|Our main, it has been suggested, has been cut down along the foot from something considerably bigger. Photo (c) Jeff Cooper|
He's probably right, which is why he is the sailmaker and I am the customer, because this never occurred to me. But in the shot above, you can see what he's getting at. What I am getting at is that this sail, while in remarkably good shape given that it may be original to the boat, i.e. 1988, it's not 27 years old, it's a maximum of 20 years old, as it's been packed away in my garage for seven years. Furthermore, I don't think the previous owners sailed very much, as it shows little of the sort of thread damage or signs of chafe one comes to expect. So the above main is now the "Light Air/Spare Main"; it has three reefs and plenty of life in it yet, but it's somewhat lightly built for the ocean, in the view of myself and the sailmaker, who may be biased.
|This is possibly too much roach. Illustration from Wikipedia|
Looking more closely, one can see that there is zero roach to this sail, and as we are going to have battens to better control and shape the sail, we might as well get the benefit of some extra sailing area, and therefore, extra drive, out of a new mail. While some disagree that battens are necessary or desirable, not me. I like them and I want them. While the headboard of the current main is properly sized, it's pretty well the long side of the triangle down to the outhaul from there; even a conservatively cut roach will add precious oomph. My thoughts on where the reef points should go, I will save for now.
|Yes, you are looking as a miscalculation.|
|These holes are as small as I could make them and are well off the anchor well decking.|
A more successful needful task was to make up a place to attach the anchor rodes to the boat. Such a place is normally called the bitts, and was traditionally two heavy timbers lodged into the frames of the boat or ship. This bitts differ from bollards, which are deck-mounted structures that perform the same function as cleats, but which are generally more heavily built. The term bitter end is the end of the anchor rode, which can be rope, chain or both, which attaches to the vessel.
|Pacific Fasteners, you are so much more reasonably priced than chandleries.|
Non-sailors assume that this is where the anchor rode pulls at the boat at the bitts; this is not in fact the case. The anchor rode can be attached to the bow of the boat at the waterline with a snubber, a plain piece of stretchy rope with a chain hook, or via a bridle, two ropes that run up to cleats and bollards. Other pieces of colourfully named equipment, such as a devil's claw or a chain brake, come into play as well.
|A fairly typical bridle and hook setup. Some sailors tie the nylon rope directly to the chain. Illustration (c) Bosun's Supplies|
|Some dielectric paste and Lanacote to mitigate the dissimilar metals.|
Now, the gold standard of making this up would be to not use aluminum plate as a load-spreader with a stainless steel U-bolt going through mild steel. I know this. But I also happened to have these pieces of aluminum, which I originally drilled years back as backing plates for deck-mounted cheek blocks on Valiente, handy, and I had Lanacote and dielectric paste, plus butyl and the fact that all surfaces are painted on my side. So I'll test this and see if it is sufficiently galvanically isolated to not corrode overmuch.
|I love butyl and I cannot lie.|
|The whole forepeak will be emptied this winter, and will get a fresh coat of anti-rust paint, topped with bright white two-part for maximum light down there.|
|Finger-tightened. No butyl is escaping at this point.|
|Why, yes, I did have an 11/16ths inch deep socket. Doesn't everyone?|
|Strong enough to step on. I know, because I did it.|
The two rodes, one a rope and the other a chain attached to a rope attached to the U-bolt, here performing the function of the bitts, are now securing the anchors safely. Whatever else I do, I can't easily let the anchor rode run off the boat now.
|Looks like it's supposed to be there. I can also attach chain hooks to this if I wish.|
Now I think I'll relax with some bitters in my rum.
|Paradoxically, I'm feeling less bitter already.|