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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    887

    Default New sails on an old rig

    My boat is a fractional Bermudan sloop. The top of the wooden mast is supported by jumpers and diamonds. There is a standing backstay as well. Shrouds come from the upper and lower spreaders, and we have running backstays which are dyneema, everything else is 1x19 stainless wire. Most of the power is in the main.
    This year I have a new mainsail, in high quality Dacron as well as a new bigger and lighter weight Genoa. The two new sails are great, much better in light air obviously but also significantly more power and lift to windward hurrah.
    What I hadnít realised was just how much difference this made to the rig. Sailing to windward in about 15 knots true, unreefed, I noticed that the leeward upper shrouds were very slack. When we tacked I noticed that the lower leeward spreader had dropped out of its socket ! Good job I noticed; we dropped the main no harm done and having reinserted the spreader and tightened up a bit on the bottlescrews we have since pressed the boat harder with no ill effects. But I guess I should have thought this through. More power, more lift, all being transferred through the same 67 year old hollow wooden mast and (much newer) rigging..... bound to be some other consequences.

    Interesting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: New sails on an old rig

    Good time to check the glued seams on the mast...I talk from experience but with a dinghy. New sails can be very demanding!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Cowes
    Posts
    596

    Default Re: New sails on an old rig

    I would try and work out what would be the weakest point if you put some more tension in the shrouds, the mast glue is a good one I did't think of, but..chainplates and the ribs/bulkheads around them..mast shroud tangs..mast wedges?
    I bought a new jib recently and it is a drastic improvement as a sail, but I'm scared to give it the luff tension it deserves, in case I break something..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    East coast UK. Mostly. Sometimes the Philippines
    Posts
    9,761

    Default Re: New sails on an old rig

    I don’t need to tell you that the caps should be harder than the lowers. If there is any bend discernible when sighting up the track going to windward you will be getting glue line issues.

    I used to get regular glue line failures on a solid glued spruce mast.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    887

    Default Re: New sails on an old rig

    The mast will come out in September, and I expect to be sailing less aggressively between now and then, so it will be a good opportunity for close inspection! There was a bit of a bend noticeable when we lost that spreader

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