Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A new sail

Jennie took some pictures while I was trying to sail over the weekend. After looking at them I decided to make a new sail. I knew that the first one was a bit small but I worried about tipping the boat with a larger one. Now that I have tried it, it is time to go with a bigger one.

I considered getting a new mast but I don't want one that is too big for the van. Also, I've read descriptions of sprit-rigged boats where the mast and sprit will fit in the boat.

The solution is to move the sprit up the mast a bit. This takes more strain so I couldn't just lash it to the mast and hope it holds. I drilled a hole in the mast and ran the snotter (I still love that word) through the hole and down to a cleat I had previously attached. I also slotted the base of the sprit so that the snotter holds it closer to the mast.

I haven't tried any math but I suspect that the new sail is twice the area of the old one. I'm not sure if this will make sailing easier or more difficult. I will be able to sit on the rear seat and handle both the sail and the tiller but that shifts too much weight back.

Yesterday I modified the daggerboard so that I can sit on the middle seat with it in. This distributes the weight better but I may have to lean back to keep the sail taut. We will see.

I'm still using a canvas drop-cloth. This is cheap but it might be letting too much wind through. I may paint it to seal it better.

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