Once known as Hartley18
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanked 72 Times in 72 Posts
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Heavy weather: mainsail removal
We spent Easter taking friends out on on Port Phillip bay in sometimes nice, sometimes rather nasty weather. The barometer was up and down like a yo-yo the entire weekend - and under storm jib and fully-reefed main at hull speed the boat was manageable but only just..
At one stage, we ran back to St Kilda Marina from the top end of the bay on a broad reach with a front right behind us. Exciting stuff, but it did occur to me a couple of times that we might still have had too much sail up (particularly with guests on board who had never been silaing before) but wasn't sure exactly how to quietly dowse the main downwind without scaring the s$%@ out of them!
Without re-opening a discussion here a while back, I suppose the the options were:
a) Haul 'round to windward with sails flapping.. and noise and flying sheets everywhere? Nah, that's not it.
b) Pull the main in and haul it down with brute force, but, on our boat, hauling the main in with the wind "abaft the beam" makes the helm feel really strange indeed!!. ..Not to mention increasing the risk of an accidental gybe during the operation.
Is there a better way?
"Honestly, I don't know why seamen persist in getting wrecked in some of the outlandish places they do, when they can do it in a nice place like Fiji." -- John Caldwell, "Desperate Voyage"