Monday, November 30, 2009

Anchor riding sail

Last year on our attempt to make it out to Barkley Sound by way of the Straits, we made it as far as Becher Bay near Sooke where we stayed for 3 days while 40 knot winds tore up the waters. While at anchor, we were swinging around so much that it was truly unpleasant. I ended up setting a stern anchor just to stop the swinging, which worked so well that the little danforth dug in so deep I bent the shank when it came time to pull it out. I swore I would make an anchor riding sail and that time has come.

I purchased the kit from Sailrite and it was a quick and easy evening project.

Hoisting the sail on the boat was interesting and it seems I have two good options. One is to hoist it on one of the two wires of the backstay. This arrangement has certain advantages and disadvantages. In particular, the disadvantages are that it is a bit low and some of it is sheltered by the dodger, and the halyard pull is not exactly in line with the luff of the sail. Advantageously however, it is oriented to the side of the boat which is purportedly better for preventing swinging.

Another option is to hoist it on the boom topping lift. This is a better hoist in terms of having a fair lead for the halyard in line with the luff, and that it is up higher to catch cleaner air, but that height may be a problem if it causes heeling and the fact that it is in line with the boat is a concern.

Next time we are anchored out in strong winds I will try both arrangements and see which one works best. In either case, I am very happy to have this sail in my inventory.

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