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Old 11-28-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Home Port: Washington DC
Vessel Name: SV Mahdee
Posts: 3,185
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Yesterday was somewhat “momentous” in that we finally seem to have put together a combination of sail, winch, blocks, staysail boom, line, et al…to enable us to put the staysail up (and use it, yes!). While I must admit that we cannot permanently mount the blocks on deck until we’ve had a couple test sails to determine ideal location, we’re very excited! Having to shorten the staysail boom by 2" was also a bit tramatic for me--we'd moved its location from a stay on the bowsprit to one at the stem and that brought it just a little to close to the foremast hoops for my comfort level.

I spent last evening, sitting in the charthouse with 4 candles lit (great heat and light) and re-installing the bronze sailslides to the mainsail. The slides/cars were knotted onto a rope in a bucket by our boat's previous owner. As I evaluated the nifty knotting of the strips of heavy latigo leather, I pulled out Marino’s 2001 Sailmakers' Apprentice to see what the “proper way” of dealing with these sailslides might be. There, I found a full page with a lovely series of drawings of how to tie exactly the leather lashing that I was studying on my rope of sailslides. It is called the Privateer Knot and Mr. Marino states it’s especially appropriate to large boat bronze slides. Within the flickering candlelight my thoughts turned to days of old and I quickly imagined big “privateer” type boats of long ago–something one might read about in O’Brian’s books. Then I turned the page and was amazed, and pleased, to read: “I first encountered this aboard Bob Goss’s schooner Privateer (formerly Mahdee) where it had been in use for several years. He’d devised and adapted the method, thus the name.” Well, now I felt really that Mahdee was even more “special” knowing that I was looking at the “original” Privateer knots. We keep finding little references to her and it’s really fun to learn more about her past.

The mainsail is huge, so it, in its bag, took up the entire floor of the charthouse and towards the end of my task I realized I wouldn’t be able to get the last few slides on until after taking the sail out of the bag–which there isn’t room to do in the charthouse. The bag is actually a big red commercial laundry bag and we’re calling it “the giant tomato”…

It rained last night, the boat is all wet, it’s drizzly right now, and there’s a small craft advisory…else I’d also have the last few sail slides/cars affixed to the mainsail and it would be on its boom too! Hoping for a bit of dry weather later today (oh, and a die down in the wind!) so we can bend on the main here at anchor.

Monday morning we leave this anchorage and go to another, so that should be a great time to do a quick “motor sail” if we manage to get the mainsail sorted out by then. We’re limited to 3 part purchase until we have a boom bail cast so we can put two more blocks on the boom. Then we’ll have a velocity factor of 6 on the mainsheet with a very traditional “W” looking set up on the mainsheet.

In the meanwhile, we’re relegated to indoor tasks. For me, since we’ve got the little Honda EU2000 on right now, that means making ice and sewing while listening to 70’s era music. David is…I dunno…I think reading on his Nokia N850. The Nokia has a gps in it that can be loaded up with charts so we’ve tracked our swinging around at anchor. The track looks like a pile of spagetti this morning.
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What we're doing - The sailing life aboard and the Schooner Chandlery.

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