The Spring/Summer season opened on Saturday and the first race was cancelled due to the Gale Warning. In the bay we had a top of 22 knots TWS so it was a good day for training.
With the boom off the boat for repair we had no mainsail, so the intent was to rig up the trysail so we could practice using this heavy weather sail and see how it performs.
I installed a separate track on the mast to enable me (in theory) to hoist the trysail whilst the main is reefed down to #2 reef. Once the trysail is set I can then drop the main and either sheet the trysail to the boom outhaul or in wild weather to the aft quarters if the boom is dropped to deck and secured.
The sail set very easily and I rigged the sheets to blocks set as far aft as possible. The clew of the sail is heavy and needs to be controlled at all times as it could easily inflict a death blow if it whips about uncontrolled.
On the windward beat we still maintained 6.5 knots in a 15 knot TWS. The helm was balanced and she powered along nicely. The aft sheeting alignment was good and the sail set seemed fine. Sail adjustment was easily achieved by easing one sheet and winching in the opposite, keeping the clew under constant control.
The usefulness of this sail is now very apparent in the event of a prolonged blow offshore. The main has quite a lot of sail area even when the final #2 reef is set and takes a battering. I found this out during our sail back from Newcastle in 41-45 knots when I really could have done with less main and more jib. So in future the trysail will get a bit of 'air time' when I am single handing.
I have designed and installed an inner Solent Stay to rig either a Storm Jib or heavy weather high aspect jib (yet to be purchased). It will be interesting to see how she sails in those configurations, but that will need to wait until time and funding permit. Damn work...the necessary evil!!
The boom should be repaired and back on the boat by the weekend. During the week I am expecting the new adjustable ball bearing Genoa Cars, which will make tacking/winching so much easier....(note to self - service winches), two new mainsail full battens (plus a spare of each) to replace those broken during the crash gybe, and the Allyachtspars mainsail and outhaul webbing straps.
The new complete spinnaker pole with bayonet fitting inboard and trigger fitting outboard will be about another two weeks. The other jobs in line are removal of the mast steps and securing any mast fitting that can hang-up a sheet or sail. At least I have daylight savings time!