So What Else Can Happen?
09 June 2019
Robert & Alice Smith
We are cruising the Chesapeake Bay, it's June 7th.
First the western side in Virginia and now the eastern side in Maryland. So many places to anchor, so many creeks and bays. We are though on a mission to be at St. Michaels on June 9th to meet up with the Ocean Cruising Club rally.
So let me back up a bit. The topic is in-mast-furling.
We have a Seldon mast with in-mast-furling. So far over the course of some 11 years we have probably unfurled and furled our main a hundred or so times with few problemos. We have, though, had some problems, that's an arg!! We roll it in thinking all is good and then when it's time to roll it out, guess what.........it's stuck and won't come out.
We were in Deltaville on our way to Smith's Creek. I decided to give the Admiral a break furling the main. Alice, the Admiral, usually does the furling while I steer and give commands. (It's not a good idea to give commands to an Admiral). I rolled up the sail thinking all was good and we anchored in Smith's creek for the night.
The next day we went to go sailing, started pulling out the main and it was stuck about half way out. So we ended up sailing with jib alone to Solomons. It was my fault the sail was rolled improperly and I learned a very valuable lesson. Let the Admiral furl the main.
Now we are anchored in Solomons with a main that won't unfurl. We had invited folks from two cruising boats to join us for cocktails and story telling that evening. One of the couple was from New Zealand and they filled our evening with stories of their journeys half way around the world. Later I asked the two guys if they would help me up the mast to try and fix our problem. “Of course”, were their answers.
At 0800 they showed up, and it was time for this old guy to go up the mast, uck!! I've done this before so I had an idea what to expect. Pulling up and out on the leach where it exits the mast usually frees the sail a bit at a time. This time I only had to go up almost to the first spreaders when the sail popped free, hurray!!. I asked the guys below to pull the sail down but it was stuck. It unfurled but would not come down. Now what? Hoist me up higher was my command.
I got to the top of the sail and discovered it had pulled out of the luff grove in the furling extrusion. With both hands around the mast trying to force the luff tape into the grove while having the guys below slowly release the halyard, voila, the sail dropped. I was a hero...., so I thought.
Now this story could go on further, but to save your eyes, we were not out of the woods. Alice and I tried to re-hoist the main only to find that it would go about ½ way up and stop. Now this is a triple arg!! It wouldn't go up nor would it come down. Now we were screwed with a main sail stuck half way up.
Alice and I were able to hoist me back up the main high enough for me to start wrapping a line around the sail to keep it from flogging.
We got into the dinghy and went to the marina office to talk to a rigger.
Now a long story even shorter, they gave us a space at their work dock, two riggers came on board, called the US rep of Seldon, presented me with a solution and within two hours and a couple of hundred US dollars later we were good to go. And since then we have unfurled and furled the main at least two times with no problemos.
We are in Don Creek with one of the couples from Solomons. Cocktails tonight, and tomorrow we head to St, Michaels to start out next OCC event.