Monday, March 12, 2007

Sails for Sale

Well It has been a while since I have made a progress post. Who said that it was only Noah that launched on time?

The last two weeks have been spent with very little time at the boat – a friends wedding and a few interviews have crept and sabotaged my lovely work plan. So whilst I have not been at the boat I have decided to sort out Roach main method of propulsion. Having spent a fortune on the new BETA set-up, I realised that she is in fact a sailing yacht! It was time to do something about her rather worn cotton mainsail.

I already have two brand new jibs, a McKillop new no.1 and a Sobstad no. 2 – both very lucky finds on e-bay as they fit perfectly. The Sobstad might be a bit heavy for a no.2 though as I think it must have been a larger yachts storm sail. I am not worried though as Dallimore designed Roach with a tack downhaul, and eventually I will be adding a reef to the Mckillop sail which is excellently made.

So all I need is a new mail to compliment the foresails. Quotes from UK sailmakers rarely dropped below £700, so I eventually I decided to look abroad to Hong Kong, where I was quoted half that.

A word of warning for those considering this option for a classic. It has taken two weeks of constant mailing to clarify what I need. Roach has an elliptical mast with a raised track, and this has confused the sailmakers no end as I was not a “Stock” design on their computer. Loads of photos and diagrams were needed to make them understand my tack arrangement – but in the end I think we both understand each other. Watch this space to see what comes of the end result!

One thing that has come apparent in this process is that classic yachts were VERY WELL designed in the past. My gooseneck arrangement and raised track seems to have been designed around the sail, rather than the other way around, meaning that the tack and clew can be in the corner of the sail with no cut-away (as common with many modern yachts). As I say, I will let you know of the end result when my sail gets DHL’d to me later next month.


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