Mainsail modifications

I did that?!?

Close up of the modified sail head and bolt rope stitching

As mentioned earlier, we’ve cut down a used mainsail from a Trac 16 catamaran, and made sort of a square-topped, 100 sq. ft. low center of effort (C/E) main.  After cutting the sail with a hot knife, I reinforced the areas around the batten pockets with 2 layers of heavy duty sail tape (the permanent stuff), and inserted brass (gasp) grommets above and below the batten pockets for sail slide attachment.  We’re using slides to facilitate easy reefing, even though we’ll lose a small amount of aerodynamic efficiency that way.  I laced the slides on instead of using shackles, as lacing is quieter, more elegant, and FAR CHEAPER than buying snazzy stainless stuff.  Besides, we’ll be buying enough of THAT for other uses, I’m sure…

I also used a sewing awl to stitch the bolt rope to the sailcloth, just as it was sewn  before I cut down the sail.

... all the tools needed for efficient marlinspike seamanship (except for the off camera Bogle cabernet)

Tools of the trade

Nothing like some good music, a nice Cabernet, and a couple of African masks to keep you company and help you remember that marlinspike seamanship is an important, integral part of sailing.  The wood block is to keep the awl from puncturing the ottoman, and the glasses are to keep myself from puncturing ME!  You can see the grommet and slide lacing detail fairly well in this shot, and you can see that the original headboard will work just fine with the new sail shape.

Tack, showing hand stitching and aluminum reinforcements cut from original clew plate

Reinforced tack

Here’s a view of the tack.  I cut off a piece of the original clew plate and used it to reinforce the tack, mostly because I don’t have the tools needed to set a proper tack grommet.  Along with sail tape reinforcement, and some more sail slide detail, you can see the only part of the sail, other than the Trac 16 logo, that isn’t blue.

Clew reinforcements
A view to a clew… with apologies to Ian Fleming

The clew has received the same treatment… riveted aluminum plate (shortened) and sail tape reinforcement.   The plate was shortened as the sail was originally a loose footed design, and it looks like we are going to use a boom.  I’m looking forward to seeing how all this works out on Lake Tarpon this Saturday!

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One Response to Mainsail modifications

  1. Pingback: Clarity’s Mainsail Modifications from 2010… | Clarity… in sailing, and in life

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