Friday, April 8, 2016

March 21, 2016 Battens with roller furling main

Today was a lazy day of playing cribbage and triominos for me and Cheryl.  Dave started projects outside. 

One of the pockets that holds the battens in our main sail had a hole worn through from the corner of the batten.  Dave wanted to repair it before it enlarged to the point where we could lose the batten.  For non sailors, a batten helps stiffen and shape the main sail.  It is a long strip of flexible fiberglass in the shape of a yard stick.  We have four in different lengths.  In a sail that is raised and lowered, the battens are horizontal.  But in a main sail that is rolled into the mast, like ours, the battens are vertical.  Hence the possibility of it coming out of the slot.  Not all furling main sails have battens like ours.  In stronger winds, you reef a main by making it smaller to hold less wind in it.  The important thing to remember with a furling main is to not reef the main with part of a batten furled inside the main and part outside and movable.   If the batten is not fully out, it could break.

I was cleaning the forward head this morning (Cheryl cleaned the aft head that she was using.  After a week your are crew, not a guest).  Cheryl was available to hoist Dave up the mast to start his project.  He had to go high enough to take the batten out.  Then she lowered him to the point where he could sew the bottom of the batten pocket.  We left him hanging there and went back inside.  The sewing was about 3/4 completed when a squall was approaching.  This time, I lowered him to safety.  After the storm passed, he just stood on the boom to finish the sewing.

Dave covered the end of the batten with duct tape before replacing it in the pocket.  I then raised him back to the height he needed to replace the batten.  The top of the batten sleeve has a strip of real tough velcro that has to be tucked inside to lock the batten in place.   Of course I lowered him to the deck when the project was completed. 
Dave and I made Tom Yum Thai Curry for dinner that was excellent.  We had brought the paste in Florida at an Oriental market.   We added vegetables and pork and served it over Asian noodles.  It had an excellent Thai spice that I would say was a 2+ in a 1-3 scale.


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