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Saturday, April 19, 2008

April 20, 2008-Stand by to Wear Ship

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Judy: Sailor Girl

“Stand by to wear ship.”

We could have just tacked.

But the re-cut sail needed the spreader patches to be re-adjusted. Better wear around and save the sail.

This was a sail we wanted to protect; it pulled like a bandit from the minute we put it up. I loved it already.

Who would think after 21 years we’d discover something new about sailing this boat, but we did: A high clew, 120% genoa worked magic on Wings. Jeez, Wings came alive in 5 knots of wind with this sail! Of course the #4 never felt like this in light winds but this sail even seemed better than the deck sweeper 150 we cut up to make it; and way less trouble to use.

We’d come out into Phang Nga Bay to get a little sailing in before heading back to Yacht Haven. I needed a sailing fix like an addict needs his needle. What drugs are this? I just need to feel the power of a big sail sheeted in and the boat carving to windward, that’s all. It can be as short as a couple of tacks. Not even an hour. Just get the boat on the wind and I am renewed. Judy knows it. She feels it too but she can keep the need inside. I can’t.

“There’s a nice breeze, let’s weigh early and go sailing before we head back.”

“OK”, instant agreement. I love this woman.

Judy steered and we hoisted the mainsail leaving the anchorage. I went for’ard and rigged the re-cut genoa. It went up quickly.

The sail filled and the boat took off.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Wings picks up speed

We grinned.

I trimmed in and checked aloft and saw that the car had to come back, way back. I made the adjustment. It opened up the leech and allowed me to sheet in tighter. Judy came up. I adjusted more, she came up more. We now were sailing 40 degrees off the true wind and holding 5.75 knots of boat speed, in wind less than 10 knots.

It had us grinning more.

I took some shots with the Nikon.

I made an image in my mind of the place where we needed to put the spreader patches.

To try the other tack but still protect the new sail we reached off; the sail pulled well on a beam reach too. Then we wore ship; we jibed around and came up on starboard. On this tack the sail duplicated the performance of the first tack.

I marked the lead positions on the deck.

This is a real success I was thinking, I’m surprised. I’m happy.

wingssail image-fredrick roswold
Spreading Some Canvas

We turned for home. We’d spent only an hour sailing in the open waters of Phang Nga Bay, but it was enough. I knew that this sail had opened up a new chapter for our future cruising experiences: From now on we could make time in the light stuff without the hassle of the #1. In fact unless racing we have avoided the #1 in the past; it trims poorly except when close hauled and in a seaway it bangs into the shrouds and lifelines like it is trying to self destruct. It is. So we rarely used it. Now we don’t need to. We have a choice. So even when this sail falls completely apart, as soon it must, we'll have to have one like it; we'll build a new one.

I know what to tell the sail maker:

“Make me a sail which pulls like a bandit, that we can see under, and stays clear of the rig. Make it 120%, high on the clew, and short on the hoist. Build it out of Dacron for longevity.”

“Make me something which mainlines the sailing power straight into my veins.”

“ I have a habit to feed.”

Actually this is the second sail we’ve added in the last six months which really adds to our inventory. The first was the asymmetrical kite. That one which I bought for $60 from a guy in Singapore opened up the offwind chapter. This one opens up the upwind sailing.

So I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks if he’s interested in listening.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Phuket

Click here to read about the recut of the 150 into this high clew #2.

Click here for more photos from April sailing in Phang Nga Bay

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Blogger Overboard said...

Wow! You guys are just awesome!!!

04 May, 2008 15:17  

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