Days 149 – 150


I spend happy hours improving the very basic rigging on Marin-Marie, and not before time.  But it’s taken a while to decide what to do.

The first step is to fit a topping lift – a rope halyard that holds up the end of the boom when the tension is off the sail and should help speed up reefing on the move.  It’s rarely used in a sailing dinghy where it’s expected that when the sail comes down it’s pulled into the boat along with the boom, but for single handed sailing which is what I mostly do this is an untidy and time consuming process, and makes reefing the sail difficult, which in turn makes it dangerous.  Reefing needs to be a quick and painless procedure.

The second step involves fitting some cheek block pulleys to the boom and a control line through the reefing cringles or eyelets in the sail which will allow a reef to be pulled down quickly and tidily while the boom is held up by the topping lift.  Again this is standard slab reefing used by larger yachts but not often on dinghies.  I fix the fittings for the first reef to see how it goes but will be fitting the same for the second reef too and have to anticipate how to run those lines too.  I need to source a couple more pulley blocks.

The third step is to fit the foresail roller reefing gear I bought earlier in the year but haven’t got round to installing.  This involves getting a sail modified by a sail maker and it gets done eventually but there are excellent strong winds at the moment and half the sail loft crew are out kite surfing!  We’re all on Cornwall time here…

Anyway, I’m enjoying making these improvements and being in the harbour at low tide amongst the boats, and between heavy downpours the sun is hot and the breeze fresh.

Slow days but good days.