10 August 2011

Short "check the boat" sail (9nm 305nm total)

Went down just for the day to check the boat as I haven't been on her for three weeks. Very windy, F5-6 gusting 7. Lots of Oppies and Toppers racing as it is school holidays. Somersaulting all over the place and strings of empty dinghies being towed back by rescue boats. I presume the kids had been picked up and taken ashore and not left to their own devices in the water.

I sailed jib and mizzen for a bit, but you really can't point well so I plucked up courage and raised a double reefed main. She sails fine like that and I do realise now that she is not going to tip over, but I don't like strong wind sailing. Sailed around Brownsea Island, looking for a sheltered spot but without great success. When the wind is in the south west, the most sheltered spots are also very shallow and inaccessible at low tide. So I bobbed off Brownsea's north shore for a bit and then packed it in. The boat was fine apart from a lot of bird poo, which washed off easily.

Before I sailed I carried out a couple of jobs, one of which I have been planning since the day I got Daisy G. The jib cam cleats were aligned to angle towards the crew, rather than towards the line of the sheet. This meant they didn't drop between the cams automatically. I had fitted a couple of cheek turning  blocks, which improved the angle, but introduced more friction. I have finally removed the cheek blocks and realigned the cleats. Although they angle away from the crew, it doesn't matter. The cage on the cleats allows for this, and when single handed, I tend to cleat the windward sheet before tacking, so that it does not run free after the tack. This means that the new angle actually points to where I am most of the time anyway, up to windward. It took all of an hour to do, including filling holes and sikaflexing around the cleats. Don't know why I have waited two years to do this.

This photo shows my control lines on the starboard side. Working outwards from the companionway: centreboard uphaul, topping lift/lazyjacks with a green fairlead, main halyard and the newly angled starboard jib cam cleat.

This one shows the port hand side. Working outwards again, the centreboard downhaul with automatic release cleat for when I hit the bottom, the kicking strap with the red fairlead, the jib halyard with the hook of the handybilly just above it, which I use to tension the jib luff, and the newly angled port jib sheet cam cleat. The scuff mark above the jib cleat is the sanded area where the turning cheek block used to be. The sheets run out much more freely now.

Finally, I am planning to fit wooden strips to the cockpit benches to give a more hard wearing surface than the current paint. Real and fake teak is really expensive so I am going to strip it myself over the winter. I laid a single strip along the deck to check length and curve. Should be do-able but it will take a long time. I will need 10-11 strips per side. I could force them into a curve to match the seat front, but I think I would make a mess, so I will leave them straight. They will also need to be cut around the hatches at the after end, so it will be a fiddly job. Will keep me occupied during the dark months.

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