The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

John’s Thoughts & Photos—October #2


Reflections. There’s beauty everywhere, if we just look.


There’s something very special about sitting on a boat warm and dry while it’s wet and cold out.


Last sail of the season. De-tuning the rig. A lot easier with the rig loaded up, and easier on the turnbuckles too.


Perfect morning to get the sails dried and un-bent. Loving having our own wharf to do this after decades in places that were not our own.


And five hours of hard labour later. Over the years we have learned how to do this whole project, including stowing the sails away, without ever lifting one…at least without assistance from a halyard—heft that mainsail (foreground) and you will know why.


All of the above work leads to my least favourite task in boat maintenance: unstepping the mast. If you too are faced with such anxiety-inducing fun and games this (northern hemisphere) fall, don’t forget that we have nine tips that will help.


I wrote about desulphators a few weeks back. My conclusion was that  they probably didn’t work, but I was not sure. We now have some solid science on that in a comment from RC Collins of Compass Marine fame.

I have huge admiration for RC and faith in his findings, which, along with the opinions of Justin (in the original post) and Steve, have now convinced me that these things are not useful.

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michael f

I like that you used John’s RT&P to call attention to RC’s valuable post to the sulphators article. That’s another good use of the new column.

Ernest Vogelsinger

Interesting idea of detuning the rig while loaded. How are you doing it – detune only one side (which reduces stress on the now-windward side as well when righted), or are you releasing both sides equally? How much while sailing is possible before desaster? 😉


Hei John
Thanks a lot for this lovely pictures and impressions!
Your wharf makes me jealous every time, especially as I live in Switzerland, where waterfront property is always at a premium.

Marc Dacey

John, do you haul out in Nova Scotia or rig bubblers and boards at that wharf? Is there power to it? How tidal is it at that spot?

Marc Dacey

So I gather you haul out then and block up or resort to jackstands? Or do you simply head farther south to a less-icebound harbour? I’m asking because a Nova Scotia winter is in our future, and while I’ve already contacted CME about a bottom job (it’s about 40% of the price of Toronto, unsurprisingly), there’s a question about whether we’d just stay hauled after that or attempt to overwinter in the water. Part of the charm of Nova Scotia is (say my friends living there) not so much the winter!

Marc Dacey

Thanks, John. I’ll stand you a Gosling’s for the correct ken should you still be in NS when we get there. There’s not a vast amount of info on the topic, short of Travelifing into a tall shed.