We now have the wind vane self steering rigged and operational. It took a little trial and error to learn, but once we got the concept down, it proved to be a surprisingly simple and very reliable way of having the boat steer itself. The gear keeps the boat on a stable course relevant to the wind direction, and is easy to adjust when needed. We can see how on longer voyages this will be an invaluable tool by relieving the need for the helmsman to continually hand steer. And it has the added benefit of requiring no battery power at all.
After 10 years of none use the mast sail track needed a good cleaning. We’re not sure what got in there, maybe a wasp nest or just years of gravel dust, but the sail was dangerously resistant to raising and lowering. Jack Wedekind of Wedekind sails in Port Jefferson made up this handy tool. He sowed a rope bolt into an old piece of sailcloth and put two grommets in. He said to feed it into the track and hoist it with a halyard and pull it down with a downhaul. Then take it out and cut away some of the sailcloth to expose the rope and spread it out to make a swab before doing it again. Repeat as often as necessary and add plenty of dry lube. It worked like a charm! The entire mainsail can be raised by hand and drops on its own when needed. This was a DONATED contribution by Jack for the boys. Thanks Jack!
As we sail Nada new priorities present themselves. While the original running rigging seems to work well and we have not experienced any breakage, we have to consider that the lines have been unused for 10 years with most of those years on the hard in the boat yard. It’s time to replace the halyards and sheets as a precaution.
Young Luke Hornblower went up the mast in his climbing harness to lube the sail tracks and check the mast head. A brave young lad, and a capable sailor too. Philip made a short video of our “shake down” day. The wind was light but Nada moved nicely with almost imperceptible wind. This is something we had not expected from a 27,000 lb boat.
Don Pantino from the Mount Sinai Sailing Association generously donated 4D house batteries and a great starter battery to Nada. Don believes strongly in our youth leadership mission and clearly backs up his beliefs. We are hugely grateful for this donation which was a major hurdle for us before launching.
The boys remove the sails from Nada in preparation for painting and vanishing before launch in May