Monday, May 23, 2011

New sails

This post is being back dated to when it happened.  I'm currently in the middle of the project to rebuild my head (Groco model K) and replace all the sanitation hose.  Its nasty, difficult, cramped, frustrating, painful, unrewarding work.  Not at all like the experience I had getting new sails for Luckness.   Ah....  The memories...

I have heard Carol Hasse speak on a number of topics at sail seminars over the past few years and have always been impressed.  I've heard her give the same talk on storm sails three times, and am still picking up things that I missed in previous talks.  When it came time to look into getting new sails for Luckness, Carol was on top of my list.  In the end, Port Townsend sails was the only loft on my list and I called them many months ago to get into their production queue.  I wanted a full set of sails: genoa, staysail, main, storm staysail, trysail, asymmetric spinnaker.   Luckness was taken up to Port Hudson marina on May 22nd and the new sails were brought aboard on Monday the 23rd.  Terry came along for the ride and to help with the test sail.

The whole experience was very rewarding.  I had expected that working with Carol Hasse would be satisfying and that I would end up learning lots and getting a great set of new sails, but I was surprised by the rest of the loft crew.  This surprise was completely unwarranted - of course the whole crew would be equally friendly, skillful and nice to work with.  Carol is so strongly associated with this loft that the rest of the people end up behind the scenes - but they are the ones who actually build the sails and their work is superb.  Many thanks to the entire crew.

The work starts with an overall plan on what I wanted built.  Then Carol measures the boat and rig in many ways.  From these measurements the sails can be designed.  This is done on a computer and the desired sail shape is designed in.  The computer then drives a large plotter in the cutting room and the panels are cut into shape.  

The start of my spinnaker on the plotting/cutting table.

After the plotting and cutting, the crew has a set of panels they can start to work with.  This is part of my staysail getting ready for assembly.

Skipping a few steps - there is a bunch of sewing and other 'stuff.'  Here is my genoa toward the end of its completion.

The loft has a test track so they can 'raise the main'.  Here is my mainsail on the test track being worked on.

On delivery day, we had light winds and were able to raise all the sails and see their set at the dock.  This was followed up with a test sail where we flew the spinnaker (and main, genoa, staysail.)  Above is my new genoa, main, storm staysail, trysail.  The whole process took 6 solid hours.

Carol and Terry on the test sail.

Looking good!

Luckness has a hull speed of 7.2 knots (standing up, when healed the LWL and hull speed increases.)  Here she is sailing along in lightish winds a few days ago.   

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