Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Dutchman

Flaking is folding a sail back and forth so it lay without wrinkles and creases. The Dutchman Flaking System is meant to do this for the mainsail automatically "once it's adjusted properly," as the manual states. Speakeasy has a Dutchman system, which isn't adjusted properly. It's also based on old lines, some of which have signs of chafe.

During the trip back from Michigan, the wind picked up so we decided to reef--something we had just learned how to do. Reefing reduces the sail area exposed to the wind and can produce a smoother ride that puts less pressure on the sail and the passengers. However, once the sail was reefed the Dutchman control lines were chaffing against the sail. I was concerned that the sail would be damaged and attempted to adjust the Dutchman lines. When I attempted to get the adjusting line out of a cleat, it snapped. We lost the adjusting line and the topping lift that holds up the boom. That was enough sailing for the day. We brought in the sails and motored the last 5 miles to Monroe Harbor.
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