Tag Archives: Arctic

Arctic sailing

For the past few months we have been sailing up north, first to Lerwick Shetland and then up the Norwegian coast. We spent the month of June around the Lofoton islands around 68 degrees latitude enjoying 24 hour sunlight. We are now on the way back home currently waiting favourable winds in the Tronheimsieia strait.

junk rig norway arctic lofoton

Looking into the midnight sun at anchor at Indre Vettoysundet 67 40 N, 14 43 E

The rig has preformed well throughout our travels the only problems encountered is the main halyard. Our 10mm braided polyester has suffered extreme twisting and clinking often so bad it could no longer reeve through the blocks. We  changed it to a 3 part halyard in Lerwick with the the end tied to the sling plate to enable the halyard to be removed, untwisted, and re-rigged without having to go to the top of the mast. This helped to a degree but will in no time get twisted up yet again. We switched the main halyard with main sheet, approximately the same length, but this too only provided temporary relief. We then spliced together some three strand and this has worked much better this past moth, although it too has a tendency to twist and kink.

The three part 8mm braided foresail halyard has caused us no grief. This could be in part due to the smaller diameter and lighter loads.

To those who may think that the twisting problems is due to the handling and storage of the halyard, I can state it is not. Much care is taken in de-kinking the line and stowing it every time it is used, yet the problem persists.

junkrig arctic

At anchor at midnight.

The plan for the future is to get bigger blocks, and use new three strand with a 5 part halyard. This should allow the halyard to last longer due to less pressure on any part and allow longer before needing the line to last longer before needing replacement.

On the bright side, the new fore gallows I built and installed this Spring is working as it should. There has not been a single case of fore sheets getting caught on the sides during slack gibes. I am considering building a similar shaped on for the main.

Both sails are holding up well despite needing new patches over small holes and rips every week. I regret not stitching webbing on to foot of the sails now as there seems to be more stress and rips forming than I had anticipated. A modification for this winter. Another sail modification I am planning is to sow in end pockets for the battens on the leach. This should prevent the sheetlets getting caught behind the protruding batten ends of the leach.

Lastly, we have removed the fan up preventer line from the main. It was casing too many unexpected problems jamming and getting caught in places where it shouldn’t. In its place I added a 10 inch extension to the yard. So far no problems with the yard getting the yard end on the wrong side of the topping lifts.

Plan to be home before the end of this month.