Time to test the spinnaker

There was a symmetric spinnaker in the boat as we bought it. We had it checked by Ullman sails in Cape Town, they say that it is in good conditions, probably not used much but that it may have been wet for long time and that it is not that strong anymore.  We think it is about 180sqm probably 1.5oz with a sock.

We should be able to use it with up to 20 knots of apparent wind but the material may break given age and bad conditions.
We ask a friend in Cape Town with a lot of racing experience to help us hoisting the spinnaker for the first time on Eidos, Francesco. We go out with just 10-15 kn wind, not much waves and some rain.
After a quick discussion on how to rig it, the spinnaker is up. Marcella is at the helm and the sheet, Francesco at the sock and I am at the winch (small manual winch at the mast).

I immediately discover that I am not fit enough to easily winch it up, but slowly it gets there. I need to move the halyard back to the main electric winch to do this faster, especially if we need to hoist it in two.
Once up the sailing is very smooth, much better than with the main and the genoa. We can sail it up to 110 degrees, much more than expected. I think that the width of the catamaran helps with it.
We have a short run and we have to take it down, it is quite easy with Francesco’s experience. It looks very reasonable to do it just in two plus the autopilot, we need some practice.
We are back in the marina after only a few hours with more than 20 kn of wind, the mooring is fine. It has been a very pleasant sailing.
In conclusion we now need to practice and master how to sail the spinnaker without extra help and the first step is moving the halyard to the main electric winch. It is clear that the spinnaker will be very helpful in our next passage from Cape Town to Cape Verde, mostly downwind.

Back in V&A marina

Marcella

We are back in V&A Marina and it is a strange feeling. It is like we we have been cruising for much longer than just five days and at the same time as we never left.
In the past five days we learned a lot about Eidos and identified what needs improvements or more practice. We also completed quite few tasks in our todo list and added  new ones:

  • Add control of main winch from the helm
  • Add control of windless from the helm,
  • Consider a chain counter
  • Install a boom preventer for downwind sailing
  • Consider to replace the lazy jack with a lazy bag to simplify the closing of the mainsail
  • Check why the two MPPT/Solar panels appear to provide different power
  • Calibrate depth sounder
  • Go out with some friends to test the spinnaker
  • Investigate more the Pactor for emails

As in any boat the todo list is an endless document, but at least nothing in there that stops us from cruising.
For today we do not work on the boat and spend some time on the computers to organize pictures and thoughts.