Good News, Bad News

We finally made it off the dock! It’s been a long time coming, so we were pretty excited to get out for our first test-sail on Toucan last week.

The forecast was for 5-10kts so there’d be nothing too exciting about the outing, just a chance to get the sails up and tweak a few things. As it turned out, the weather gods must have been on coffee break – we saw no more than 7 kts, and for much of the time it was a huge 2-3 kts. Hardly a rip-roaring start! Nevertheless, it was pretty nice to drift along on the flat water on a nice sunny day. I even got to lie on the trampoline, listening to the gentle swishing of the water underneath, imagining being in the turquoise waters of the Caribbean instead of the muddy brown Chesapeake Bay. That was the good news…

The bad news – raising the mainsail requires the strength of Samson and as a result is a very slow process. Should it really be so hard? It IS a very big sail so maybe that’s just the way it is, but we’re going to have to try and find a way to make it easier before Bruce ends up with a hernia or worse. An electric winch would be nice, but is waaay beyond our budget. So we’ll do the obvious things first, like lubricating the track slides and checking the sheaves at the top of the mast to see if we can make a difference to any friction problems there, but beyond that we’re at a bit of a loss. Any bright ideas from you other sailors out there would be most welcome!

We also discovered that the spreader patch on the jib hadn’t been repaired as we asked. We had a bit of a running joke when we were preparing to bring “Illusion” back from New Zealand that the Kiwis seemed to need to do a job twice before getting it right. Here, it seems it’s 3 times! Very frustrating to say the least.

While we were motoring we also noticed a worrying whine from the portside engine/saildrive that wasn’t there when we motored down from Baltimore, and to cap it all off the wind instrument decided to go on strike. Our patience and stamina is definitely being tested. Back to work we go…..


10 Replies to “Good News, Bad News”

  1. Thanks Al, I was thinking that with all the socialising and jet setting our upcoming crew have partaken in that I should just leave it as they will need a workout to get back in shape!! Have loosened the battens, will change out the halyard and add new block as the hoist is 2:1 currently and Di will attack the cars with some nice soapy water which should also help.

  2. That looks amazing, so restful, you would never know that you have had weeks of mayhem! All in the past hopefully. Now you can sit back and enjoy your beautiful Toucan and the wonderful places she’ll take you. Beats working any day!

    1. If only Rosemary, if only! Unfortunately that was a brief lull in the chaos and mayhem which continues. Still trying to get holding tanks installed, watermaker working, oil leak in port engine fixed etc etc etc. Hard to imagine that we’ll ever get to sit back and relax!

      1. I spoke too soon…mayhem in full swing! Still I’m sure it’s a familiar story when you’re embarking on such an adventurous sail. And I’m really enjoying the story…most entertaining!

  3. Hey there

    best advice I had when commisioning the Seawind was to put on external track with ball race slides. Easy up and probably more imprtantly easy down (when not head to wind – get the F#*#^r down now)

    Did a search and Ronstan now do a slide car that runs in existing mast track with ball races.

    Anyway just a thought – dont like friction when off the wind and with full length battens

    Happy to help $$’s too

  4. Video looks great and beautiful calm waters for your first sail.

    My question is, how much is an electric winch? Is this something that we can all put towards Toucan as a donation for your fabulous offers to come aboard and join you. Bruce’s muscles must be getting a work out….time for a rest on the trampoline xx

    1. Thanks Pen for your lovely offer. For now, we’ll explore the simpler fixes first, and don’t forget we’ll have plenty of male muscle power to assist us through the Caribbean!

  5. We’ll done on the test sail, was a bit nervous of the video especially with the title “good news bad news!!” With the main, after lubricating tracks, pulleys etc with silicon what about making the halyard 2:1 if it isn’t already. Just means twice as much winching! Also tight battens might make it a bit difficult. If it is still hard, tell Bruce “pump up princess!,”

    Our love to you both

    1. hahaha guys – thanks for that! We already have 2:1 so it probably is just getting used to all that winching. The princess will be suitably pumped next time! love to you all xx

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