Saturday, May 24, 2014

Racing Sails and Autopilot

I have been racing for the past few weeks at the Wayzata Yacht Club on a few different boats. It's exhilarating to be in the middle of the lake with 100+ boats all going in different directions at each other. My plan is to race there every Thursday night through the Summer. This past Thursday I crewed on a boat that came in first in our fleet. The boat owners invited me back next week. One of the technical skills I have been working on is sail trim, and taking what I learned from racing, and using it on our boat.

Me trimming the main on Blue J  photo by Mark Puariea Photography

Last Sunday Heidi and Troy went sailing with me on the St. Croix. We sailed most of the way to Stillwater before turning back into the wind, about the same time the wind picked up to 14-16 kts with gusts to 20 kts  and we beat our way back home. One of the things I noticed is my main sail is old and stretched out and needs to be retired. I have been looking around to see what is out there. If I order a new sail I am looking at the end of July before I would get it. So I checked with a friend who has same boat as ours, and although she did not have a extra sail, she gave me the name of someone who has a 2 year old sail that has not been used, at a fair price I am going to try and contact them this weekend.

I added the new autopilot, an Autohelm Series ST1000 Plus last week, but it may need to be remounted to get it working better. It does not turn on one side as much as the other. One of the Winter projects I did was to mount the solar panel in a permanent location, but now it is not charging right.  Not sure if it is the panel or the controller. I hope to get the bugs worked out before we head down river to Pepin in two weeks. I'm frustrated with this stuff, but I'm sure I'll get it figured out.

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