So, the season is over. Yesterday, our club held the official "end of season" sail. It was fun (sailing always is fun in a boat that is so fast, that with most other boats in the club you can decide whether to overtake them on the weather or the lee side, see http://www.kieler.org/), apart from touching ground 4 times http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...ons/icon11.gif The third time, the rudder was pushed out of its hinges and my wife had to steer with the sails for a bit until I had the rudder back in place. Luckily, no damage to the hinges or the rudder, just the spring securing the rudder had buckled a little.
Three times stones and once sand. Not happy about hitting the stones ... The boat only draws 0,9 meters, but we were a bit close to the shore I guess. The advantage of hitting ground several times is, that you get better at sailing the boat off ... The keel is only hung in a slot in the hull, without any keelbolts, as the hull can also be used with a centerboard, so apart from the rear end of the slot being damaged when hitting ground, there isn't a lot to worry (I hope). The boat doesn't take water, so any damage shouldn't be too serious. After the sail, we took the mast down and brought it home. The boat will be taken out next weekend and I can inspect the keel and keel slot for damage then. The week after that, the harbour and boathouse will be made ready for winter.
Work for this winter - apart from general inspection and a lot of small jobs like rerivetting fairleads for control lines, which do not take a lot of time for the job but take a lot of time for derigging and rerigging the lines and getting the right spares - is mainly the sleeve in the masthead and a new main halyard. The bracket holding the sleeve in place was already broken when we bought the boat (one thing we didn't spot) and I have had a new bracket machined this year. Now I have to fit this bracket. The new sleeve has a roller bearing, so the effort required to set the main should drop a lot http://www.woodenboatvb.com/vbulleti...cons/icon6.gif
One other thing bothered me yesterday - our main competitor in the club was a lot faster than us. From handicap he should be a little slower, but normally we are pretty evenly matched. And yesterday he didn't even take all his gear off like he does when racing. I will have to look for fouling on our hull which we antifouled in spring, if there isn't any fouling this is pretty serious. I know he had a new main this year, perhaps it's time for us as well. Ours is setting okishly, but needs a lot of mast bend when close hauled to keep the middle of the sail flat. We had another main for the boat as well which was much newer but set much worse, so we gave that away. At least, it will give me something to think about during the dark days coming up ...