Sunday, 6 June 2010

Test Sail

This is it: the moment of truth! Have I done a decent job or will the mast fall over with the first gust of wind?

I chose a very bad weekend to do the test sail as the weather forecast predicted winds up to Force 7 on the East Coast.. Am I sure I want to do this? Well, having worked on the boat the whole winter I could not wait any longer and was determined to get the boat out of the marina.. I had not repaired the alternator so I was releuctant to turn the engine off after I hoisted the sails. I was trying to reduce the wind pressure on the sails as much as I could as I could not yet trust the repaired chainplate knees nor the mast support. So anybody that saw us sailing would had thought that we did not know anything about sail trimming..  And to be honest, they wouldn't be far off the truth.

Another problem with the mainsail is that there are no reefing points so it's either all or nothing.. I could not relax at all. The constant sound of the engine was getting quite annoying, then it started to rain but I had to stay on the helm adjusting the course in order to avoid any significant strain on the mast.

Anyway, it was not really that unpleasant, I was just uneasy and anxious all the time. On the entrance to the marina, we went slightly off course and were grounded on a very low neap tide about an hour before low tide. We were planning to just stay there as there was not really much we could do. It would be at least 3 hours before we could go. Fortunately, an inflatable with a powerful engine managed to drag us off the ground and we made it to the berth. Mooring was not very easy as the tide was low, maneuvering space restricted and as I've said at previous posts, Ting-a-Ling will not go backwards easily..

Overall it was a good experience and I was quite happy with the repairs. The main problem now is the coachroof under the mast step which I should repair pretty soon even if it is a temporary fix. get feed

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