Note: Still tagging this as the “Wing Sail build 2015” as it’s basically a step towards it. Converting this sail to a wing sail is as easy as making the nose pieces that wrap around the mast and then sewing a doubling canvas around the front part of the sail.
Tl;dr? Scroll down to the end of this post for a video
After a week of working morning until late evening I’ve finally had my first sea trial and it was way more, way better than I could ever have hoped for. The sail looks perfect and everything works as planned. The winds were very light as it was late in the evening, around 4-5 knots or so.
I had a lot of worries throughout the whole week, there were lots of things that could potentially go wrong. I ordered the hinges to be machined at a workshop (out of POM plastic) on Monday and they thought they could have them ready by Friday but couldn’t be sure. Worries. I also ordered grommets on Wednesday that were supposed to be delivered on Friday. The hinges were ready on Friday and the design seemed to work perfectly in dry runs. The grommets arrived in the mail on Friday.
Only one minor mistake (that I’ve noticed/realized so far)
I actually made one mistake with the combined boom pocket/lazyjack triangles, where my design was as planned, as well as the cutting, but for some reason (most likely lack of sleep) I sewed them together wrongly and had to sew on another piece of canvas to make them work. No worries though, the end result was basically the same.
All in all everything wen’t very well, including the sea trials where I made surprisingly good speed in very light winds. Couldn’t be happier. Now I just have to see how well the sail holds up in stronger winds.
Still a lot of small work to do on the boat, non-sail related, so won’t meet my schedule of being ready to leave on Saturday (last night), but I’m still all in all super happy about the outcome. The sail sits very nicely, exactly as in the CAD drawing, and there are basically zero problems with it.
Simple, yet effective
Last but not least, I’m not using neither a yard hauling nor a luff hauling parrel and the sail still sits very well, so I’m hoping to not have to use them at all, which would leave me with only the halyard and the split sheet (separate sheets for the upper and lower part of the sail) for running rigging. I’m probably going to install a downhaul or two though as I’ll be using the engine a minimal amount (or even remove it altogether) so it can be handy in certain conditions to assist that the sail comes down readily.
I’ve documented the build in images but still don’t have time to edit/upload them all now, so will make a separate post for that later. For now, this Youtube video will have to suffice: