Friday, February 24, 2012


Caribbean 600 finish
The race boats were all carrying the GPS bricks that continually relay their positions via satellite so I was able to follow the race on an online site with a map showing positions course and speed. Rambler was in the lead rounding the most northerly point but the long reaching leg back down to Guadeloupe was just ideal for Hetairos and she duly blasted past only to be caught on the upwind leg as the canting keel and inherent windward ability of a sloop over a ketch allowed Rambler to catch them but a good decision of the windward side of Guadeloupe gave Hetairos back the lead and she took line honors. Ramblers shorter sister Ran was the winner on corrected time.


My genoa has the usual sacrificial strips sewn along the base and outside edge of the sail to protect it from the sun. The strips seem to be in still in good condition but the thread used to sew it on had degraded to the point where it could be broken by me picking at it. I had thought at first it was just at a couple of chafe points and tried to restitch it by hand but it quickly became clear that the whole thing needed resewing so it was a shop job. A & F sails in English harbour picked it up, did the work and delivered it back to the dinghy dock and the price was reasonable. Getting it back up was not quite so easy as it is a heavy sail and it really is a two person job too wind the halyard winch while feeding the sail into the luff groove on furler but by using the anchor windlass to hoist the sail I was able to stay by the furler and “Git her Done”, although I did feel like a one armed paper hanger at times as I fed the sail into the groove, pressed the up button with my toe, tailed the halyard, controlled the bunt of the sail with my knee and kept a look out to see that we were not sailing into trouble and that the sail was not catching on anything.


My faithful Johnson 15 hp pull start cord has been looking a little tired so before it broke I took the bull by the horns and dismantled the quite intricate pull start bendix, with safety interlock against full throttle starts, mechanism. As the motor is 30 years old spares are at best hard to find so I am usually a fully paid up member of the “IF IT AIN'T BROKE DON'T FIX IT” club in case something proves broken on dismantling and is unobtainable but this had to be done.

In the end it only took about 30 minutes and everything looks OK without much wear although I worry about the plastic bits becoming brittle and it seems to be working fine although I may need to add a couple of extra turns prewind on the return spring. I will see how it goes, as I don't want to overwind the spring.

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