Making the Most of a Minimal Budget. Contact me at: or on Twitter: @skintsailor

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sail Tuning

I had a play with the sail today and sorted it out a bit. the bagginess has lessened, which is good.

One of the major causes was a lack of tension in the luff. I hauled up the main as far as it could go, but couldn't tension the downhaul. The culprit was a broken slide jammed in the slider:

With that removed the downhaul tensioned better. Its not great, but better. There's less bag in the sail and the boom stays fairly level now. Another inch or two of travel would be nice, but the pin in the slider at the bottom of the mast is seized in. A bit more difficult to remove than a rogue bit of plastic. I'll have to work on getting a bit more height at the top of the sail. Maybe a shorter or smaller shackle would give me another half inch or so.

I took the opportunity to renew the lines on the tack and clew and tensioned the foot of the sail a bit better as the old lines were a bit weathered with age. I used the thin rope I bought at the Netley boat jumble.

I've yet to sort out the reefing system. There's a snap shackle at the tack so I'll fit one at the clew as well with a jammer pulley that way I can easily snap the shackle on the clew and the the tack and quickly pull some tension in before securing the line in the jammer.

As well as sorting the mainsail, I put some silicone on the underside of the locker tops. On Friday night I gave them a layer of varnish over the woodstain. Today I put a thin strip of silicone sealant underneath around the edges to act as a drip lip. One of the problems with a straight edge is that water can travel along it and into the lockers. A drip lip forces water to drip into the drain channels around the lockers.

Just a bead of silicone sealant round the edge.

Nice n shiny after varnishing.

It was a grey days today, but the sight and sound of a Spitfire displaying over Portsmouth was uplifting. The sound of a Merlin engine still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up and the  pilot wasn't holding back either. Nice.

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