Thursday, September 27, 2018

_________________________ SPRING SAILING _________________________

Today 'Scout' and I went sailing again. It was a blustery Spring day with a few rain squalls providing some icy interest. After a bit of discussion with 'Scout' we decided to do a circumnavigation of Limestone Island. A good challenge with the tide roaring out and the first part of the journey a dead beat to windward.

Included with the 'fix' on the jambing dagger board (see previous post) is a broad cap on the top of the board complete with a foam pad which stops water from sloshing up the centre case and flooding the boat.

When 'Scout' becomes hard pressed in blustery weather the mast bends in an alarming manner. If I do manage to dismast myself I can row home as I always ship a pair of oars which stow under the side seats.

I have included this photo which beautifully shows the curvature of the earth on the horizon. If anyone wants to present this photo at a meeting of the Flat Earth Society as empirical evidence countering their claims - be my guest.

In the distance is the beach on the little island where I have from time to time tended some Pohutakawa seedlings planted a couple of years ago by my conservationist friend Gerry. I sailed close enough to see a couple of trees poking their heads up above the sedge grasses. I must make a special trip there soon to count how many trees have survived and do a bit of weeding.

After our circumnavigation we sailed up river to look at the cutter 'Tangaroa 2'. I remember her being moored in the Port of Lyttleton at Christchurch in the South Island when I was growing up and was delighted to find she had recently been sold to Whangarei. She was built in 1951 which makes her exactly the same age as I am. I wonder if her Kauri planking creaks and groans as much as my mine does.


George A said...

Great pix! Did the mast survive?

Alden Smith said...

Yes George it did survive, although it did bend quite a bit. I can imagine a situation (running downwind / hit by a vicious squall) where it may break - but I carry oars for that scenario..... and if I have to build a new and stronger mast, so be it.

Kate said...

Thanks for the trip! It was wonderful. My ears and fingertips are just defrosting. We have a lovely summer to look forward to.
btw, you HAVE read a Patrick O'Brian book or two haven't you? Which I do believe you will esteem me for this suggestion once you have.

Alden Smith said...

I have seen a movie version of one of Patick O'Brians books 'Master and Commander'. What I remember most vididly was the usual unauthentic Hollywood attempt at portraying a boat in a storm (they are clueless at this sort of thing). How a large square rigged boat stands upright in a hurricane with all its sails set is beyond me, BUT this is not Patrick O'Brians fault, so thank you very much for the recommendation, I will take a look online at some of his titles.

Bursledon Blogger said...

I take it mast bend has a different affect on a lug rig compared to Bermudan?

Do like 'Tangaroa 2'

Good to see you back posting

Alden Smith said...

Max that is a very good question - and maybe you may have the answer.

When the wind increased I found it increasingly difficult to tack - when going through the eye of the wind the boat stalled and I got into 'irons' and began drifting backwards and found it difficult to get the boat sailing again.

NOW I did have a lot of boom vang on at the time and I am reminded of my first sail of a Laser not so long ago - the same thing happened. I found myself in irons a number of times. I was told that the way out of this was to ease off the boom vang. The advice was given when I came ashore so I didn't get the chance to put the advice into effect.
I remembered all this after I came ashore from sailing 'Scout' so I will only be able to test the theory when I next go sailing in some sort of breeze.

Another thought I had about this difficulty of getting into irons is that there is a part of the lugs'l which is forward of the mast high up which may in high winds be having some sort of weather cocking effect. What do you think?

Any opinions on this frustrating situation from anyone would be gladly received.

Tangaroa presses my buttons as well. I have a very soft spot for boats with a short(ish) cabin trunk that stops short of the mast (strange the fetishes we sailors have LOL).

Barubi said...

That Laser trick with the vang does help to avoid going into irons. Release the vang before tacking to free the leech and haul it on again to flatten the sail. Though Scout’s sail has very different geometry than a Laser.
Some time ago I was watching a Tom Thumb replica making heavy weather thrashing home after an unexpected increase in wind strength. The solo skipper had to drop the jib and reef the main, which made the boat reluctant to tack but being a better sailor tham I, he accepted that she wouldn’t go through the eye of the wind and allowed her to gain stern way steerage to make the tack. Slow but under control all the way.

Alden Smith said...

Thanks for that Barubi, I will try keeping the vang off unless I am going downwind and see if it makes a difference - I have a feeling it will.
When I got into irons I was making progress backwards quite well while pointing straight into the wind - but when I bought the stern around to pay the bow off I simply couldn't get the boat to sail and she simply got into irons again. So I think taking all the tension off the vang will allow the mains'l to act as a flapping Flag rather than a rigid Wing when I go through the tack. I think the Wing scenario is producing a smooth airflow on both sides of the sail and the sail can't make up its mind which way to go.

Anyway, after thinking about it for a couple of days that's my current theory which I will test in due course.

Kate said...

I so wish that Patrick O'brian movie had NEVER EVER been made. It was very lame, weak and pathetic compared with the books which are exactly the opposite. I don't want to think about the number of people who will never read the books because of it.

Alden Smith said...

My experience is that a film is never as good as the book it is depicting, except perhaps the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, (the mines of Moria were pretty much as I imagined them, better in fact) but as a general rule films never seem to do justice to the books. I think this is so because the film is unable to reflect our own creative imagination that in the readable form helps drive the story, thus the film is always led by someone else's imagination and we get a second hand experience.
I will give Patrick O'Brian a try and apply my nautical imagination - should work just fine.