After 18 days of sea I arrived in Crosshaven, Eire on 10 September and am currently moored at Drake’s Pool – a secure spot I have visited twice before.
The good news is that we made it and I can now start to look for a replacement main mast this winter so we can be up and running again in the spring.
The not so good news is that it was a bit of a rough ride out there and had to pass through two gales and one storm. (A far as I’m concerned a gale is a minor storm and a storm is a major gale). Apart from being strangled by the sheets in an unexpected jibe I received no injuries (and the rope-burn scab on my neck should be gone in a few days 🙂 ).
The rig took a bit more of a bashing however. The list:
2 main battens broken
1 foresail batten broken
foresail boom broken
main gallows demolished
foresail pocket torn at leech
a few small holes in the sails here and there
one trashed main mast boot
The broken main battens was a design fault. They were both made of two aluminium tubes joined together with a wooden plug and then the join covered in a 10 foot PVC tube. The PVC tube had too much flex allowing the aluminium tubes to snap the wooden plugs. It was then only a matter of time before to two now separate tubes stressed the PVC to breaking point. After the second broken batten I replaced it with a single length of aluminium tube and had no more failure.
The broken foresail boom was snapped by …? … getting jammed in the bow pulpit I suspect. Now it should not have been able to get into that position but it must have slid forward under duress, got caught and snapped with a quick jibe. I tied the boom to the wooden batten above it and sailed with one less panel. A gale or two later I noticed that that batten had been cracked at the same place and tied them both up to the aluminium batten above sailing with two panels out of action. I have some clear ideas on how to prevent this in the future including reducing the sail balance, raising the mast lift height, and using a boom parrel as well as a boom/lower batten luff parrel.
The main gallows were wiped out in the blink of an eye during an accidental jibe. Of course the boom should have cleared the gallows by a few inches but I can only suspect that the topping lifts had stretch a little allowing the sail to sag and the boom caught the top of the gallows at full force, cracking the boom and sending half my gallows into the Atlantic ocean. Not a big deal really cause gallows aren’t essential, just good to have around if you need to make repairs and need to secure the sail.
My one bolt crane solution worked remarkably well. On one end I hung the halyard block and hung the two sides of the topping lifts off the other. The mast lift was secured by a bowline slung over the top of the mast secured by the bolt from slipping down. So not all my designs are crap!
I took a few video clips of my journey from Charlottetown – St John’s – Crosshaven and mashed them all together last night and uploaded them to MeTube. If nothing else it displays the fact that I am better sailor than a cameraman or video editor. But it’s just a bit of fun for me.
The “test pilot crew” in Charlottetown is photographer Astrid from Hamburg on the left, Bonnie from Charlottetown on the helm, and Rachael from the Welsh borderlands sitting on the right. Brave women! Thanks.