Free Introductory Chapter Staying in the cockpit most of the time at sea and not getting out on deck often is not a good idea. John explains why and shares the benefits of participating in "deck sports".
Rigging & Sails
Colin's post about the failure of a snap shackle on Pèlerin and his recommendation to stick with shackles made by Wichard or Harken, which we heartily agree with, got me thinking about another type of shackle that we have found very useful on Morgan's Cloud. A type that may surprise you since it is normally [...]
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 [...]
No leaks down the exterior of the mast below the partners. Period. That’s what Waterboot promises and what it delivers. The Waterboot is computer cut to your measurements (based on their instructions) from a durable, lightweight, 100% UV resistant, rubbery material with a Velcro closure. You fit the boot around the mast, close the Velcro, [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. Answer: Our mast is keel-stepped. I guess that theoretically we could [...]
Question: Did you change your boom to carbon fiber or just your mast? Answer: No, we stayed with our old aluminum boom since it works fine and is in good shape. (Keep in mind that we only replaced the mast because the old aluminum one was worn out.) Also, the performance benefits from a carbon [...]
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.
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. [...]
Okay, this is a big one and to fully understand it will take you a lot of reading. But, if you are contemplating a major custom project, such as a new mast or even a new boat, the time expended here may save you a lot of money and aggravation. We made a lot of [...]
Spartite is a pre-measured two part polymer that is poured directly into the cavity between the mast and the partners while the mast is in the boat. Spartite makes a one-piece perfectly fitting mast chock that replaces archaic wedges.
Morgan's Cloud was fitted with an hydraulic vang and with hydraulic backstays when we bought her. Initially we were skeptical, feeling that such complexity had no place on a cruising boat, especially one that sails to remote places. But over the years we have come to appreciate the convenience and ease of use of our [...]
It's not often that we run into someone that is as obsessive about making sure the details are right when working on Morgan's Cloud as we are. Jay Maloney is one of very few people that we trust to do the job right without us having to look over his shoulder. We have called on [...]
Our laminated spectra sails have retained their shape over eight years and many miles of use; much longer than the Dacron sails we had in the past. The fabric is from Dimension Polyant and Hallett Canvas and Sails in Falmouth, Maine made the sails. Incidentally, the first set of laminated Spectra sails delaminated very quickly [...]