Chafe Discovery, More Detail

February 6, 2019

Day 125

Noon Position: 46 38S  153 55E

Course(t)/Speed(kts): SExE 4

Wind(t/tws): Waffling between 15 and 45 degrees 5 – 9

Sea(t/ft): SW 5+ E, NE 2

Sky: Altocumulus

10ths Cloud Cover: 5

Bar(mb): 1031+, finally topped out, I think

Cabin Temp(f): 70

Water Temp(f): 58 (wow, warm)!

Relative Humidity(%): 48 (wow, dry!)

Sail: #1 and Main, close hauled

Noon-to-Noon Miles Made Good (nm): 98 (poorest day since the doldrums)

Miles since departure: 17,392

Avg. Miles/Day: 139

Days since Cape Horn: 68

Miles since Cape Horn: 9,753

Avg. Miles/Day: 143

Longitude Degrees Made Good (degrees minutes): 2 23

Total Longitude Made Good Since Cape Horn (degrees minutes): 221 24

Avg. Long./Day: 3.26

First off, thank you to Robin Sodaro at HOOD in Sausalito for quick responses to my I-need-repair-ideas email. I came to the table with some bodges that would likely have worked fine, but Robin’s solutions were much cleaner. More on which in a moment.

There are only two crew members who work harder than the skipper. One is Monte, who plies his trade 24/7. The other is the #2 genoa, which is almost always flying. Exceptions are very light air, in which case it’s the #1 or the spinnaker, or very strong winds, in which case … well, nope, it’s still the #2 then as well.

For heavy stuff, Mo has a perfectly good, tiny staysail, and I had HOOD rush-order a more classically-cut storm jib between voyages. Neither has been up during this Figure 8 2.0. All the tough weather has fallen to a very tightly rolled #2.

So, the math: last year’s Figure 8 Voyage 1.0, at roughly 25,000 miles, was a solid six months of sailing, during which the #2 flew (a guess) 80% of the time. During the first 17,000 miles and four months of the Figure 8 2.0, his work has been nearly constant.

I was reminded how tough the sail is when I had it down on deck yesterday and was trying to fold it. The triple stitching on every panel and the triple reinforcement at the “reef” points make the sail incredibly stiff, even now. Folding is a wrestling match.

That said, and given the miles, I am not surprised the sail needs some care. I could, however, wish this fix was easier.

The Fixes

My Idea: I don’t have any one-inch webbing aboard, so my first thought was to use the soldering torch (with the pin-head attachement) to burn small holes in the clew reinforcement (there is so much reinforcement I’d NEVER get a needle through with a palm; likely not even a jack hammer) and then lace the ring to the sail with Lash-It (twine-sized Dyneema line).

Yes, Robin is still speaking to me after I put that solution on the table.

Robin’s Idea: Randall, you DO have one-inch webbing aboard in the form of sail ties. Cut sail ties to the length of old webbing. No, don’t use a solder torch (what a mess!), instead use a hand drill to ream out small holes in the reinforcement. Then sew the sail-tie straps over the old webbing.

Not yesterday, though. That was all about dousing and launching. I bunged the poorly-bagged sail in the anchor locker at sundown and called it a day.

Today, the sail has been properly folded and brought into the cabin.

Wind is light and variable–anywhere from north to east. We’re being driven south and into the heart of some upcoming nasty weather. So, today I’ve concentrated on sailing…

3 Comments on “Chafe Discovery, More Detail

  1. Today we set sail from there the 10 miles to Ko Phanak. The wind was light so we put the main up at anchor and ghosted out of the bay. Soon, there were flurries of wind that had us going well across the flat sea very close hauled but the breezes kept increasing and I decided to put a reef in the main. As I went up to the mast, the headsail suddenly started luffing and we realised that the webbing strap at the head of the jib that is attached to the halyard shackle had parted. we quickly got the jib down on deck and then put in the reef in the mainsail because the wind had increased further. Ko Phanak is a very tall island falling vertically into the sea and we found good shelter behind it where we stopped for the rest of the day. I unpicked the top of the headsail and spent the next few hours trying to persuade the awl to go through so much cloth

  2. It looks kind of twisted. Assuming that is the starboard sheet, is the port sheet pulling the ring and wearing on the webbing? Is there any nicks in the ring? Thanks for the post and photos.

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