Sunday, 1 July 2012

1st July Fitting a Furler on Heron

This post is very much to do with my little boat Heron an Alacrity 19. Hopefully it may be useful to other Alacrity or small boat sailors.

Two years ago I tore the furling foresail on Heron. I had only bought the secondhand system and sail that year and so decided to go back to hank-on sails.

During this winter I spent some time sewing up the sail. I didn't have much else to do after the roof blew off and the television blew up.

Today the rain stopped so I decided to drop the mast and fit the furler. First thing to do was put the kettle on and have a coffee. Then motor off from my mooring to tie up along side the quay. I borrowed Stuart's dinghy.

I tied up in the corner of the harbour where I could lift the rigging on to the hard to work on it. Stuart came down to help.

As usual "help" meant having a beer whilst we planned the job.

Basically, for any Alacrity owners reading this, I removed the boom and mainsail then slackened the shrouds. I tied a line to the forestay and ran this through the stem fitting and back to a cleat in the cockpit. I then released the forestay and the bottom tabernacle bolt and lowered the mast to my shoulder, controlling the descent with the line to the forestay. I didn't have a crutch aft so used Stuart to support the mast whilst I undid the last bolt and lifted the mast forward. Much easier to do than describe. 

Mast and rigging safely on deck. I then removed the forestay at the clevis pin at the mast head and took it ashore to assemble the furler- a Plastimo 406.

A mermaid came alongside to tempt us but swam away as soon as I tried to take a photo.

A bit of gentle persuasion, a couple more beers and the furler was fitted and the mast back up. I have found that on my Alacrity the furling system works best using the halyard deflector that Plastimo make.

I'll get the sail fitted this week, attach a line and give it a test. I'll need to re tune the rigging too. Oh yeah and get some s/s m4 nylock nuts and loads of other things.

Forecast was 17 degrees but felt a lot warmer in the sun. Intermittent cloud, light westerly.

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