle light winds and how does it handle heavy winds? When explained to them that the ZenBoat was sailed in the San Francisco Bay with normal winds in the 20kt range with gusts of 25-30 knots the look of surprise and admiration is clearly visable. They were pleased to see the video and pictures of the Zen/24 under sailing under different conditions.
Another impressive feature they liked was the head room. For a boat of 24 ft, the head room is surprising to many. There were many remarks about the simple, yet roomy interior. One does not have the feel of being in a 24 ft boat.
We have had two major sailing magazines stop by to take pictures and ask questions about the Zen/24. Both are planning to write a review of the ZenBoat. In a show full of a sea of large million dollar yachts the Zen 24 stands out as a boat for the everyday person and the family.
The crowds at the show today (Sat) were large and varied with people from other countries in attendance, many of whom expressed an interest in making a point of visiting the ZenBoat. Several spoke of it being good for the boating world, it is the way of the future, and also it is about time this type of boat is made available.
Yet, as impressive as the ZenBoat is to see, it is more impressive to sail.
It was a grand and glorious summer day on Sat the 23. It was not the real summer solstice but it was the official celebration day for the summer sail event.
I had been contacted by Capt Mary of Afterguard academy to take a few passengers and join in the sailing event for the day.
I arrived at the marina a little early to setup the boat. I was surprised to find I had missed the boat. I felt like I was seeing my child, my boat after an absence. It did feel funny getting on it and standing with the boat moving so much because of it’s lightness, after just being on the stable ZenCat these days
The wind was perfect, we needed to reef for the Zen 24 but it was very comfortable after the sails were trimmed to the conditions. Unlike Sensei I was not trying to show how well the boat could handle stronger conditions. I just wanted a comfortable ride for my crew and me. When sailing you have a choice sometimes you can sail easy or rough.
Little by little we made our way out of the estuary. It was slow going. Not because I could not get speed but I was suppose to bring up the rear with the group and I keep needing to slow down in order not to pass the others. The Zen24 was faster than the other boats in the group.
Once out on the Bay we had a very nice sail, no tacking just a smooth ride. That part was fun. There were a lot of boats out and about over in the slot where the winds are more intense. We however were not going that far out because we were, suppose to be joining the parade. Therefore we headed back down the estuary after a bit. Another reason was we needed to make a pit stop at Jack London since the Zen Boat head is not legal to use here in the States as yet. This is one of the changeovers needed bringing a boat from Japan.
We made good time going back down the estuary since the wind was at our back. We stopped into Jack London for a quick bladder break, before heading down further to the summer Sailstice Headquarters at the Encinal Yacht Club.
There at the Yacht Club, we made passes in front of the judges stand to bring some attention to the Zen24. 🙂
Our next move was to head back to the Afterguard office. There we, mostly me put the boat away for the evening.
Afterward I headed back over to the Encinal YC. There with my Zen24 gear, I set about chatting with a few people and smouzzing in general about the Zen24
Announcements were made, awards issued, alcohol flowed, I left. It was a good day.
I expect this event to double in size next year. I hope to organize a Summer Sailstice event in Japan next year, under the sponsorship of AOKI Yacht club and corporation. We can get more involved with the international sailing community as well as raise more Japanese interest..
After the All Sail Show at Jack London Square in Oakland Ca, Team Zen welcomed the first Sales Associate for the West Coast to the group. Captain Mary Swift-Swan.
A well respected USCG Masters licensed holder, founder/owner of Afterguard Sailing Academy (www.afterguard.net), and co-author of the ASA sailing fundamental training manual. Captain Mary will be offering demo sails in and around the S.F. Bay on the Zen 24 sailboat.
As an experienced sailor and teacher she understands the unique sailing characteristics of the Zen24. This puts her in the position to help demonstrate, educate, and train sailors in the above average qualities of the Zen24 to students, teachers and others who are interested in experiencing sailing Zen.