Monday Sparrow was greeted with 30-40+ knots and some more problems emerged. First, the jib halyard cover ripped apart so the clutch and self tailing winch at the mast are rendered useless. I will come back to this problem in a minute.

The second problem is the batten car above the 3rd reef has split and has detached from the mast car. Because the plastic split it looks like the only real solution is the drill a hole through it and lash it to the mast car. But I don’t know the internal structure of the batten car and if there is a bolt in the way. Although I thought about swapping one batten car for another that may receive less force? Since Monday, now a second batten car in the 2nd reef has separated from the mast car. Now I wonder if I shouldn’t just lash them all when I take the main down.

The third problem is eye-nut on top of the gooseneck pin (a long 1/2″ bolt) that held the mainsail clew has sheared off, taking the top 1″ of the gooseneck pin with it. So now the gooseneck pin has only friction keeping it in while gravity attempts to have it fall out. In a few days of upwind sailing, it dropped 1/4″ so I tapped it back up with a hammer. I need ideas to keep the bolt in place.

With every problem I first wonder if this is finally the show-stopper, the one I can’t overcome and have to make for port or turn around. So far I’ve been able to keep going, but back to the jib halyard…

I really need to keep the jib up. It is a good sail, 2 knots faster than the staysail. Yes I could keep going with out it, but this effort starts to get ridiculous. At the moment, I don’t know why the cover ripped apart. One reason could be there is a chafe point where the halyard exits the mast, but things look OK there to my eye and it seems like it would only chafe on one side and I would notice before total failure. Another possibility is the cover to chafe guard transition was weak and it just let go. If this is the cause than the existing halyard core may be OK to stay in place.

I have options. I could keep the existing halyard core in place and secure it somehow. I could replace the halyard with the Code 0 halyard (assuming I can strip the halyard tail, or I possibly to use the fractional spin halyard (most problematic). But, I don’t want to replace the halyard if there is a serious chafe problem at the mast exit. Finally, I could cimb the mast and somehow lash the sail up the hounds. Looking at photos there is not an obvious place to lash the head swivel to. I will contact some technical folks before deciding on a course of action.

I haven’t posted about all this before as I didn’t want this blog to be about nothing but problems. Oh well.

After beating upwind for a few days, I’m ready for some wind aft of the beam sailing, and to be able to sail on course. It’s OK as long as the waves aren’t chaotic and below 20 knots. Some magic happens above 20 knots and a lot of water comes over the deck and Sparrow starts bucking and heaving. Expedition says just run down the rhumb line. Not very helpful.

Now on to repairing the diaphragm stripping pump. I’m guessing some crud got into the valves.

2 thoughts on “Progress?

  1. You might want to bypass the in mast stuff and just lash a block up on top of the mast and run a spare line up as a halyard. You could inspect this more easily and change it out if necessary.


  2. Whitall, can you post a photo of the gooseneck pin problem (sat bandwidth permitting)? Do you have a 1/2″ steel bolt or rod on board long enough you can use as replacement? I’m actually surprised it’s that thin. On my boat I believe that pin is 7/8″. Another solution may be to lash through the bottom eye of the pin and over the top of the fitting using either seizing wire or rope.
    I have to say, despite the problems, you seem to have managed a pretty nice and steady pace over the trip so far!


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