If you sail Sonars at CBI you have noticed that we made a number of improvements to the boats last winter. Three improvements we made that I am most happy about are installing new (longer) booms, new adjustable backstay, topping lifts and roller furling jibs. This means that we can truly tighten the foot when sailing and take that big bag out of the bottom of the sail. [and a chorus of angels sings hallelujah!]. We can tighten or loosen the back stay for better sail trim, and the topping lift keeps the boom from bonking folks on the noggin when the halyard is released [one more hallelujah!] The roller furling jib is sooooo convenient and easy to use.
A friend of mine mentioned that not everyone is using the outhaul and the back stay the same way and that there has developed different schools of thought. So I want to clarify.
Outhaul - used to tighten the foot of the sail. Most of our mainsails have stretched a bit after many years of service. In light air and when sailing downwind think about less outhaul tension. In any breeze at all please keep the foot of the sail tight. Generally it is not a good idea to leave the boat overnight with the outhaul tight. So my recommendation is take just an inch or two off before the launch picks you up. Then when you are rigging the boat to sail put it back on.
Backstay - The back stay should be left loose when the boat is at the mooring [not flogging in the wind]. While sailing keep it on the loose side down wind and tighten a bit when the breeze comes up and you are close hauled.
Fortunately you don’t have to keep referring to this very brief discussion when sailing the Sonar and other boats, we now have rigging books available at the dock house. We have the following rigging books: Mercury, R 19, Sonar, and Laser. So if you notice by observing other CBI sailors that there seems to be at least two ways to rig or unrig any of these boats, then please take a moment to review the books now available at the dock house.
A Rhyme for your time:
The moon and the weather
May change together,
But change in the moon
Does not change the weather,
If we’d no moon at all,
And that may seem strange,
We still would have weather
That’s subject to change. –anon.