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Old 28-06-2007, 07:18   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Currently on the boat, somewhere on the ocean, living the dream
Boat: Morgan 461 S/Y Flying Pig
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The Bitter End

In the continuing spirit of not being shy about exposing my various stupidities in the thought that others might benefit from my stupid sailor tricks:

I thought you might enjoy knowing that we had our first experience of blowing the hoist on our spinnaker.

Well, technically, I blew the attachment of the bitter end. Long story short was that I was distracted with a guest aboard and failed to (adequately) cleat off the end. It held for the hoist, but when I started pulling up the sock, it unraveled under the pressure of the sail, putting the sail in the water.

We immediately disengaged the engine and set about hauling it in, leaving a pile on the deck after we got all the parts aboard. After catching my breath a bit, we ran it down the deck, pulling the sail back into the bag as we went.

Another lesson learned, and up the mast I went, to re-reeve the line in the turning block on the crane off the front of the mast top. As it was a bit bouncy out there, it was pretty interesting (never alarming - I used to climb trees as a kid, and try to see how far I could make them bend as I pushed it back and forth like a swing) aloft, but I held on. Once done, I re-hoisted the sail for a marvelous run home (seen in the sea trial pix in our gallery - Pictures: Flying_Pig_Is_Aloft_-_The_Adventure_Begins/Chapter_3_-_Restoration), which dried it off and we stowed it uneventfully at the end of our trip.

Several lessons learned:

* I need more cleats on the mast. There's not enough places to secure the lines we have there. Our lazy jacks (part of the Mack Pack system) need cleating off (as we lower and redeploy in sail raising and lowering activity), but not on the big ones which should be used for the halyards. That the one I used was already crowded was the proximate cause of our release.

* I need to do a sort of checklist in items which aren't set-it-and-forget-it, as manually raising a sail is for our boat. (I single hand it up from the bow and walk the bitter end back to the mast once the spinnaker is hoisted in its sock.) Showing a non-sailor how the spinnaker works, and moving it from port to starboard as I realized the wind was in the wrong place for where I'd started the hoist (requiring my moving the already-hoisted spinnaker over the front of the furled foresail), had me distracted. I'm unlikely to make that particular mistake again, but a (mental) checklist is appropriate.

* As has been the case in most stuff I incur on myself, it's not only fixable, but a good learning experience. I'd never been aloft in a sea before. I'm glad we had an intact main halyard, the only one I'd be happy with (other than the spin halyard, which I normally use as a safety line aloft), to take me up. Ironically, while we've just received the shipment, we had not yet replaced our halyards. That will happen either today or tomorrow, along with all the rest of our running rigging we're replacing as we get ready to go.

So, I'll continue, no doubt, to screw up - but each time I do, I'll try to take a lesson from it, and not repeat the mistake, even 20+ years (which is how long I hope to be out here [there, technically; we've not actually left {again} yet], inflicting us on the world) later ...



Morgan 461 #2
SV Flying Pig KI4MPC
See our galleries at Web-Folio -- Your Portfolio on the Web !
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TheFlyingPigLog : Morgan 461 Hull #2, Flying Pig

"Believe me, my young friend, there is *nothing*-absolutely nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing, messing-about-in-boats; messing about in boats-or *with* boats.

In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it.

Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not."
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