Mainsail Work

If you saw the tracker today, you may have noticed I wasn’t moving in the right direction. All is fine aboard, I hove-to for 4 or 5 hours to work on the mainsail, and got her mainly (get it) sorted out. The funny part was drilled a hole in the sail to allow lashing the batten car to the sail. Weird experience drilling a hole in your sail. Once the batten cars were sorted out I made sure the outer reef line blocks were attached to the sail securely.

Quick aside: is the carrick bend the right knot to tie dyneema to itself? If knot (see what I did there?), can someone advise the correct knot. If someone can forward some tying directions that would help. It’s probably in Bowditch somewhere, but may knot be very helpful.

Finally I found a 12″ rip along the luff just below the 3rd reef point. After despairing for a few minutes, I got out the needle and thread and set about stitching it up. It took me maybe 2 hours, but it is sewn up. I think it will need a patch stitched around it also to spread the load, so I will have to keep a close eye on it and plan that project soon. Shout out to Yolanda Vilchis: you were missed today!

The gooseneck pin and jib halyard issues are still nagging me as clear solutions are elusive.

Big fun full moon tonight.

7 thoughts on “Mainsail Work

  1. The strongest bend for dyneema appears to be a double fisherman’s knot. It breaks at 30% of line strength. Other bends are at or below 20%, although I could find specific #s for the Carrick Bend. I found a climbing report that when Carrick bends are used the ends are tied to the opposite working ends with bowlines for slippage.


  2. I do not have any dyneema rigging on my boat, so no first-hand knowledge. With this disclaimer, here is a knot I found, recommended by Allen Edwards (the guy behind Supposedly, it slips even less than the triple fisherman in their tests (apparently, there is no perfect knot for dyneema). It is basically a beefed up version of the Carrick bend.

    1. Start with a REVERSE Carrick bend – same knot, but the to bitter ends come out on the same side (not on opposite sides as with the regular Carrick bend).
    2. If you lay it flat, it should be a symmetrical weave pattern with a hole in the center, and two bitter ends pointing away from you. Take the bitter ends, loop them back and thread through the center hole. They should pass in opposite directions (the bitter end exiting the reverse Carrick bend downwards should enter the center hole from the top; the one exiting upwards should enter the center hole from the bottom). Tighten and it’s done.

    The Rigger’s Apprentice (Brion Toss) recommends Ashley Bend, but I do not know how to explain it without drawings, and there are some mixed reviews on the web.

    As a former climber, I feel a bit apprehensive recommending a knot have not tried myself, but if it is not life-or-death application, I’d give it a try…


  3. Can you access the jib halyard area were the cover split (using a tag line?) and splice a chafe protect cover over it? If you don’t have spare cover material, might be able to slide up a section of the cover below the split to splice.


  4. Enjoy your updates. Much better than a Blue Arrow on a Garmin screen. Good News is every time you have a fix it problem I go look at RAD to see if she has a similar problem so far so good. As far as knots I have a hard enough time tying my shoe laces. Keep on keeping on my Man.


  5. I religiously monitor your updates. In reference to your gooseneck pin. This suggestion is definitely a wild idea. If you have Loctite on board, you might be able to use it as a light glue. When hardened, it should increase retention of the pin in the vertical axis and hopefully be light enough to be punched out when the pin needs replacement. Obviously you don’t introduce Loctite to the rotating parts of the gooseneck brackets, just to the upper and the lower sections. It’s not a replacement to the earlier suggestions to lash the pin up with a wire or a rope, but rather in addition to. With the coaxial force on the pin relatively low all of the above might give you a peace of mind.

    If difference in diameter of the pin and the hole in the gooseneck bracket is too large, making for too wide of the gap the Loctite may not stick to the metal surfaces.

    Obviously, I have never tried such solution myself.

    Good luck! Fair winds.
    We are all praying for your success.


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