Monday, January 4, 2010
As those who have built a boat will attest, some days seem almost like a time warp. Little details can far out-reach their apparent significance.
Take reef points for instance. You sew a reinforcing patch and poke a hole in the sail, then tie a line through it. Easy.
First we had to sew reinforcing cringle rings on each reef patch. Then, there are two ways of attaching the line, called a nettle, to each reef point. One way is to simply tie an overhand knot on each side of the sail, at the center of each nettle.
But around here we always set the bar a little higher.
The preferred method for attaching reef nettles to a cruising sail is to stitch them to the sail and to each other.
Simple enough? In theory. But in practice, a bit of a challenge. By design, the reef points are placed in the midst of a lot of heavy fabric. Reaching alternately from one side of the sail to the other to lash the nettle down involves an aerobic amount of exertion and zen like concentration to avoid sewing multiple layers of the sail together in a bunch or stitching fingers to a cringle.
The reef nettles on Mistral's new main are seized on each end, then lashed to the sail with a double figure eight loop, which is then tied off with a sewn shank on each side.
A good days work!