About Me

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A little introduction on who we are. I (cath) am the one writing most, no in fact all of the posts:) I am a registered nurse and I am currently doing my degree in translation. So I am full time at work and part time at Univeristy. Dan is the handy man. He graduated in 2009 and he opened his own business. He is a fabulous designer specializing in designing bathroom, kitchen and walking closet. Since he is such a handy guy he is doing most of the fixing on our 42 foot sailboat. We bought White Pearl october 2009 in San Francisco. She is beautiful and needed some lovin. She is a 42 feet aluminum cutter built in 1983. She is a bluewater sailing vessel. Having crossed many oceans before us and she's proven her worth. We live 6 months on the boat during the Summer months. We simply love it. Living aboard is just fantastic, we sail whenever we want and enjoy the water and the nature. It's awesome. We are currently working hard and putting money aside so we can leave one day to live our dream: sailing around the world with our sailboat.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hank on sails vs Roller Furling

Most people think we are crazy for thinking of switching our Roller Furling for Hank on sails...
We heard it all and people from the sailing communities are quite opinionated!
Hank on sails might be seen as being « old fashion » and obsolete, but after much thoughts and consideration, we decided to make the switch.

There is definitely pros and cons to both and we did have to consider what would be best for us.
First of all, after 7 Canadian Winters, we started noticing some wear and tear on our Profurl. Unfortunately, the snow, ice, frost and defrost, damaged the slider and cracked it. For the past 2 Summers, we have been able to make it work with much care and attention, but we were no fools in thinking that we could take this furling system for extensive cruising. On the other hand, fixing or even replacing with a new system would be no less than $5 000.

The cons of a furling system
We heard many horror stories of cruisers being stranded in the middle of nowhere with a sail stuck in the furling system or even in-mast furling system that wouldn't furl the sail back in in high winds...

Furthermore, there is evidence that the furling system creates windage and in high winds, when the sail is furled, that is when it would create the most windage.

The Furling system also adds weight aloft especially in heavy wind.

There is also the difficulty in reefing the sails when needed. Even if the Roller furling makers will say that the sails can be reefed by being rolled in, the results is never optimal and most of the time, there is flapping, bag effect and from our own personal observation, much tension applied on the sails and the rigging. We found it less than optimal and even dangerous for the sails.

It is also difficult to do sail change in the middle of most than favorable weather. Since the reefing isn't the best option, you are forced to do a sail change. It is time consuming and labour intensive, increasing the risk of injuries, breakage or worse, lost of sails or life.

Pros of a furling system
Yes, we have to admit that for coastal navigation, the furler is very convenient and easy to use. One pull and the sail is in. One release and the sail is out.

No folding involve or storage.

If you have a high performance and excellent quality jib furler, I believe, there is certainly benefit to having it.

Cons of Hank on
More work involve in setting a sail initially.

Storage when not in use is more than necessary to avoid sun damage or salt rot.

Involves going forward to attend to the sail.

Pros of Hank on
One release of the halyard and the sail is down (easy release in heavy wind)

Better sail shape when deployed

Reduced windage when the sail is down (especially useful in bad weather) and minimized weight aloft.

Changing sails is easy and fast (can be done by anyone, doesn't require special physical abilities other than managing being at the front of the boat) :-)

Wanting to avoid all of these bad situations, we had to think of our strategy very carefully and given the fact that ours was already damaged, we opted for hank on.

We decided to get hanks added to our existing sails and the new jib will also have it.
We are hoping to get sail bags done for them so they can be hooked to the lifelines when they are being released and than stored in the forward berth where all our storage locker are located.

We have realized long ago that we cannot please everybody and that ultimately, the choice is ours. We are at the point of no return and we are looking forward to try it this Summer and see how it goes.

I will certainly keep you posted on the results and pictures will also be posted for your benefits :-)

New Sails!

We have been considering buying new sails for a while now. We were well aware that the sails on the boat were original to the boat, but were still in good condition and we thought we would use them and give them a new life by fixing the minor tears and always storing them away from the elements...

They have served us well and we are still very happy with their performance. However, they are 33 years old and will eventually need to be replaced!

We started shopping for different companies, different types of sails, different types of fabrics, etc.
The choices are endless... sails from the States, Hong Kong, China, UK, name it. It gets a little dizzying. To be honest, it frightened me a little. Which one to chose? How to guarantee the measurements will be right? Will they make it here? How much for shipping and customs?

We started by considering the type of sailing we would be doing: Cruising.
Hence, the need for a thicker, more resistant material.
Then, we started looking at companies we had met at the Boat Show. (North Sails, Quantum, etc)
And finally, we looked at our budget...

Given the fact that our Canadian money isn't worth much and wanting to encourage Canadian Companies (call this protectionism if you wish), we decided to invest in Canada.

We were recommended this company from many sailors in the area and were told that they were known for doing a good job. We met with them and were surprised to find out that one of the sailmaker was actually working a stone throw away from where our original sails were made in the UK back in the 1980's... Our sails were made by Gowen Ocean Sails, now associated with Dolphins sails. It is a small world after all!

We brought our sails, got measurements, got quotes and decided to go ahead and start with the Jib. If everything goes well and we are happy with everything and we have more money, we will most likely change the Main sail next Spring.

This company is called: Kingston Sail Loft. http://kingstonsailloft.ca/

To follow.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Buried under the snow!

It has been quiet on our front lately since Winter has swallowed us whole!
Buried under 250cm of snow, we are shovelling on a daily basis, hoping to see the end on the horizon...

Our plans are still a GO however, we still have a couple of loose ends that need to be tied.

- We still have to sell our property
- Finish to pay the boat
- Replace 2 sails (Jib and Main)
- Change all the port holes and hatches
- Buy the electronics (Chartplotter, Radar)
- Install the solar panels and the wind generator
- Figure out the dinghy conundrum
- Find a suitable liferaft

Those are all on the « to do » list for the next 2 years.

When we first bought the boat, we had this utopian dream of outfitting the boat and getting it ready in 5 years. Well, what do you know... life gets in the way sometimes and that 5 years project is turning into a 8 years project.
I think initially, there was a tinge of disappointment but now, I realize it was all for a good reason.

We can make all the plans we want but in the end, we are not in control of much, so might as well go with the flow...

We are keeping course, aiming for a departure soonish! Enjoying time with family and friends and embracing the difficulties that come our way. Life isn't perfect and if all these small set backs are the worst we are gonna experience, well bring it on...

Courtesy of GOOGLE image