Sailing Day 3

Weather here in Chicago has been consistently weird. It was sunny and warm all afternoon. Now it’s foggy everywhere.

I spent part of the day studying the rig more closely. Ran the main up with a good dosing of mcLube on the bolt rope. That made a big difference.

I haven’t yet sailed in anything over 10 knots, but playing with the rig at the dock it didn’t feel like I could get enough mast bend. That led to some minor adjustment of the checkstays, but the rig still looked way too straight. So I loosened the rig, kicked the butt of the mast aft, and retuned. That put about two inches of prebend in and a very sloppy headstay with slack backstays. That seems like a better starting point, though it still doesn’t seem bendy enough. I was getting maybe 8″ max, and pretty even.

I was ready to go for a sail and had invited a few of the CYY folks, but no takers.

I took a pass around the yard and ran into Taylor and Pam. They’re a lovely couple who live in Iowa and have a Shannon 43 that they’re working on making perfect. I applaud the effort. Classic very well put together boat. I met them in the fall and we got reacquainted again this spring. Such is the boatyard rhythm.

Happily they took me up on an offer of a quick sail, and off we went. We motored through the bridge, raised sails, and went for a sail. Taylor and Pam steered and I did all the work. I think they enjoyed it.

Things went reasonably smoothly. The last few feet of the main raise is difficult. Going to try easing the outhaul next time. I still have a few lines to finalize, but I’m feeling pretty comfortable with the layout. I’m reminded all the time that this is a racing boat. While I’ve been lamenting the bare bones steel coffin interior it’s just about perfect on the outside and moving around is easy and secure. Lines, stoppers and winches are well placed.

We had the small jib up going out and the small spinnaker up coming back. Spinnaker is in good shape. I think it’s the newest sail. It’s got quite a different shape. I can see using it lots.

The boat powers up nicely in the light wind, even with the working headsails. I’m excited by the performance potential. But it’s also a big rig with not much in the way of sail handling conveniences. I think I can do it, and I’m willing to experiment and evolve as I learn more.

We sailed back through the bridge and into our berth. I left all the sails on deck and packed up myself later. I rolled the main and put the boom cover on. That works OK.

Looking forward to getting out in more wind. In the meantime it’s electronics install time. As usual I’ve suffered some further scope creep, and I’m replacing all the current electronics. But that’s for a different post.

I’ve been writing this post from a seat looking at the rig. The jumper strut sort of turns it into a masthead rig in some respects. I think I shouldn’t impose my 80s based thinking on this boat too much. It also occurs to me that I haven’t spent much time trimming composite mains. It makes sense that less bend is needed. I’ve done enough thinking on this. Time to get some sailing time in.

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