Monday, April 16, 2012

just what I needed

It was breezier, sunnier and hotter than forecast yesterday.  I'll take it.

My sails so far this year had been in light to moderate winds and I really wanted to deal with more wind before I got on the walkabout in less than two weeks.  The forecast was for 13 or 14 mph of wind out of the southwest.  It turned out to be out 18 with gusts in the low 20's.  Perfect.

I would have had a hard time rigging if not for the deck slot.  Winds in the high teens are why I put the slot there in the first place and raising the mast was easy.  With the strong winds I spent most of the day heeled over - the anchor bucket stayed securely where it was supposed to be.  So both innovations from this past winter worked well.

I tucked two reefs into the main as I set up the rig.  The red line is the outhaul for the first reef, the green line is for the second.  After 30 minutes or so I dropped the main, there was too much wind to carry even that.  So I spent most of the day under mizzen and jib.  This is what I like the yawl rig - I was able to sail all day in gusty conditions, perfectly balance and in control.  That photograph at the top shows Spartina moving along at a steady 6+ knots.  Not too bad for a boat with a hull speed of just over 5 knots.

Temperatures got up into the 80's, the skies were clear and lots of friendly waves from other sailors.  It was a great day to be on the water.  I feel like I'm ready for the spring trip (now I better start checking on my food supplies).



Baydog said...

We sailed yesterday too. Gusty, shifty strong winds out of the SW/NW.
Good to be out there finally!

Anonymous said...

We saw you yesterday near Waterside. Glad you had a great sail. One day, when I get my CLC sailing dinghy completed, I hope to get to meet you and get some wisdom from you about sailing the local rivers. Best wishes for smooth sailing!

Steve said...


I'll look forward to seeing you out on the river. Another small boat on the river just adds to the fun.


steve said...

I never quite get the hang of sailing under just jib and mizzen in arwen Steve. I always seem to stall in a newbie sailor it is really irritating and I don't know enough to sort it out. As you go in to a tack in Spartina - what do you do with the mizzen?


Steve said...


it took me a while to get the hang of it. First off, sailing under just mizzen and jib means that there is a good amount of wind. If there is a good amount of wind, the mizzen needs to be slacked a little, not sheeted in tight (which is the way I normally have it up to about 12-14 mph of wind) otherwise it will act as a wind vane and point the boat directly into the wind. So with mizzen slacked a little I push the tiller over and as the bow passes through the wind I leave the jib sheeted in until the jib "backs" and pulls the boat completely through the wind. Once through the wind I pop the jib sheet out of the cleat and tighten the opposite sheet. Does that make sense? I'm not sure if that is the correct way to do it, but it works for me.