Monday, 5 May 2014

Shakedown cruise and more lessons (re) learned..

Pre script: In putting the sails on (after the mast raising exercise) I of course realised that I had been far too confidant in assuming everything had gone up OK.. 
  1. make sure the roller furler feed goes on with the feeder in the right direction - yes I got it on back to front again with the feeder facing forwards..  gaaah..  took me an hour to get that right and not without an inordinate amount of stress when at one point a line that was holding the mast up came undone..
  2. mainsail halyard was the wrong side of the spreader, judicious use of a heavy hammer tied to the end and pulled up the mast to above spreader, while I then walked around the boat to get it to swing the right way, and then eased off the end I was holding to let it down on the right side of the spreader solved that..  
Elementary schoolboy errors (and not the first time in one case [clicky]) and I should know better...

...anyway, all done now, boom on, new jib fits, mainsail bent on despite foolish errors..  there's a lot to do/track and I missed them - going to draft a check list for next time..


So it was that I arrived at the boat yesterday for the seasons shakedown cruise - 16:10'ish high tide, and I was on the boat by 1300 with thoughts that I might do a long trip to get me going but realistically as the first trip of the season with a new jib to get used to and the myriad little lessons & tricks learned last season to re-learn I settled for an extended shakedown..

Strong tide flowing of course but gratifying to get 2.5 knots on jib alone against tide...  made a right cock of getting the main up outside of Northney (halyards on wrong cleats etc) but eventually all up and we started to drive the boat a it harder...  about this time I'd say it was a top end 3 gusting 4 so I decided to roll away a bit of the jib, four rolls taken in and still bigger than the whole of the old jib but much more manageable in the conditions..  the roller furling is MUCH smoother this year, I'm putting it down to three things, the forestay is stiffer, the new sail is much bigger (which helps with unfurling as the you get more wind assistance), but also I gave the bearings a good spray of teflon.. One thing that I do need to  do is service the jib jammer cleats - the new sail is considerably more powerful and they weren't gripping as easily as I would like..

One of the Emsworth Sailing clubs had laid the obligatory dinghy race across the entrance to the fairway which made life interesting but all in all Sparrow was going well and I was more than happy to be keeping up with some bigger boats and pointing well...

Lots of tacking as you can see from the track - they look to be shallow tacking angles but I had a strong tide against which narrows the angle markedly!

An excellent afternoon, but it was a cold breeze (3 layers!) and having got almost to Marker I decided to head back to the mooring as I was concerned the standing rigging (especially port side) was still a bit loose, I expect it to go slightly lack on the lee side when on the tack but this was markedly so; rather than stress the boat I headed for home..

Back on the mooring, lunch was consumed in the cabin (much warmer!) and then rigging tightened up - I need to get some split pins to replace the manky mousing wire currently holding the clevis pins in, but the rigging is much tauter and laying my head at the bottom of the mast and looking up it all looks fairly straight...

Last jobs were to house clean down below, empty half an inch of rainwater, and lastly to mount two new additions to the boats inventory - clock and barometer...   beginning to feel more comfortable and homely down there..


Distance: 8.21 miles (cumulative total in the 2014 mileage tab at the top of the page)
Wind: Both ends of a Force 3 - gusting Force 4 - dropping as the afternoon went on.. and almost dead South but going more SW by end of the afternoon.
Sail Plan: Full main 3 rolls in the jib but let them out as the afternoon went on - engine for manoeuvring...
Speed: GPS track says max speed was 4.5 knots (which I did under sail) - average speed 2.6 knots

PS. New jib is a beauty!

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