A Little Too Much Wind Today!

Well I headed out to the boat today with a picture perfect fall day and a lovely 10-20 knot forecast. As soon as I rowed out I started to get that too much wind worry. I pulled the cover and hanked on the jib but tied it to the foredeck and raised the mainsail. I cast of the mooring and tried sailing around the bay in the building NW wind. I don't have any wind instruments on board but the WA State Ferries site recorded mid to high teens.

By itself the wind might have been okay. But I just don't have that much sailing time on Bolero. In addition the load sensing Harken ratchet blocks weren't releasing under load (I need to adjust them). I also have two reef points in the mainsail but haven't figured out and installed the reefing system. So I decided to err on the side of caution and head back to the mooring.

Since I was back much earlier than I thought I got to try out my new "boat camera", the waterproof Olympus 1030 SW.

First some general pictures of Bolero on her mooring.

I also went around a took photos of the various components so I could summarize my current thoughts how there are working out.

First the mainsheet system. For the most part I think it is really going to work out well. But right now it ain't quite right. The easy fix is adjusting the load sensing ratchet block so they release under load sooner. I must have set their release sensitivity quite high since today they wouldn't release at all. Like I said, a quick fix. The real problems is the Ronstan stand up swivel base. The block swivel only rotates in one direction and this hangs up the block and restricts the line which also confuses the load sensing ratchet blocks. Oh, the Spinlock PXR cleat works great. I had been warned that they can sometimes release on their own but my experiences have been great.

I recently modified my jib sheets to a two part continuous line system. Works great. The only minor downside is that I need to learn to tie my knots really close to the jib car since the jib is almost touching while sailing close hauled. This system lets me tack faster than I have in any boat and should really help my wife haul in the jib.

I rigged up a quick down haul using the boom vang hardware that I didn't install and attached to the boom and the boom kicker mast fitting. It must work okay since I haven't given it any thought at all.

Ditto with the backstay attachment. I do plan to add some kind of safety wire although I am not entire sure why I need to.

One other issue that I still need to resolve is raising the jib. The original jib tracks were located where the new cabin is so I elected to keep them in the same position but they are higher up so the lead angle for the jib is different. Even with the car all the forward the top of the jib luffs before the foot. So I am thinking that I need to raise the jib up a bit. In some early photos under sail I had about a 6 inch cable raising the jib up quite a bit. I really didn't like that so I am looking for a solution that only raises the jib up as much as absolutely necessary. The idea of using a turnbuckle is starting to take hold. Time will tell.

One thing that I really like about the Shields is the center line mooring fitting. This really help Bolero ride nicely on the mooring. The keeper pin works pretty well but the cotter pin on a wire safety system is a bit of a pain.

One thing that is really different between Bolero and her Shields heritage is the ability to adjust many of these controls from inside the cockpit. That is obviously a trade off choice that I have made. I may still add this capability, but not right away. I will sail a bunch first.

I was really enjoying my short sailing day but was getting ready to row back to the dock and go home when Eric rowed by on his way to his Bluenose, Lucy. I imediately invited myself along for the ride and we had a great sail. Turns out we needed a reef with the gusty winds so I felt pretty good about my decision to wait until my rigging bugs are worked out.

Eric let me sail most of the way and it was a joy getting to sail my old Bluenose again. She is a sweet, sweet boat and Eric has done a great job with her. He has had this same smile on his face since day one.