2014-09-01

Dead in the Water

We tried to go out for a Labor Day sail. We got out and hoisted the sail, but there was no wind. It would sometimes kick up a little gust for a few seconds, but then back to nothing. There was a fair amount of wave action on the water, but it was not coming from the wind.

As we were attempting to hoist the mainsail, we managed to snag it and we had to repair a rip. Fortunately, we keep sail tape in the toolbox.

We dropped sail and motored up to the North end of the lake to pick up Greg's parents, hoping the wind would pick up. After bringing them aboard, we headed back into the lake under motor. We raised the sails, but there just was not any wind. There is a  name for a sailboat with no wind: a raft.

The motor safety interlock.
We decided to drop sail again and motor back. We ran into another problem...the motor would not start. The pull rope seemed to be jammed. No wind and no motor!

We popped the cover off the motor and took a look, which is when Sandi realized that there is a safety interlock that keeps from pulling the rope while the throttle is not fully at idle. The throttle was cranked up just enough to trigger the interlock. Just twisting the handle back to idle caused the problem to go away.

We kind of have an eclectic set of knowledge. Sandi sailed quite a bit, even sailing Catalina 22s a long time ago, but none of the boats she sailed had motors. The rest of the crew has limited boating knowledge, so we are still making a lot of small mistakes. We still do little things like sitting on the port jib lead when trying to pull on the starboard lead; the jib does not move much! Or forgetting to cleat the mainsail halyard after bringing the sails down, which allowed the slack halyard to get snagged on the mast steaming light. As we all get more experienced, we should reduce the number of these problems.

We dropped the parents off again and motored all the way back to the dock. A very frustrating day for sailing.

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