Sunday, June 05, 2016

First sail of summer, new toys tried out

Cavan is supposed to have one lake for each day of the year, if you look at a map, it could well be true. There is a nice spot near Gowna where you can launch into either of two lakes. I've been there a couple of times and it's easy to launch and retrieve.

I nearly called it quits, there was no wind as I set up, but I don't often get the boat out, so I'd motor if I had to.

This was the first time setting up the mast without pulleys and A frames.  The mast is not all that heavy, however if you walk back to the back of the boat, the trailer will tip, and you can't lift a 22 foot mast 4 feet from the pivot.

I built a simple wooden support for under the back of the boat, so now I can walk to the stern, lift the mast and walk forward hand over hand and it's a done deal.
It worked so well that I raised the mast twice. (This had nothing at all to do with me forgetting to reeve the halyards before I raised the mast the first time. Sigh!)

The wind did pick up and by the time the family came down to join me I was sailing along nicely. A quick trip back to shore and I had three little passengers. The jib came down as there's too much to do to tend the jib and keep an eye on the passengers. At least too much until I get to sail more than twice a year.

(I have now sailed the boat at least once for each year spent building her!)

This was my first trip with my newly added Huntingford Helm Impeder. Every small boat should have one. It's not an autopilot, but it does allow you to take your hands off the tiller for a few moments.You can let go of the tiller for a few moments and it stays put. Very handy. Not quite an autopilot, but very handy.

The wind picked up a little and the occasional gusts unnerved my middle daughter, and reminded me to not cleat the main sheet, a small ratchet block is a nice luxury on a 14" sail boat.

At one point we seemed to stop making much progress, then I noticed the out haul had come uncleated, and the sail was getting pretty baggy. My out haul comes back in along the boom, via a line doubled through an eye, and passed through a captive clam cleat. This gives a 2:1 advantage, and the ability to sort it out from the mast end of the boom. One sharp tug and we were sorted.