Sparkling Sail

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Mon 20 Aug 2007 17:16

WE decided to take the boat out for a spin yesterday.  We were very keen to try out our new  furling  Gennaker, and the conditions were ideal for that purpose. Flat sea, winds forecast 10 to 20 knots (later) and predicted temperature of 34 degrees. Celsius that is!


I took the decision to erect it before leaving the marina, as it is a huge sail and very heavy. When it is furled up it is like a very long colourful sausage. It lives in the forward cabin under the bunk, so once the halyard is attached it is a simple matter to hoist it through the fore hatch. Winching that lot up, was the best bit of cardiovascular exercise I have had for quite a while.


Once at sea the Main sail was deployed, and then we attempted to unfurl the Gennaker. It did not want to play, and after a while I was puce with all the exertions. I then checked out the set up at the mast head and realised that the top swivel was jammed on the Genoa. So I released the halyard for the Gennaker by a couple feet. It then flopped into its rightful position. We then tried the Gennaker sheet once more and as soon as it was released came out. Real fast!!! This resulted in some serious gymnastics on the foredeck!!






This system is made by an Italian company called Rollgen. As you can see at the tack of the sail, there is a swivel drum with a continuous line, which is lead aft. This is fixed to a rope based line to another swivel at the head of the sail. Around this lead is a foam rubber tube. So the sail flies just like a regular asymmetric. However, once you want to put the sail away, it is a simple job of pulling on the continuous line and eventually (after some loss of weigh and heavy breathing) the sail is neatly rolled away.



As you can see from the grin on my face, this is a truly efficient system in light winds.  With 10 knots apparent wind, just aft of the beam we were doing 6.5 knots BTW. Which when you consider the fact we were towing a rib (with a very soiled bottom) plus a heavy outboard is really excellent performance


We also to the opportunity to attend to domestic mattered like holding tanks, and a back flush for the water maker. It that order I hasten to add!!!!


The other event yesterday was that we had a swarm of what looked like Dragon Fly’s on the boat.  The guard wires were covered in them and it was almost impossible to see the top of the mast for them.





They came it two colours, Red (as above) and a Golden Yellow. They were about 1.5 to 2 inches in length. We were not sure if they could bite, so the crew spent an interesting couple of hours keeping out of their way!!


Our sail maker is here again today, putting the finishing touches to our sun screens.




This will reduce the solar gain inside the boat by between 60 and 70%. Also it protects the hatches and the spray/wind screen from the damage caused by UV. As we are going to be in the sunshine for the next two to three years it seems like a good investment!


Well thats all for now. I can hear a G&T calling me…………………………………..

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