Habemus Sail…!

Rigging Sassy’s sail can be a significant chore, particularly in strong crosswinds. The sail needs to be correctly attached to the three spars: the mast, the boom and the gaff. The gaff takes on the slot along its bottom the top third of the luff, the mast received the slugs of the bottom two thirds of the luff and the entire foot of the sail is slid inside the slot at the top of the boom. Here is the detail from last year: https://thewakesileave.wordpress.com/2016/05/21/sassy-got-her-sail/

On windy days and if the boat is cross-winded, the sail risks from being blown in the water. However, the most common mishap is for it to be twisted or tangled with one of the lines in the rigging thus requiring the operation to restart afresh.

The most critical part is the insertion of the luff slugs in the bottom stump of the mast after the hinge has been entirely opened by removing the screws linking both parts of the mast, and the glider piece that attaches the tack of the gaff to the mast has been entirely removed from the bottom of the mast (i.e., the luff slugs need to be below the gaff tack).

Two new things were successfully tried this time:

Last year, while removing the sail from the rigging, the mast suddenly slipped forward which caused the anchor light to hit the gallows and break with the sequel that was the object of the previous posting. To prevent this from happening, I decided that the top of the mast ought to be attached to the gallows before the hinge is opened.

Also, I decided to start threading the sail into the bottom of the gaff and top of the boom with the hinge intact, the mast upright and all the lines collected at the back of the hinge. This prevents any line from getting tangled with the sail and also facilitates the control of the sail on deck in a windy day, particularly if the boat is cross-winded at the dock. Then, after the top third of the luff and the bottom of the sail have been attached to the gaff and the boom, the mast can be dropped aft to lay on the gallows, attached to it as indicated in the above paragraph, the hinge undone, and the top portion of the mast brought to one side. Then, the metal glider of the gaff tack is removed from the mast track and the slugs of the sail luff are inserted in the bottom stub of the mast in the proper orientation. Once this operation is finished, all that remains to do is to reinsert the gaff glider above the slugs and put back in place the two bolts that allow the two parts of the mast to pivot at the hinge.

Once the clues of the sail at the boom and the gaff were properly attached, and the reefing lines and the downhaul were rigged in position, the sail was ready for its first hoist of the season: