Went to the CYC's PSSC on the Sound yesterday & we had the most wonderful sailing the 3 of us had ever experienced. The hours before the race on the docks were filled with exuberance and a spirit of camaraderie as sailors prepared their boats. There were wonderful breezes & the predicted rain left & the sun came out as the race was about to start. This humbled skipper excluded, I've never seen such exquisite sailing by so many, so upfront and personal. This was truly one great experience & I am grateful to everyone involved for putting on such a wonderful event!
Perhaps my Seldon is defective or it is like so many gimmicks I bought to improve my golf game: They may work somewhat, but, in the last analysis, time is better spent on the fundamentals.
Wednesday, the spinnaker was installed on the Seldon at the dock with no breeze. She furled and unfurled; however, the end of the furl was a little looser than expected; this was attributed to the fact that there was no breeze and that the cut of the A Sail was a little full for tension to...
Yesterday at the PSSC, we left the dock with ample time to do several pre-race sets, gibes, and douses. The breeze was light and the furler worked somewhat imperfectly, but we were encouraged. While all of these were addressed with such alacrity by an attentive, intelligent, athletic, and youthful crew, so as to not impede the speed of the boat, the issues were in order of appearance: fouling of the furler at the sprit; clearing the top 6', or so, of the unfurled part at the top after the setting; and the inordinate amount of hauling on the furler line, it seemed like it took an eternity to furl the sail; some difficulty in keeping the rope-like sail from falling overboard as it laid on the deck.
As the winds picked-up, we were able to deal with all of the issues and finish 3 races (I say finish with reticence because in the first 2 races the skipper, yours truly, rounded a few wrong marks, was expecting different starting procedures, etc. & for the first time in this, my first racing season, there were no A Sails (they were all symmetricals) ahead of me to help with a satisfactory reaching and gibing strategy in the down wind legs.) The amount of hauling to furl the sail became increasingly arduous & became nothing short of ridiculous.
In the fourth race the sail furled for approximately 6' at the top & that was it. Having moved 50 plus yards beyond the mark, we let "God take her down" and withdrew. We then headed to the docks which CYC had provided at Shilshole to tidy-up and see if we could get the furler off. The sail was so tightly wound at the top that it is a testament to the strength of the material that it wasn't shredded. The furling line was tangled and the heavy black cable around which the sail was supposed to furl was a mass of twists about itself. It took the 3 of us some time to remove the furler. Except for a slight tear from a snag on a bow cleat near the foot, the sail was unharmed.
We then headed home to Kirkland. When we got to Lake Union, with our spirits somewhat restored by inordinate belly-laughing during the journey, we decided to do a little sailing in Lake Union. We gloried in our abilities with the A Sail, by no means perfect, but approaching it. The furler experience made us ever so grateful for our abilities... We arrived home just in time for drinks, a delicious roast beef with our spouses, and much more laughter and some serious discussion as to how we plan to learn at least when to start and where to go after we do. An A Sail reaching strategy may start to sink in?
On my boat, I think one needs to sail with adequate crew to handle the A Sail proficiently the old-fashioned way or just don't use it. Because of its relative size, I don't think the A Sail on my boat is ever to be used casually. I believe the furler could work well with a smaller "cruising" spinnaker like the one in Seldon's video ( http://www.youtube.c...&hl=en_US&rel=0 ) This would be great when sailing with less than experienced hands in ideal conditions. It seems that this particular furler on my boat created at least as many issues as it solved.