Sailing Log:  6/4/04

After most of a week of more rainy, lousy weather, Friday dawned glorious.  Looked like a sailing day to me!  The winds were forecast to be 10-15 from the northwest in the morning, and changing to a southeast seabreeze in the afternoon:  5-15 knots, they said.

originalcunningham.jpg (42803 bytes)I was at the boat by 1100, and looked forward to installing a couple new blocks that I had ordered for my cunningham setup.  Over the past couple years, I had defined a need to sort of pull the cunningham control line forward, towards the mast, so that in addition to pulling the luff of the sail down, it would also help hold it tightly to the mast; as it was, it tended to pull a bit aft.  I also decided to install a small block at the cunningham ring, since I didn't love the way the line just passed through the ring with no protection.  (More on the cunningham later.)

gooseneckpulled1.jpg (42286 bytes)When I went up to the mast to remove the sailcover and consider various placement options for the mast block I had purchased, I noticed with some alarm that the track on the mast, on which the boom slide rests, was pulling free from the mast, in a near duplicate manner as an old track had a couple years ago.


Memory Aids:
Click here to read about the initial gooseneck failure. (Opens in a new window)
Click here to read about my modification and installation of the new track. (Opens in a new window)

I was bummed, since the "temporary" repair I had effected in July 2002 had seemed so sturdy and sound that I had seen no reason to replace it.  What was happening was that the track, along with the 4-5 machine screws holding it to the mast, was pulling relatively evenly away from the mast, leaving a gap of nearly 1/8".  This was no good, so I abandoned my cunningham modifications (though I did install the turning block on the cunningham ring) and set to work instead on trying to repair the gooseneck track once more.  

I found that I could tighten the screws fairly securely, but I also drilled and tapped for one additional new screw, located right behind the boom slide fitting.  This all had the effect of pulling the track back in tightly to the mast; it seemed that the repair was satisfactory, and after a minor delay I continued with sailing preparations.

0knots.jpg (22048 bytes)The wind, during this time, had died and then come up from the south/southeast, as promised.  I raised the main and cast off the mooring, and sailed out of the anchorage.  At first, the wind was much stronger than I had anticipated, though not too bad; often, with this sort of wind, it will be strong at the beginning, partly enhanced by blowing over nearby Clapboard Island.  Indeed, this seemed to be the case, since as soon as I passed the southern side of Clapboard the wind lightened, and eventually died completely a few minutes later.  For 10-15 minutes, I was completely becalmed, but I didn't mind.

becalmed.jpg (60979 bytes)After some minutes, the breeze began to blow again, gently...or so it seemed.  It was a bright, perfect day, and the breeze at first seemed perfect for a jaunt outside of the islands; I headed for Hussey Sound.  By the time I reached the entrance, however, it was clear that the winds were continually strengthening, up to 20 knots and more in the gusts.  I had full sail up, and could have reefed, but nonetheless I decided against venturing outside, since the waves were already kicking up and I didn't need the excitement.  I backtracked, and had a pleasant--if slightly blustery---sail up towards Portland, then turned and reached back towards the inner bay, enjoying the wind.  Once back in the bay with the full exposure to Hussey Sound and the ocean beyond, the wind remained a steady 20-21 knots (true), and I decided against gybing (which might have strained my gooseneck) to return to the mooring, choosing to tack around instead.  It was an exhilarating sail back to the lee of Clapboard Island.  Glancing ahead at the mooring field 1/2 mile or so ahead, I could see that the wind was just as strong there, so I decided to drop the sails in the relative comfort of the island, rather than sail into the mooring as I usually do.

Back at the mooring later, I noted with some consternation--and utter depression--that the gooseneck track had pulled away again, just as before.  My "repair" had not worked.  However, the day was over, and I returned home to think about the problem and research gooseneck fittings online.

More on the gooseneck will be up on the site soon.

bouytender.jpg (38097 bytes)
Just a buoy tender I passed early in the sail


Glissando, Pearson  Triton #381

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