Stacked

One of the biggies on the to do list has been to sew some sort of “stack-pack” style sailcover. It wasn’t a convenience thing it was a serious safety thing. Take a peek at our boom, we can’t reach most of it. Not only is it very high, but with the bimini and dodger it was completely inaccessible. Bringing down and flaking the mainsail in the flat calm river was an ordeal, as was putting on the sailcover. Reefing at sea?-eeeek. It required balancing on the varnished (slippery) coaming and the top of the lifelines with nothing to hang onto except the bottom of the boom itself. Stupidly dangerous.

So, I set about making a new sailcover with lazyjacks. It’s basically two, flat pieces of canvas. Attach it to the boom and hang it from the mast. Easy.

Ha.

I started with the Sailrite PDF instructions and the free full instruction video, but I wanted to make some custom changes. (If I hadn’t it really would have been easy) Namely, I wanted to use the slide slots we have in the sides of our boom as the attachment points for the bottom of the cover, line the entire sail cover with Dacron, and keep all of the weight-bearing seams away from any sun exposure. Decreasing windage was also a big priority while at the same time being mindful that we can’t even reach the boom, we really can’t reach the top of the sail cover and shove the sail in, it had to fit in the cover on its own when it’s lowered. And so began my complicated easy project.

I thought the dodger was the hardest piece of canvas to sew. That took me four full days. This sail cover is coming in at just under four weeks! I did make a mock-up using the old sail cover, so technically, I made two in a month. (The mock-up version is the second photo with the striped, tablecloth looking fabric on the bottom)

At times I got quite frustrated, like when I discovered it made a spectacular rain catcher :/ , but I think I finally got all the kinks worked out. It no longer catches rain, it does catch the sail, it is fully lined to protect from chafe, none of the working seams are exposed to the sun, doesn’t interfere with reefing lines, and it looks pretty tidy too. And most importantly, no more standing above the lifelines!

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20140821-215536.jpg^don’t judge this one-it was my pattern!

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I’m going to forget for a little while longer that I still have a second mast and sail to tend to.

Where were we one year ago: All Aboard

Enclosure

We can now enjoy a rainproof, bug proof cockpit! I finished installing the full enclosure this morning.

As It turns out procrastination can be beneficial. I started planning this project in January, but got sidetracked with the haul out and never got it going. In the meantime, I dicovered that Sailrite had recently released a new instructional DVD Make Your Own Full Boat Enclosure. Having had great success with their Dodger DVD, I purchased it but couldn’t imagine how the video could cover such a complex and highly custom project. Turns out, they do an excellent job. The DVD gives complete instructions for three different window options to choose from: just glass, glass with permanent screens, and glass with removable screens.

In the end I went with a fourth option. Inspired by the removable screens option, I wanted to not only have the screens attached to the glass panels, but be able to be used on their own-without the glass panels attached. So I watched and rewatched the DVD until I was able to design what I had envisioned. I am pretty thrilled with the final result.

I love the way the perpendicular zippers are installed- the binding covers and protects the entire zipper-front, back, teeth. Zippers are pretty much the first thing to be eaten by the sun and with about fifty of them, yes fifty, I like that they are pretty much invisible to the sun.

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