One of my YouTube subscribers Chris has been very observant and may be onto something. He noticed my near permanent crease from throat to clew. Regular readers of my blog will know about my love-hate relationship with my mainsail and my complete inability to trim it correctly. Whenever I sail, this crease is a sign to all those out on the water that I am an idiot, devoid of sail setting skill.
Chris noted the following points:
- Arwen has the yard on the starboard side of the mast and the sprit boom on the port side. This arrangement seems to be creating a twist in the foot of the sail on the port side and then another twist in the top part of the sail on the starboard side near the yard. These two twists manifest as a crease.
- He also asks whether it is a crease or a 'fold'....which makes sense because if you watch the videos of my main sail....that fold runs down the inner edge of the half battens in the upper sail down to the clew and the top part of the sail, especially in light winds, looks as if it is 'flopping' over.
Now, if I was truthful here, I'd say I have no idea what he is talking about. But I understand the instruction 'try switching the yard over to the other side'. I also understand his instruction ' try to adjust the lines so that the boom lies more horizontally'.
And, I definitely liked his analogy 'this might reduce the indigestion of your sail'!
So, last week, the boss decided the weather was sufficiently nice enough to embark on her annual boat trip over to Cawsand. The fact that there was barely any wind, the temperature was 30C+ and it was an outgoing tide were mere trivialities.
We motored across to Cawsand and beached Arwen. While I held her bow to the small wavelets, the boss went in search of coffee and freshly baked croissants. A yachtie type ambled down to admire Arwen and ask all about her; a local strolled down to warn me about the submerged rocks immediately ahead of me (which I already knew about).
After threading our way through swimmers (who seem oblivious to the need to get out of the way of a small boat powered by an outboard) , we went three hundred metres out and along Penlee point, where we anchored twenty metres offshore.
The sea was crystal clear and the sandy bottom could just be discerned through the aquamarine waters. Compass jelly fish floated by on a regular basis. we were visited by some kayakers and paddleboarders.
I donned wetsuit and went for a swim. I checked the centreboard casing from below. A jellyfish hitched a ride on my back for a few minutes.
Eventually after an hour, there was sufficient breeze to go for a short sail along the southern outer edge of the breakwater, where we put to the test Chris's theories.
And then the winds died completely so we motored down Jennycliffe Bay and into the Plym river.
The boss declared it 'a perfect day'.
I'll take that!
As for the crease? Well, on the first test of the new rigging strategy, it was definitely far less than it has ever been before. So thats a good start!