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First sail!


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A full year after I finished major work on my Spindrift, I finally had her out under sail last night! We've been using her as a tender since we moved aboard our yacht last July and it's been surprisingly hard to find the time to put together the last few bits and pieces for the sailing rig.

 

I did a quick little row around with just the mast up, to get a feel for the stability, then a very short lap around the yacht, before stopping to pick up my 6yr old and go for a slightly longer spin. Very very light winds and with the sail well reefed down, still pretty quick and certainly exciting enough for the first go. Took a few precautions- oars bungeed down, any miscellaneous junk removed, and a big bucket taken along for easier bailing in case of capsize!

 

I have a few modifications to make. Firstly, I don't actually have a mast step in place yet- I was so impatient to get going that I just wedged the heel of the mast in to an old shoe and then lashed the mast very firmly in place. Which actually worked until we turned downwind, and the mast wanted to start pivoting forward. Got away with it but it was a bit silly really, I would not recommend it!

Secondly, the daggerboard does not go all the way down- I think it should go until the cap is flush with the top of the trunking? I had about a foot sticking out so was making a bit more leeway than normal. A wee bit of sanding and it'll be good to go.

Third- I don't have any toe straps yet. Do most people fit something? It seems strange to sail a dinghy without them. I have plenty of places to attached them- my dinghy has a pair of eyes for davit lifting point, and I used eye bolts instead of wing nuts on the nesting bulkhead, so I am thinking of stringing some strapping between these.

 

Fourthly, my rig as a whole is a bit of a mess. It's a Frankenrig. The mast is from an OK, slightly cut down, the sail is from a 420, but is in very poor shape and best used with both reefs set. The boom is an old section of broken dinghy mast. I do at least have a proper gooseneck.

 

The mast seems very heavy and hard to handle. It's 6.06m long (just shy of 20ft) and weighs at least 8kg (my scales only go up to 5kg- the top half is 2.8kg and the bottom half is 5kg+). Stepping it I found very tricky, perhaps because I'm quite short. It would have been impossible to do afloat if there had been any sort of chop.

 

I think a gunter or lug rig would have a lot to commend it- a nice short mast to step, and a sail that you can drop in a second. But as I am away cruising I am very very limited in what I can buy and make, and will just have to improvise.

 

Does my existing mast sound about right, or too big and heavy?

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Update: mast step now in place, daggerboard properly shaped so it goes all the way down,  and we've had a few more sails, reefs shaken out. Two adults and a child fitted quite comfortably.

 

I'm getting more confident about the mast. I still wouldn't fancy stepping it when there's much of a chop but the more I handle it the less I worry about it. I've also tested out the boat's stability and I can put almost my full weight on the gunwhale, mast up, without her capsizing.

 

Still no pictures of her under sail- we've been having too much fun ? 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/10/2022 at 2:27 PM, Joe Anderson said:

Good to hear you are enjoying your Spindrift.  I should be up in RI in a week or so and I can get the weight and length of my Spindrift 10 mast to you for comparison.   

Hi Joe

Just wondering if you'd had a chance to weigh up your mast?

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Thanks for the reminder. My Spindrift 10 mast is 5.2 meters slightly over 17 feet.

I only had a bathroom scale to weigh it on.

The mast weight is about 7 lbs or 3 something kg. My mast is 3 sections. The bottom two are aluminum the upper section is hollow wood.

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On 6/22/2022 at 8:01 PM, Joe Anderson said:

Thanks for the reminder. My Spindrift 10 mast is 5.2 meters slightly over 17 feet.

I only had a bathroom scale to weigh it on.

The mast weight is about 7 lbs or 3 something kg. My mast is 3 sections. The bottom two are aluminum the upper section is hollow wood.

Thanks. That is very light compared to mine. 

There's a dinghy and windsurfing centre near here, I might make some enquiries about bits of old spars.

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