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Monthly Archives: October 2009

And it feels good.  Winter is approaching here and the weather is cooling a bit.  The delivery to Sotogrande from Sardinia was very easy, if not boring at times.  A lot of motoring in the middle of the Med with the last bit from the eastern part of Spain to Gibraltar downwind in light air.  We did quite a bit of spinnaker sailing along the coast in lovely conditions that are worthy of one of the biggest gay-ball songs ever written.  In fact I made a video of our trip along Spain.


Gibraltar was really amazing though.  I will look for any excuse to visit again.  Here are som pictures from the top.


Here is the ridge view of clouds being launched from the windward side into vortices.  Very cool to watch in motion.


Here is Dee with the clouds flying into the Atlantic side.  They are not going slowly either.


I’m going to Paris tomorrow as a guest of Lablee family for a fun wedding at a castle.  There is rumored to be a pony and all kinds of good stuff. 



 it’s beautiful.  Sailed here from Corfu, Greece through a nice chunky front that caused a great deal of flash flooding in Sicily and Tunisia and unfortunately there was quite a lot of human life lost on land.

  Dee and Tif did well, and the trip was relatively uneventful for us, beyond a 40 knot squall in the early AM hours the second night out.  It was upwind the whole way, as usual.  We leave tomorrow for Spain.


Okay let’s talk about sails.

So I’m preparing for life on the Gulf Coast again after this delivery is over.  I hope to build more sails at Ullman Gulf Coast over the winter break.  It has been really great working so closely with Dave Bolyard and Dave Ullman.  I cannot emphasize enough the value of sail development  and it’s relation to boat speed.

Before leaving La Trinite sur Mer I took my main and jib to a local loft and measured them in every dimension so there would be less guess work with the new set.  I also analyzed all the patches and batten details looking for improvements in weight and durability.  It’s a funny line to be walking the first time around and there are some things we nailed, some things we overbuilt and some things we underbuilt.  It’s all pretty obvious stuff to see when the sail is lying unloaded on the floor. 

So we now have detailed, real world numbers on a main and jib that have exactly 1,000 miles on them.

-Patches for luff and leech on both sails:  some will be bigger, some will be smaller, and the design will change a bit for the full hoist and first reef patches on both main and jib.

-Patches for batten ends:  all will be bigger except for one.

-Radial tape reinforcements to control bias:  I will suggest we rid of some entirely and extend others so they are doing more work.

-Batten placement:  The third batten is doing a lot more work than I imagined.  That will be moved on the new sail.

-Luff/Leech reinforcements will also be refined around the Dimension Polyant cloth we used.  Basically smaller and lighter in most areas and extended further up.

-Roach:  Will not change.  A six foot square top is enough for this boat. 

-The luff will be extended a bit now that I know the optimal rake position for my boat upwind.

There are some really weird loads happening with these large square top sails, and with what we’ve learned from this first set, I firmly believe the next set will leave little room for improvement.  I’d go into more detail about the measurements above, but I’m treating it like proprietary information belonging to Ullman and Dimension Polyant.  Because of all they have done for me, I want these groups to benefit from this info before anyone else.


I’ll make another post when I get to Spain in about a week.