Monday, May 18, 2009

The resurrected sail

Last Saturday was supposed to be the day the newly resurrected sail was to be tested. It was windy. However, I decided not to because my legs were tired and my balance was so-so. I play basketball on Friday and gets drunk afterwards. It used to be no problem before but now, I need another day of rest. Maybe I'm getting old.

I was fortunate that the weather gave me good wind the next day with no rain and no lightning. It's summer and hot so the wind came really as a surprise. We went to the beach at lunch, CAREFULLY rigged the sail and was amazed by the new monofilm panels. It looks like it just came out from the distributor!

The wind was still northeast, 8-12 knots with moderate chops. I was surprised that the sail feels more powerful this time. I could feel the pull during gusts and actually have "moments" of planing. The sail also gives more feedback whenever I am approaching lulls. I think that as the sail becomes more brittle, it becomes harder to sail so a new monofilm would bring back the sail's properties as designed.

As expected, Mizuki doesn't want to be left behind. There was one time when she swam towards me but I was headed offshore already. Fortunately, I looked back and found her swimming offshore, around 20 meters from the beach. The chops were bigger than her and she could drown once her energy is all used up. I immediately tacked and let her sail with me.

I enjoying blasting around, testing the sail at any angles, tacking and gybing. I fell only once at 4PM, which means I sailed for four hours straight. My arms and legs hinted that we are done for the day.

So, there it goes. I got concerned that the sail wouldn't perform as designed with a replaced monofilm and it did exceed my expectations. I derigged and enjoyed chatting with the locals. Mizuki, however, was out of gas.

Notes: I am almost certain that I would need a bigger board to keep me planing in light winds, a 80-85cm wide perhaps for my 190lb frame. I am now eyeing on the Starboard Futura 144 but will have to wait a few more months to free up my budget.

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