Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have to note the plastic eyelets are a failure at one point; where the downhaul tensions the luff of the sail, two eyelets up from the tack.

I'm going to put a brass coated metal eyelet back in here. I wasn't happy with the last lot I purchased as they were labeled 'brass' but after seeing rust forming on them, they were obviously only brass coated. All brands seem to be like that.

I don't have much choice but to use a metal eyelet as there is so much downward tension at that part of the sail the press-together plastic version just pulls apart. I could try gluing the plastic one together in some way but nothing really sticks to plastic all that well.

I've had two experiences of being stuck in the middle of the lake with a sail failure (well, one was due to a snapped mast) and I don't want to have another one. Mind you, I'm getting good at recovering from sea-borne tragedies.

Anyway, a brass coated one is going in. I'm going to press it together as gently as I can in the hope of not damaging the brass coating too much. I think I'll give it a coat of Kill-Rust or something as well, just to be on the safe side.

UPDATE: Whitworths Marine Hardware have a stainless steel version, so I'll get a packet of those.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Two Good Lessons and Sail to Failure

Bit of a pattern emerging here. I seem to be sailing Rosa J till for some reason, she won't sail no more.

Had a friend who could sail take me out after I repaired the mast and put the patches on the sail and he gave me two great hints.
  1. Always turn into the wind... it makes the turns a lot less dramatic and the boom swings across in a nice, sedate manner.
  2. If things start to go wrong, drop the sheet. The boat slows down, there's no need to hike and you get as much time as you need to gather your thoughts.
He also got me to tie a figure-8 knot in the end of the sheet to stop it slipping out the back of the block and after sailing Rosa J by himself told me I had 'a real little boat there' and not to muck about getting over to the other side on the turns.

Anyhoooo, after sailing for about 50 minutes we were running down the length of the lake, really flying along when 'BANG, flap, flap, flap'; the only possible point of failure in the sail that I didn't patch let go. The tie between the sheet and the boom (aka, the clew).

We managed to get to the side, make a bit of a running repair, then headed back home. Not as dramatic as a snapped mast but still pretty messy. Guess that's the final sign to make my poly tarp a spare sail and spend the money on making a good primary sail. Time to get out the sewing machine again.