Pamlico Traveler has posted a pic of the only sail I'd call a "drifter".
1. Real drifters are LARGE....very large.....maybe 170% or more. You sheet them in near the aft cockpit
2. Real drifters are constructed of VERY LIGHT WEIGHT nylon or Dacron...like 1.5 to 2.5 oz.
3. Real drifters have many more than "4 or 5 hanks"....unless you're on a 17-footer.
I absolutely LOVED my drifter on Born Free, for the first 14 years or so of ownership
. GREAT light air sail. Tremendous pulling power. Good on close reach to almost a run.
In the Eastern Caribbean
in the days before roller furlers were popular, it was common practice to furl headsails and tie them along the upper life lines. So it was with Luke, and I had a special green sailcover made for him from Sunbrella to match the other sailcovers on the boat.
I remember that when furled along the lifelines
, Luke's clew extended way beyond the opening gates amidships, so I had to fold about six feet of the sail forward.
I tended to fly Luke in much more than light airs, and paid the price
. Had it for about 8 years in the Caribbean
, and my sailmaker
sewed it up as many times.
Last time, I was singlehanding
from Trellis Bay, Beef Island to Cooper
Island in a bit of a breeze. About 20 knots across the deck
. Going like a bat out of hell. About 200 yards from rounding the point on Cooper
Island into the protected waters of Machineel Bay, there was a thunderous....
B O O M !
My much loved "Luke the Drifter" (named after Hank William's original stage name) split from the forestay to the clew, shaking the whole rig.
I knew this was likely to be the last dance for Luke, but took him to the sailmaker
anyway. As I feared, that was it. The sailmaker pronounced Luke DOA, and that was that.
Still looking to replace him. I've done the asymmetrical/drifter calcs, too, and since I no longer have a bare forestay (the ProFurl LC-42 now lives there), it will very likely be an assymetrical with just a head
, tack, and clew.
Sure miss Luke, though :-) RIP!