Many sailors have de-emphasized their mainsails, in some cases to the point where the main is the first sail to come down when the going gets tough and often does not even get set in the first place. This is a mistake and potentially dangerous.
OK, enough with all this talk of motorboats, let's go sailing in a bit of breeze on Morgan's Cloud. We made the video below a few days ago in a solid Force 7 blow (near gale, 28-33 knots). By the way, look for a timely reminder from Phyllis at the halfway mark in the video--I'm suitably ashamed of [...]
Part 2 of my article on preventers. In Part 1 I explained why a proper preventer is vital and in this part I share how to make rigging one easy and safe.
A head injury is a terrible event wherever you are, but at sea far from medical help it's even worse. Rigging a proper preventer is one of the surest ways to reduce the risk to you and your crew. In part 1 of this two part series we look at the risk and what constitutes a proper preventer.
Other sailors are often surprised that Phyllis and I set, reef, and strike Morgan’s Cloud’s 600 square foot mainsail without resorting to complex gear like roller furling masts or booms. But actually, it’s pretty easy using the simple gear that we have installed and fine tuned over 22 years and well over 100,000 miles. The [...]
While thinking about how to make the Adventure 40 an incredibly trouble free and reliable ocean voyaging boat, I have worried most about two areas: chain plates and the rudder.
Both for the same reason: they are the area in conventional fiberglass production boat construction where stainless steel and fiberglass come together in the presence of salt water to make an unhappy marriage.
There are probably more myths and downright wrong recommendations published about reefing than any other subject. In this chapter John exposes one of them and then goes on to explain how to do it right.
We just had a gear failure that should not have happened. Here is the story of how being lazy, not once, but three times, added up to a lot of work: Our present mainsail, bought in 2006, is just a tad longer on the foot than the old one. The result is that the sail [...]
Roller furling headsails are ubiquitous, but there are not without their drawbacks. John looks at ways to deal with that and make roller furling work well at sea.
It's rare these days to see a cruising boat with hank-on headsails. But are such sails only for he traditionalists stuck in the stone age of offshore sailing? Maybe not. Here is a convincing case for hank-on sails, at least on smaller boats.
The old saying that ‘if a job is easy, you’ll do it’, is a good one that we have tried to bring to bear at all times when improving our Ovni 435 Pelerin. If the job’s difficult, you’ll delay it until it’s beyond inevitable and then it can become a hardship. And nowhere is that [...]
Once a year we like to entertain our neighbours by hoisting our storm jib whilst we’re alongside. Not much new to be learned from it, but it does force us to get it out of the bag and give it a thorough check over for any signs of chafe or other damage. We have a [...]
In this chapter we will cover in detail, complete with a slideshow illustrating each step, how we reef on Morgan’s Cloud and more specifically, how we reef when sailing downwind.
One of the things we like most about the OVNI 435 is the well-stayed cutter rig. In light of experience aboard our previous boat we opted for a yankee (jib-topsail) rather than the standard roller genoa knowing that the yankee maintains its shape and drive far better when well rolled, and is stable and easy [...]
Morgan’s Cloud is the only boat I have ever sailed on (I only started sailing after meeting John) and so I generally assume that the way we do things on our boat is the way it is done. Which suits John just fine—he’s been able to brainwash, I mean, teach me how he likes to [...]