Sail Controls and Oarlock Placement
I am going to overnight on the boat tomorrow night on Lake Allatoona to try out the sleeping arrangements on a chilly night. I have made several changes to the boat in preparation for my next test sail. I made a new boom out of 3/4" galvanized conduit with 1/2" conduit inside at key structural points like the bend in the mast and supporting the splice needed to extend the mast. I also cut a section of 1/2" conduit should I need a splice or repair during the EC. In addition to being stronger, this boom also sits higher giving more clearance below and better geometry on the sail. Should give me a little better shape and hopefully boost my already good windward performance.
I also changed the arrangement for the reefing line and out-haul. If you remember, the sail rolls up around the mast for reefing and furling. I have never actually seen it on the boat it was designed for and bodged together a system that worked using two lines. However, it wasn't perfect being a bit hard to get the out-haul tight and having slack line hanging under the boom threatening to hang me and already having knocked a hat off my head and donating it to Poseidon. So, I turned to google and found rigging manuals and pictures that showed me how to use one line for both the furling line and out-haul which means the slack in one is used in the other so less line laying around. It also bring the out-haul and reefing controls right next to the cockpit and allows me to easily crank down on both to get the sail nice and tight. So, I replicated the system using some nice bright yellow line from duckworksbbs and am looking forward to trying it out on the water.
Another change I made was to the oarlocks. I have decided to drop my quest for forward-facing propulsion system in favor of simple and robust oars. I need something that is reliable and can generate enough power to get me through breaking waves. Standard oarlocks are too low on this boat reducing the size of my stroke in order to avoid hitting my knees with the oars so, I needed to come up with some way to raise them. Also, there are times when I will have to take the mast down and secure it to the deck and have enough clearance to row. I spent a lot of time thinking of solutions but it was a walk through my shop where I had some 3/4" galvanized conduit I had practiced bending that gave me an idea. I cut two 90 degree bends off this pipe so that the ends would sit flush on the deck and the bow would arc above. Then, I drilled holes for the oarlocks to drop into at the top of the arc. Not only does this take up less room on the sidedecks but will bruise my behind less if I happen to sit on them. Also, it provides some nice reinforced handles on both sides of the boat. I figure I can easily attach my oars for storage to these.
Final adjustment was to the leeboards. I rounded the top corners both for aesthetics and to make the pull-down lines work better. I also re-positioned these lines and associated cleats on the deck. I have a lot of little holes to fill but I am getting happier with each change and what it means to the handling of the boat.