2 June 2012

Back in business with new mainsail (15.2nm trip, 55.4nm total)

Down just for the day to fit and try the new sail. Happily it did fit just perfectly. The only change I had to make was to move the fixing point for the main sheet forward a few inches so that it didn't foul the boom gallows. Hoisting is quite hard work mainly because I am out of practise and my hands have got very soft (no winches on this boat.) It stows as planned on the gallows, and clears them easily when hoisted. I have a concern that the flailing sheet might catch around the end of the gallows in an unplanned gybe. But I did several unplanned gybes during the day without problem.

I started out under full sail, but soon put in a reef as the gusts were strong. The reefing system on Swallow Boats sails now use circular dead eyes instead of cheek blocks, and they work really well. I'll try to photograph them next time. I sailed out and around Brownsea Island and anchored for lunch in the lee, with a flotilla of other boats doing the same. I was convinced my anchor was dragging, but I don't think it was, we were all just too close together.

Then I ran down to Shipstal, with the jib furled, which is always better than trying to goose wing. I just turned around so try beating back up the channel, which worked very well. I have got so used to beating single handed that I don't know what to do with a crew if I have one.

Anchored off Brownsea again to pack away the sails, and then motored back to the marina to give the engine a good run. I still need the sail bag. The maker is ill and so is way behind on orders. Hope to have it in the next couple of weeks.

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