2016-07-06

First Sail Doctrine

We went out for our first sail of the season. Since we had disconnected all of our rigging to work on the mast, it took a while to get it all straightened out. A sail boat is a complicated machine. If any piece is out of place, it can jam up the works. We found that our jib sheets were not threaded through the blocks. We found halyards that were threaded on the wrong side of the spreaders. We are missing a knob that goes on the sail track stop (temporarily fixed with a nut and some anti-chafing tape). And other miscellaneous problems.

We were also missing the battens for the mainsail. After some running around, they were located. Do not lose your battens, as you cannot sail without them!

After finally getting all the pieces in place, we were ready to test the machine. We untied and launched, motoring out of the dock, dropped keel, and raised sails. Greg turned to Sandi and said, "Now do you remember why we did all this work?" It was magical being under sail for the first time this season.

Everything went smoothly as we sailed out on Lake Washington. We tacked, ran, and jibed very smoothly.

Sandi is having to learn how to read the wind. We have the new windex on the top of the mast, which makes reading the wind direction much easier than the yarn we had before. It does, however, have a disadvantage over the yarn, in that it does not give an indication of the strength of the wind. We had removed the yarn, but may put it back on for that purpose.

During the off-season, we had some work done on the mainsail at North Sails Seattle. They repaired a rip, and serviced the sail. While they were at it, they added new leech and luff tell-tales. Sandi is having to learn how to use them to trim the sail correctly.

After a couple of hours on the lake, at sunset we pulled back in without a problem, docked, tied up. Greg and Sandi worked on a few more things until it got too dark, such as adding the quick release to the back stay. Sandi accidentally tossing a screwdriver in the water. Greg managed to fish it out with a magnet on a line the next day.

Our leak from the volcano is not being a problem. We are getting maybe an ounce a day seeping through the connection. We will just mop up the water each time we are out, and wait until we are pulled out to replace the hardware. We need to do a bunch of work on the keel in the next off-season.

All in all, a great first sail of the season.

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