Sunday, October 22, 2017

Learning a new sail

When we bought Rhapsody she came with a spinnaker.  What is a spinnaker?  It is the big colorful sail you see in pictures of sailboats. They are wonderful to look at, unfortunately they require a lot of hardware and knowledge to get them flying properly. We had never put up our spinnaker, and we had many questions about the details of rigging it.  We were very fortunate to run into Jamie Gifford from S/V Totem. Ok, when I say ran into it sounds rather random. In actuality we (I) had been stalking them, and knew exactly where they were, you see I have been following this family of 5 on their blog for about 6 years now tracking their circumnavigation.

Now they are in Grenada and we had the chance to pick Jamie's brain about our spinnaker.

One of the first things that had to be done was to rig our spinnaker pole. This pole has been lashed on our deck since we bought Rhapsody. It sure is nice to put it to use as a sail holder rather than just a dirt gatherer! The back lines are the lines that haul the pole up and hold it down.

Jamie working on attaching lines

After the sail is attached it is hoisted aloft in the yellow snuffer

Next the snuffer is raised to release the spinnaker

And there she is, in all her glory! (Fortunately in this picture you can't  see the repairs and aging!) Ain't she purty?

Then the debriefing and gathering of information from Jamie ' s encyclopedia knowledge.  Thank you Jamie, your help was much appreciated.

Now that we know how to use our spinnaker we hope to rig it up again soon to help lock in the information. The reality of much use, however, is small as the amount of work it takes to get out all the proper rigging ready and the sail up and flying is great. It will take just the right amount of wind, blowing in the right direction, and a long enough journey to make it worthwhile.

Spinnakers certainly are spectacular to look at. I am very glad that we now know how to fly ours.

We love to hear your comments.

Behan said...

What a lovely post and purty spinnaker! Thank you Sara. I'm so glad that Jamie could help you learn how to fly the sail. Look forward to keeping in touch... maybe see you again in the Pacific?!

Sarah said...

I certainly hope we meet again in the not too distant future!

Andrew James said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience in sailing.