Modifying The Existing Sails…

Budgets and unproven ideas being what they are, I decided to modify Discovery’s admittedly old and out of shape sails for the 2013 Everglades Challenge.  New sails would have been great, and there is a friendly member of the AMF Puffer Yahoo Group who has a new set for sale, but I figured that I’d be able to best decide where to put the reef points and such on the old sail first, and then acquire a new one to my specs.  Also, I needed to convert the jib to roller furling.  Fortunately, since I already had a Harken furler on Clarity that I could borrow, the costs for that conversion would be minimal.

For the mainsail, I chose my reefing depths, laid out reinforcements with heavy duty sail tape, and inserted grommets for the tack hook, reefing ties, and clew lines.  Note that two reefs are required for the Everglades Challenge, so two sets are installed!

I also inspected and taped any potential weak areas of the sail, added a grommet just above the existing tack grommet (just in case of failure) and will likely add two small grommets by each tack and clew reefing grommet to aid in lashing in case of gooseneck, outhaul, or outright boom failure.

The jib modification consisted of adding a luff wire strong enough to replace the existing forestay, and coming up with a way to secure the jib to it, and maintain luff tension.  I used 1/8″ 7×19 stainless wire, replacing the 3/32″ 1×19 forestay, and came up with an elegant, simple, and strong way to tension the sail: As I made an eye in each end of the forestay, I left the tail end of the wire sticking out, and I put a second eye on each tail.  Those eyes are connected to the tack and head of the jib, and the tack is laced for tension adjustment.  The pictures below should make this a bit more clear.  I seized the sail onto the wire every 2 feet or so, and she works wonderfully!

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