Spoiling The Ship For a Ha’penny Worth of Tar

Looks OK, doesn’t it?

Before any long passage I conduct a careful examination of all of our standing and running rigging, checking particularly for chafe and any sign of corrosion – better to do it well in advance than wait until the last minute when there’s no time to effect repairs. So before we left the Canaries I went through my usual routine, and even had a pro rigger check my check – something I do every year or two, just to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Result? A-OK.

Reefing On All Points of Sail

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 do things.

How We Buy Sails

Hallett sails in action: Wednesday night beercan racing on Casco Bay. The red boat is Richard’s, built to his design

Why do we give so much thought to our sails? Well, first, as we talked about in this post, good sails equal good speed and good speed equals more fun. Speed also contributes to safety because you are vulnerable to bad weather for less time. Finally, if your sails are slow in normal weather, they will be doubly slow in heavy weather, particularly as your desired course gets closer to the wind direction.

Q&A: Un-Stayed Masts

Question: I am curious if you are keel stepped or deck stepped. If keel stepped, could you get away without stays since the aluminum deck could be reinforced enough to hold the mast upright? You could keep running backstays in place for heavier winds.

Mainsail Reefing Blues

Colin takes a balanced look at mainsail handling systems including single line reefing from the cockpit and permanently mounted integrated sail covers. These systems would seem to save trouble, but how well do they really work in practice? Read on to find out.

The New Mast, Why?

The most expensive and stressful part of our latest refit to “Morgan’s Cloud” was the replacement of her mast. So why did we do it? Simple, peace of mind.

Q&A: Rod Rigging Replacement

Question: Our Swan 51 is at Morris Yachts for a mini refit this winter and my plan, in addition to everything else, is to start to replace some of the existing rod rigging. It turns out that the rod is 24 years old. Navtec says it should be replaced every 11 years or 30,000 miles. Based on this information it gives me some concern as we sail the boat between Nova Scotia and the Caribbean on a semi regular basis. I would be interested in your comments on how you manage the rod rigging situation on Morgan’s Cloud.