Downwind

I took Satori on a weekend tour to Everett this weekend. I’ve never been there except when I was a kid I remember going to places like Hat Island, the Jetty and spent many days of summer on the waterfront in Mukilteo. I wanted to sail without worrying about other people so I took a friend along and sailed some of the way. I was able to get the sails up and stay close to the wind until a few miles south of Whidbey Island’s Possession Point. At one point Satori was doing a little over four knots on a close haul with a nice heel.  Once the winds died near Possession Point I motored through Possession Sound and parked on the inside part of the guest dock at the Everett Marina. A couple of people I know from being guests at Shilshole flagged me down and suggested I stay the night next to their boat. I invited them over for beers while they ogled Satori’s interior. The next morning I motored past Mukilteo, right around where the winds died the day before. Tons of fishing boats were heading north for a fishing derby. I might have passed five hundred in a matter of hours. It’s tough to tell.

Once the winds picked up and changed direction to the north I decided to get the sails up. I started with a broad reach until the winds were on my quarter. Then I decided to get the spinnaker up and pull down the foresails. I rigged it much better than in the past, using a tack line run through a block at the pennant and then back to a cleat in the cockpit. Satori went as fast as four knots over water with a steady fifteen knot wind. It felt great to keep her on course for almost three hours without the need to gybe to change to motor. I’m using a gib halyard so I have to run the sail through the two fore-stays so it goes something like this:

  • Ease the leeward sheet
  • Run forward and snuff the sail
  • Run back and gybe the mainsail
  • Release the windward sheet
  • Pull the new leeward sheet in and cleat
  • Run forward, raise the snuffer and secure
  • Run back and trim the spinnaker
Snuffer
Snuffer

I learned a few things about my setup. First off, I need pad-eyes for the tack line that are mounted on the stanchions. The line is not routed at all. I also need some sheet blocks further back, with a straight line to the winch. I also checked out the masthead on Friday night and found a place I can install a halyard block for the spinnaker so I can gybe the sail outside of the forestay. I also need some dedicated sheets that are plenty long enough to run both sides. The existing ones are just the jib sheets and are a little bit too short. I could use another twenty feet total. So to have a solid working spinnaker I need to buy more line and hardware.  This will be worth it when I am sailing downwind in the trade-winds. I could see Satori sailing at six knots easy with twenty to twenty-five knots of wind. It would be nice be be able to gybe without having to snuff the sail every time to clear the forestays and also have more control over the routing of the tack line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *