Big Freakin' Sails - Page 181 - SailNet Community
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post #1801 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010 Thread Starter
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Well it was very short and very sweet, but it was BFS. And though I sucked as a sailor, I had fun and learned a couple of things.

My wife and I went out yesterday for an evening sail...hoping to hop on the GR course for a run. It was the first time she and I had sailed together without the kids. The winds were SSW at about 15 knots. It was perfect.

We motored out of the marina and hoisted the sails (main and 150), lifted the motor, and were cruising along very nicely at 6 knots. It was perfect.

We sailed toward the channel between Sometimes Islands and MDP Point and were just lining up for the start at Mark B - and BAM! A very long, sustained 30+ knot gust hit us right on the butt and pushed us over. Smackmutha was at the helm and emitted a "wooooooooooohoooooo" and a giggle (always a good sign) as we laid over at about 45 degrees and rounded up (does that qualify as a broach?). I released the jib sheet preparing to tack us away from the rocks which were now about 150 feet to leeward. Another even higher gust hit right then and we couldn't get through the wind to complete the tack. It was no longer perfect.

I went back to starboard to sheet in the genny as we came back around to at least let us edge away from the rocks (we had about 100 feet left). However, the sheet was completely in the water. My boat partner had taken the boat out over the weekend and, apparently, had taken the stop knots out of the sheets. Not sure why - but there you go. Luckily the port-side sheet was holding so I scrambled forward to pull in the clew in grab the trailing sheet. My wife did a hell of a job keeping us in irons as much as possible. 30 knots and a flailing 150 is a hell of a lot of power. I finally wrestled the bastard in and grabbed the sheet and scrambled back to the cockpit.

I wrapped the sheet around the winch and tried to get us some purchase so we could make away from the rocks. But, since the sheet was no longer in the block and because the clew was so high and far back on the 150, I couldn't really winch it in. The sheet would wrap the second I'd try to take it in. (Advice?) So I tried manhandling the sheet in to give us some punch. As if. So we've got a wildly luffing genny and WAY too much main - and we're not making any headway. In fact, we're making great leeway.

About 50 feet left. Motor time.

I let go the sheet, lifted the lazarette hatch, lowered the motor, and prayed. I had one shot at this. And anyone that knows small outboards knows that it's always a pure Hail Mary. Running through the checklist - kill switch/cord in place, one pump for a prime (not two you'll flood it), half throttle, full choke, in neutral, and...

It was just then that I noticed the sheet in the water, just about a foot from the prop. I read all those MOB stories on SN where the majority of problems occurred when the prop would foul on a line. But thinking through that and checking for lines in the water in the heat of the moment? Not as easy as it sounds - even though I promised myself that would be part of my checklist. I pulled the line out of the water and glanced up.

30 feet.

I pull....nothing....crap...pull again....

What a wonderful sound. I shoved us into gear and started slowly pushing into the wind - which had not let up yet - and away from the rocks. My wife noticed that the temperature had dropped a few degrees - which explained the wind. I hadn't noticed anything.

I ran forward and doused the genny. Luckily the flogging didn't rip anything. I then doused the main and got back in the cockpit, breathing hard through a cotton-dry mouth. Holy crap that was close.

I told my wife that with only the genny on board, the wind so high, and sun starting to set we should probably head back in. She mocked me - told me to harden up, put a reef in the main, and sail some more. I seriously love that woman.

She was right! Here was my chance to get some more practice in and I was spooked. What a pansy.

So up went the reefed main. The wind had died a bit to around 22 or so. So we threw up the genny as well. Man that reefing thing works! We had a blast.

Another great day on the water.

Lessons learned:
1. I really need to get a 110 - and maybe even a smaller big wind sail. And I need to add a second reef point in the main, I really want to be able to deal with 30-40 knots of wind pretty comfortably. I just can't do it right now with my configuration. Advice?

2. I need to do a much more thorough check of the boat at the dock before pushing off. The sheet thing was my fault for not catching the problem beforehand - and it really sucked.

3. I love BFS. But I love my hard-assed wife even more.


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S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40

Last edited by smackdaddy; 04-06-2010 at 04:15 PM.
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post #1802 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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Nice one Smack. I have three reef point in the Main, Mizzen and even the Staysail on Oh Joy. I don't have smaller Jibs though but the Staysail will work then. I would suggest a reef point at 25% and one at 40-50% for your next Main and a lapper, 100% Jib or smaller. That should do ya fine on the lake in whatever conditions. Later, when ya get a blue water boat or a boat in blue water, go with three reefs in the Main and a couple of smaller Jibs in your inventory. Nothing worse than getting caught out with too much sail and no options, as shown in the Southern Straits race here in the PNW recently.

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #1803 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010 Thread Starter
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Cool. Thanks Charlie. Man, I wished you could have been there. It was a hoot. I was sure we were going to blow out that 150.


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post #1804 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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We certainly did the other sail....

Baggett and Sons Marine Restoration
The Landing at Colony Wharf
Bellingham, WA.

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post #1805 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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smack ---- you had an exciting time! i enjoyed reading about it. i probably wont have my boat in the water till the end of may.

Liberals are people who care about others. Freethinkers are not constrained by the myths of religion.
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post #1806 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by captbillc View Post
smack ---- you had an exciting time! i enjoyed reading about it. i probably wont have my boat in the water till the end of may.
capt - that sucks. I don't mean to gloat about the killer weather down here.

In the mean time, I'm happy to risk life, limb, and ego to ensure that sailing never gets boring!


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S/V Dawn Treader - 1989 Hunter Legend 40
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post #1807 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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SD, as I was reading this I thought of this while looking on Ebay yesterday. I'm relieved after reading further it couldn't be yours.
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post #1808 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010 Thread Starter
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Heh-heh...another 30 feet and that would have been me!

If you look at the Lake Travis GR course, you'll see that Mark B (the southmost mark) is pretty close to the spit off of Mansfield Dam Park. So to line up that start, with a SSW breeze we were cutting it fairly close on a broad reach getting ready to gybe for the mark (sure glad we didn't get to that gybe). The broach pushed us toward that spit putting it right in our lee.

Good times.


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post #1809 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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SD, as I was reading this I thought of this while looking on Ebay yesterday. I'm relieved after reading further it couldn't be yours.
Man, that is really sad. Is it worth it and for how much would you guys say?

"There's nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats." -- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows (River Rat to Mole)

1980 Baba 35 Pilot House Cutter - Brigadoon


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post #1810 of 3091 Old 04-06-2010
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"Man, that is really sad. Is it worth it and for how much would you guys say?"

A boat like this could easily have a negative value meaning that you could buy a Triton in near perfect shape for what it would cost to bring this boat back to a similar condition. Of course, if you are a really tallented boat worker with access to wholesale pricing, and you like working on boats so your time is seen as recreational rather than having value, then you might be able to put the ole girl back together.

Of course, then again, if you are going to invest all that money, time and labor into a boat, it should be a really great boat, one worth saving, and a Triton was a mediocre boat in its day and its day was a very long time ago so you might want to put your efforts into a better design.

And of course, you can often build a new boat for close to what it takes in time and money to restore a wreck and you could end with a great boat.

Jeff


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