Sailplan update and the importance of rig checks

The team at Escale Rigging is making good progress with our sailplan modifications. Although the boat is a total construction zone right now, it’s great to see all the work getting done.

I’ve had some people ask why I have to make these changes on a brand new boat? The answer is, I don’t “have” to make any changes, but I did think it was likely that I would want to make some modifications to the headsails after I had sailed the boat for a year and that’s what this project is about. If you’ve read my earlier posts on the construction process you know that I was very happy with the advice I received from Outremer when we selected all the options we wanted to install, but there were some things that I just couldn’t decide on without spending time sailing the boat, so I asked Outremer to install the structural elements we would need for the different headsail options, and I deferred the final decisions on the sailplan until after our first year of sailing.

We had to pull the ceiling lining out to install the genoa sheet lead pad-eyes and to run power cables

The ceiling lining was removed to install the genoa sheet pad-eyes and to route power and control cables and the pneumatic lines for the UpsideUp system.

 

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The cabinets were removed to install controls for the new headsail furler winch and to convert the genoa sheet winches to electric.

 

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Stéphane from Outremer came over from La Grande Motte to show the guys how to disassemble the head lining, and to make sure we had sufficient reinforcement for the new genoa sheet padeyes. Everything is fine because Outremer added the reinforcing when they built the roof. Thanks Stéphane!

Almost all the equipment and materials have been ordered now, and everything should be delivered in the next few weeks.

The new 45 kg Ultra anchor and flip swivel are in place and fit onto the davits with no changes, which is great!

Outremer sent their electrical engineer over to replace the faulty level gauges on the water tanks. Outremer’s R&D team has done a lot of testing with different level sensors to find a model that is accurate and reliable. This was made more complicated because the sensors need to be quiet, as the water tanks are under the beds. The sensors that use a sliding magnet ring are very reliable, but are too noisy, so we needed to find a reliable capacitive sensor that has no moving parts. The new sensors and gauges are now installed and are working well.

The halyards and reefing lines have been replaced with higher performance Dyneema/Technora lines and Escale Rigging fitted extra dyneema sleeves over the friction areas of the new lines to make them even more resistant to chafing.

1st reef reefing line

The original 1st reef line uses a dyneema/polyester blend which shows significant chafe after 1 season of use where it runs through the low friction ring on the sail leech

 

New reefing lines are much higher load and have friction reducing sleeves

The new reefing lines are higher load dyneema/technora and have friction reducing dyneema sleeves

 

You can see the anti-friction sleeve on the gennaker halyard which we use to hold up the boarding bridge when we are at the dock. The sleeve protects from chafe where the halyard enters the mast.

You can see the anti-friction sleeve on the gennaker halyard (which we use to hold up the boarding bridge when we are at the dock). The sleeve protects from chafe where the halyard enters the mast.

 

New halyards

New halyards

We did have one surprise when the guys were up the mast to route the new halyards, they found the outer coating has come away from around the opening where the forestay attachment loops enter the mast,  exposing the carbon fiber edge, which could cause chafing of the dyneema loops.

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Outremer has contacted Lorima, the mast manufacturer, and they are sending us instructions on how to fix it. It’s not a structural fault, but it is something that could chafe the forestay attachment loops over time, and it serves as a reminder of the importance of doing thorough rig checks every season, even on new boats!

Mainsail batten fitting still not fixed!

I’m still waiting for a replacement for the fitting that attaches the top batten of the mainsail to the mast. The fitting broke during the Outremer cup in May, and we have been waiting since August for Incidences (the sail manufacturer) to figure out why it broke and to send us a replacement.

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Our broken fitting on the left vs the original fitting on the right. The 3 holes in a line create a weak zone which caused the fracture.

After Incidences sent me two replacements that were exactly the same as the one that broke, I pulled our broken one out of the sail and sent it to Outremer so they could work it out directly with Incidences. The response from Incidences is that the fitting broke because the attachment holes are all in a line, which creates a weak zone. They are manufacturing a replacement from a stronger material with the holes staggered. I can’t understand why this has taken 4 months to fix (so far) and we can’t use the boat without it, so I’m certainly not a fan of Incidences right now!

New headsails

Our new headsails (genoa, staysail and storm jib) are currently being manufactured by North Sails (I won’t buy sails from Incidences again after the batten fitting debacle) at the North USA factory, which is where all the new 3Di sails are made. I’m hearing really great reports from other owners about these sails having excellent durability on long distance cruising boats, so hopefully we will be happy with them also.

I’ll post an update as work progresses, and hopefully some video as well.

6 Comments on “Sailplan update and the importance of rig checks

  1. Fascinating to see what you are up to Doug, you will have a sorted boat soon and hopefully lower maintenance.

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  2. Hi Doug,
    Interesting article thanks. We’ve communicated before – I have a Swan 55 but want to move to an Outremer when she’s sold.
    I can verify the Lead Rings for the Reefing line sail attachments are excellent – easy to fit and virtually no friction.

    Further, I’ve just fitted two new sails in 3Di by North – Main and Gib. Excellent performance and strength. North tell me that even as a Racing sail, they are lasting longer than the Cruising range.
    I’m also fitting a 3Di Staysail on a KZ Furler – easy to rig and adds performance when the wind is between 50 and 130 apparent (Gib and Staysail together).

    Good luck with the rest of your project and best wishes for 2017

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    • Hi Chris, it’s great to hear another positive data point about the North 3Di sails! Best wishes for 2017, and good luck selling your Swan.

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  3. Hello Doug. Been following your blog here and your YouTube channel for a while now. I have really enjoyed reading/seeing your shared experiences with Wilding. Thanks for that.
    I came across an article (I’ll share the like below) about a downwind sail arrangement, called a “Simbo” rig, that made me immediately think of you, having read your post about the changes you’re making to your sail plan based on keeping the boat balanced. And how you’d like the ability to sail deeper and more calmly than catamaran purists may extol. It’s an interesting read and may lend something to any future sail plans for you. Or not. Maybe you’ve already read about it. 🙂 Regardless, take care and happy sailing.
    http://www.rhbell.com/Simbo/simbo-downwind-sailing.html

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    • Hi Kevin, thanks for sending the link. I have tried a similar approach to the rig described in the article on our last boat. On dead downwind runs we could put our genoa out on one side and our bowsprit mounted gennaker out on the other side, with the main on the same side as the genoa. It worked OK, although not as good as a spinnaker, but it was good on short legs when we didn’t want to bother with a spinnaker. We could probably do the same thing on Wildling with the genoa and code 0, I’ll give it a try!
      Cheers,
      Doug

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