So several tacks, and a lot of usful experience later the wind started to dieaway as we got passed Freston so back on with DugDug and a largely uneventful trip back to pick up the mooring and back to the club.
A great day out with our sailing guru on board
Tuesday, me and Jeremy Belton (responsible for getting me into sailing in the first place) went out to Capella to get the Genoa up, the reefing lines on and give her her first sail of the season.
All went more or less to plan, reefing a the mast is different to Cupido or Katherine Rose (Jeremy’s Hunter Horizon 26) as the ropes are run back to the cockpit (very sensible). The only problem was the sailing bit, we motored down the river to the reassuring ‘dug-dug-dug’ of the the 33 year old single cylinder Volvo Penta MD5A diesel – all 7 1/2 horses of raw power. The mirror finish to the water and the Toppers paddling back to Woolverstone told us there was to be no sailing tonight.
We motored down to Pin Mill turn back and ate tea on the way home . We did feel a bit of a breeze at one point so as the main was still up we gave it ago. We did move, just about had steerage way, but we needed to be home before Thursday. After one tack, mostly to see what the sail handling was like, and about 5 minutes under sail we rolled up the Genoa, put DugDug back in gear and motored back the mooring.
A very pleasant evening well spent.
After a trawl of the Internet it seemed that maintenance roller reefing gear (Plastimo 608S) is limited to a regular flushing. As Capella arrived by road with the mast down and the offending drum at the front I figured there could be some grit got up inside and a rinse out might help.
So the next weekend I go back, armed with a plant sprayer (the sort you pump up) and flask of boiling water. Half the boiling water, topped up with cold and a dash of washing up liquid the 1l plant sprayer was ready. Pumped up as hard as it would go I sprayed in from the top, sprayed up from the bottom. Thought I’d give things a chance to soak if it needed it and decided to try and get a few more turns on the bottlescrew, this time from the deck. Still really needed 3 hands, but a bit of rope tied to stop the drum turning too far helped.
It occurred to be laying there on the foredeck that the crimp on the swage terminal on the bottom of the forestay was partly up inside the drum and as I wound it back down it appeared – was this the issue? Was the extra width of the crimp causing it to stick? Only one way to find out, so I found a bolt to stop the bottle screw turning, replaced the split pin in the threaded part and tried it out. Hooray it works! Found a line to be the ‘sail’, so wound it out and in several time and it worked a treat.
One relieved Malcolm went home happy