Shakedown sail 2015

May 11, 2015


With the weather misbehaving so far this year, we hadn’t made it out for a shakedown sail since crane-in last month. At the top of our agenda was testing our Macwester Malin’s genoa, and on Saturday night we had a small window to do this.

We slipped our mooring around 5.30pm and headed out on to the River Forth managing to dodge most of the showers. There wasn’t all that much wind, but there were noticeable gusts, so we decided not to unfurl the whole of the genoa and leave the main and mizzen under wraps until we had properly tested the genoa. We pootled along at a leisurely 2.5 knots, and reckoned that we had just enough speed to tack, so we gave it a go.


We were right to be cautious as, just as it did throughout last year, the genoa wouldn’t play ball. Given that there wasn’t much wind and we didn’t have the other sails up, I was able to casually make my way out on deck. With a few tugs I managed to get the sail furled back up. This is a problem that originated when we got the UV strip replaced during the winter of 2013/2014. We had to reverse the sail so that the new UV strip protected the genoa as intended. The sail loft are adamant that they put the new strip on the right way, but it seems to us that they didn’t. The solution is to change the position of the furling drum, and until that’s done then we really aren’t ready to go sailing in anything more than a very light breeze …and there aren’t too many of these around at the moment (see screen-grab taken ten minutes ago from windyty.com below).


Still, that’s what a shakedown sail is for. So I’d better come up with a cunning plan for a permanent fix.

…now where did I leave that sledge hammer?



  1. Put mine on wrong once but only once. Thnk that whatever way round they stiched the uv strip on, you roll the drum starting with all the rope out whichever way ensures the blue is on the outside.That way as you pull the sheet out , the drum takes in the rope in the right direction. The drum will rotate either way.


    • Hi Peter, thanks for your message. We tried rolling the drum round the other way, however the problem is that means that the rope comes out of the other side of the rectangular hole in the drum, and because of that it snags/catches on the edge (even more than it does just now).

      An alternative solution we considered was to enlarge the rectangular hole, but in the end we reasoned that rotating the drum so that the hole allows the line to travel freely would be a neater (less invasive solution), as hopefully we will only need to drill a new hole for the bolt that secures the drum.

      I hope that makes sense. Thank you very much once again for your suggestion.


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