Last weekend I brought my Mariner 28 from its winter home in Dighten MA to its summer home in New Bedford Harbor. I just had some brand new sails made and was looking forward to seeing what they would do. My old sails were at least 15 years old. Saturday was a very pleasant day but the wind was on my nose so I motored until I rounded Sarkonett Point. I managed to actually sail a few hours in light wind but did notice a substantial improvement doing about 4.5 to 5 knots in something less that 8-10 knots of wind.. Sunday was miserable. On the open water with 25-30 knot winds in my face. 4 foot seas and a temperature of 48 degrees. UGH!
Feeling cheated I opted to play hooky from work yesterday and had the treat of my sailing life. (This is only my fourth season) Beautiful sunshine, temp in the 60's and a steady wind from the SW at 15 gusting to 20 knots. I discovered what new sails can do for a boat. Last few seasons it was rare to get much past 5.5 knots unless surfing down a wave. I easily exceeded hull speed all day often exceedi9ng 7 knots. Fast for my boat. What a great treat after a long New England winter. Only problem happened when I tried to moor. SW winds get quite intensified in my mooring field and were probably exceeding 20 knots. My usual approch is to come up along side the buoy, snag the line
from the cockpit, then walk the line
up to the bow. The wind was too strong and I had to keep letting go as it blew me off and away. After 8 tries I managed to wrap the line
around the prop and had to get a diver to free me up. Yes I did try this myself but the water is only about 45 degrees now and I thought better a diver than a heart attack.
All in all not the best of starts to a new season but yesterday made me glad I am a sailor!