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Thought for the Day- When you think you know it all

So after my last blog a wise man from the Wirral advised me of some of the errors of my ways. I am extremely grateful to him and one of his comments made me realise there is always something to learn, however competent you think you are..

I have sailed boats from the age of 12 and thought I knew everything there was to know about setting up rigs. A challenge in life, is we do not know what we don't know. Every boat I have sailed on has a gooseneck that rotates freely both sideways and up and down. This means the only way you get mast bend is to apply back stay and forestay tension and rake spreaders. That was before I came across a swing rig where the gooseneck is fixed and you can bend the mast just by applying back stay, or in this case main boom topping lift. Apply enough bend which matches the luff curve of the sail and you can flatten the sail considerably. This means you can leave the jib luff loose so the jib will rotate easily and you have a mainsail which will tack relatively easily in light weather.

So when I think back to last Sunday, I used forestay and backstay tension to flatten the mainsail by bending the mast, and the jib luff tension caused the jib boom to swing to the middle. If only I had known at the time what I know now, I could have sorted several of the issues apart from the fact the rig would not swing.

I have reconfigured the jib set up lowering the jib boom by about 20cm. Doesn't sound much but it gets the jib as close to the deck as possible.

Next step is to get the boat on the water to check the balance has not been compromised and everything works in calm weather.

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