|1. Full Mainsail|
|2. First Reef|
|3. Second Reef|
|4. Sail in Cover|
Today I put up the mainsail. It was still raining this morning but I kept my cool and spent time working on the navigation software on two of the computers. Then at noon I set off for the market to buy fruit and vegetables and 4 port chops. After a light lunch and a short nap the weather had cleared up enough to start the work. There was a 10 knot breeze off the port bow which would have the effect of driving the boat into the jetty which I deemed to be safe.
The task was to fix the battens, and it would be a mistake to consider this a trivial task because a sloppy job can result in the loss of a batten and a torn sail. There are 5 battens. To fit each batten I would hoist the sail until its pocket was just above the boom. I slid the batten into the pocket from the back of the sail then between the sides of the plastic holder which sandwiched the batten at the front of the sail. Then I lined up the hole at the front of the batten with the holes of the holder and passed a special bolt through it and secured it. I also made sure that the screws holding the two sides of the holder were nice and tight. Then I went to the back of the sail and shoved in a Velcro strap into the pocket to hold the batten in, using a tool made of batten material that I was given for the job. So the batten was now held in place by a bolt in the front and the Velcro strap at the back. The rain and wind behaved just enough to allow me to finish the work without any dramas, though I got a scare from a near miss from a rain squall.
I then fully hoisted the sail, photographed it, and tightened the lazy jacks for the drop. I also fitted the Velcro strap that holds the clew of the sail to the boom. The sail is “loose footed”, with the foot held down to the boom only at the two ends. I then lowered the sail to the first reefing point and fitted the downhaul line at the forward reefing point and the reefing line at aft reefing point. After photographing the sail I repeated the process for the second reef. It will take close scrutiny of the accompanying photographs to see the differences in sail area between the full and first reefed mainsail. The second reef is easier to identify, but it still leaves a bit too much sail area for my liking, as I've grumbled about for years.
Then I had the great pleasure of zipping the mainsail into its cover, to which Pato had added a hefty 6 inches or so of extra material on each side of the zipper. For the first time in the 7 years that I've had the sail cover and after two inadequate alterations by the manufacturer to correct the problem I was able to zip it up with ease the way it should have been from the beginning.
At this point Pachuca's rigging and sails are ready for sea. It's taken 3 ½ months but it's been well worth the wait, though it hasn't been a painful wait, given all of the touring that Brenda and I did, and not to mention the pleasant life at this marina.