Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Launch and Shake Down Cruise

We got Exploits back together again on the May 24th long weekend.  The furler installation went very smoothly, with everything cut to perfection by North Sails Atlantic.  I repositioned the VHF antenna, which should allow me to be even more annoying before the races, and installed a new anchor light and windex.  I also replaced the main haylard, boom topping lift and added a new spinnaker halyard (which took some creativity).

We hoisted the mast on Saturday and after a few tense moments getting the furler hooked up, everything else went very smoothly.  I had set the furler at the finished lenght and didn't have enough adjustment on the back stay.  I had to raise the foils and furler until we launched the boat and I could get the back stay on.

The stuffing box repairs seem to have worked and the new Garber plug in the bilge came out great.  The new chartplotter is a nice addition.  I don't need to get my glasses perscription increased now that I can actually see our location on the map.  I used an environmentally friendly, water based bottom paint for the first time.  Hopefully it works!

We hoisted the retro fitted main sail and the new #2 furling headsail and both went on beautifully.  We also took advantage of light winds and hoisted the cruising spinnaker in the marina just to see how it was all going to work.  I was very pleased with how simple the spin is to hoist and even more impressed at how easy it was to take down with the sock.  Someone suggested my snuffer looked like a giant condom going over the sail, an image I am going to have to get out of my head.  The sail is very pretty and looks brand new!  We're can't wait to fly it in Tatamagouche Bay.

Our first sail (shake down cruise) was May 28th with Fly-Bye-Wire and Gaila.  It had been very foggy and overcast most of the day.  Just before supper the fog lifted and the sun started to come out.  Jude and I and Daniel took Exploits out for her first run of 2011.

The boat worked better than we could have hoped.  Our improved performance didn't go unnoticed by the Skipper of Gaila who asked us what we had done to the boat.  We have great up wind performance and much less weather helm on a reach.  The new sail performed very nicely and Jude still talks about how nice it is to have roller furling, it is after all according to her "all the rage".

We're really looking forward to the 2011 season.