Sunday, January 20, 2019


[First posted summer 2016]

On reasons to visit the boat regularly, at least in the spring...

"What in the hell was she thinking?"

Of course, the "she" was the bird that laid the egg, I was upset because a rotten one broke on my shirt just below the collar, and by the time my wife emerged I had changed my shirt, cleaned up, and half forgotten about the whole thing. Certainly I couldn't relate any of the mornings events to my wife's concern that I was upset.

Needless to the say the end of the boom has been sealed. Now I just have to figure out how to dispel the constant spring bombardment from the birds roosting in the rigging.

As soon as I sealed the end of the boom, they started building nests under the sail cover, pooping all over the sail. Arrg! Seal your covers up TIGHT in the spring.

 This hasn't been a problem on the F-24. The boom is sealed and the mainsail rolls tightly around the boom. But I'm going to revise the cover this spring to better protect the bolt rope. You can bet it will seal tightly.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Gybe Tamer

The English company making this devise folded, from what I understand.

Basically, it is like one of the gas struts that lifts your hatchback, but in reverse. It pulls open at a specific load. The idea was that in a hard jibe, it would ease the stress on the rig. They made them in three sizes.

The problem is that by the time the spring is stiff enough to hold the windward sailing load at near the reefing point, even the most monstrous accidental jibe will not extended it. It messes with mainsail trimming, without protecting the boat. I tested it on both my F-24 (video below) and the PDQ 32 (it had to be placed inside the tackle on the PDQ to reduce the load).

The best answers remain:
  • Control the jibe through careful sheeting. Keep the vang on and bring the sheet in either before the turn or during.
  • Keep some stretch in the mainsheet and vang systems. Dyneema does NOT stretch and transmits much larger shock loads. Leave it to the racers who enjoy replacing broken stuff. Use polyester double braid (nylon is too stretchy).
  • Keep some stretch in the traveler as well. Polyester is good and nylon is even better (it only gives a few inches, which does not ruin trim--some racers have gone to nylon travelers for smoother crash jibes). Dyneema is a resounding NO.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How Long Does Synthetic Rigging Last?

I'm starting to use Dyneema more and more. I like the ease of use, economy, and the light weight.
But just because it is corrosion resistant and fatigue resistant does not mean it lasts forever. 6-8 years is safe in the tropic and probably 10 years here in Maryland (less sun), but I've seen older Dyneema break, and the remnants tested at only 25% of new strength (probably quite old, but not known). Same with lifelines; nice for 6-8 years, but after that it depends on how over-strength you went.

Just make sure you put it on a schedule, and like any rigging... inspect it!