I thought Iíd do a quick reply as your actually discussing our biggest issue on the crossing. I think all the 450ís arrived in St Lucia
with a torn bag. Itís crap. A canoe would certainly help but I think you could get an aftermarket Ali frame made fairly cheaply.
The issue is that the aft end of the bag gets caught in the reef lines all the time. I think the bag is great for weekend use and what we were doing in the Med but for a big crossing it just doesnít work
You canít store the bag (roll it up) and then be able to reef the main so to reef you need to unroll the bag first and in any sort of a wind
, it just gets caught on everything.
You donít really want to leave the bag out all the time as it will cost in performance and itís just not attached strongly enough in the boom track or at either end of the boom. If you leave the bag out then when reefed, the wind
catches the spare sail and bellows it onto the lazy jacks and rips the bag from the aft attachment at the boom. I repaired it a few times on the crossing and then gave up,
My solution was to remove the lazy jacks and tie them directly around the boom and then roll up the bag so itís out of the way.
Other issues with the main are the reefing system. Friction is a big issue so Iíve taken out reef 3 completely which is far better. If you reef downwind, which sometimes we had to, then the tack will come in very tight but the crew will remain loose and thereís no middle sail tie to keep things tidy and tight to the boom.
Iím going to get a cringe installed in the center of the sail for reef 2 so that when I need to I can add in a sail tie around the bottom of the boom.
Iím using the reef 3 attachments on the sail with sail ties around the boom and keeping it as a storm sail for those really bad moments. I think reef 2 is good to 38knots off the top of my head
. After that I donít fancy having the main up at all but in an emergency
itís good to still have reef 3.
The other issue is the topping lift
attachment point on the boom is in the wrong place and I need to get it moved. It chafes on the reefing lines on either tack.
The intermediate cars are good but even on our ďsĒ with the lower boom I have to climb up the first 2 steps of the mast
to pull down and secure the sail head
when weíve dropped the sail which is a lot of fun when youíre head into 4m seas and 35kt winds. If anyone has success removing them, please let me know.
Bez. YCS were great, youíre in safe hands with Thomas. In our experience he did everything he could to help us. We loaded up the boat
completely before launch in the yard.
to change a single
thing is almost impossible so get the bare minimum from them and do it after market. IMO.
Right guys, back to living the dream.