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Racing an IOM - Another day learning about RC and knots

Today, we had some fantastic racing at Gosport with winds in the 20's most of the morning with a couple of squats. In the first race we all tried B rigs but the race had to be abandoned. After that we all changed to C rigs and had some amazing racing. But it was not without a few minor irritations which had a big impact on boat performance.

When I launched the boat for first time it went out 20 yards and the rudder failed. Somehow the receiver plug came half undone. That fixed we got racing and on the second windward leg the rudder went awol. I managed to get the boat ashore and when dismantled found that there was sea water in the radio pot and the receiver plugs were dirty. In came Paul Edwards with some handy spray and I was off racing again with no further radio trouble in the day.

I found a great Youtube video about waterproofing electronics. They even fly a helicopter underwater. See HERE

I need some soft rubber to act as a seal in the top of the radio pot. Vaseline is OK but very messy. My wife bless her suggested a Kilner jar seal. Perfect for the job and now installed.

In the race with the B rig I noticed a loss of jib tension but thought no more about it. However when I was out in the squalls with the C rig, I got the same loss of tension only this time it was significant. I kept tightening the backstay until that maxed and then shortened the jib bowsie assembly. Bingo, the boat was flying again and won the next race. Unfortunately the rig mysteriously slackened once more. The jib sags, the leach opens uncontrollably and the boat does not point or perform however I persisted with the racing because downwind was so much fun.

It was not until I got home that I figured out the problem.

You can see the assembly for jib tensioning and rake control in the picture above. 75kg line is tied to a hook which goes in the mast. If you follow the line down you will see a knot that allows a split for the leach line (topping lift) and the jib head.. I have used this on my A rig for months now and not had a problem with it however the knot that splits the line is prone to slippage as I discovered today. I did not think it would need super glue to hold the knots but obviously it does. The loop which drops down to the leach line started the day at over 3/4 of an inch. You can barely see it at all now, which means the jib luff slackened by well over an inch. In future I will use a bowline with a locking knot or just tie the leach line to the hook for the B and C rig. I will keep the original system on the A rig as it allows the jib boom to rotate easily in light weather.

So in summary I am rally glad to make the effort to go to Gosport in the first decent wind we have had for months. It is about the 3rd time I have used the B rig this year and 1st time I have used the C rig so it was no wonder there were teething problems. One positive was when everything was OK the boat sailed itself upwind and went fast. The results weren't great but the intelligence gained (as a friend of mine said when we were lost on a Greek Island, that's another story) was significant.

Onwards and upwards.

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