I can’t be happier with the fit of the ATN Jib Sleeve! Looks good. Fits like a glove and now whatever sail is on the fuller will be protected from the sun, wind and other elements.
I bought the sail cover from defender.com. There were cheaper ones out there but this one looked great and I liked the features. It’s very well thought out and can be tightened around the sail once it’s put up so it doesn’t flap around and rip itself to shreds in a good wind storm. The notes for ordering on the website said to order the jib sleeve in the same size as the luff of the longest sail. That’s 37′ on Cuajota. So that’s what I ordered. When it arrived I put it over the jib I had converted to roller furling use from hanks. I didn’t realize this sail is 38′ 3″ at the luff. So when I did a full hoist on the jib sleeve it was a whopping 28″ too short! So I contacted Defender and they informed me there were no returns on a custom order but they contacted ATN directly and setup a scenario for me to ship it back to them and they lengthened it 28″ for me. Awesome customer service and it was about 2 week turnaround. I can’t tell anything was done to it. The fit is spot on! My only complaint in this whole process is that this sleeve is 39′ 4″. There is no way I would have gotten to that size without ordering, hoisting it and then measuring the difference from the bottom of the sleeve to about an inch above the furler drum. Also ordering the size of my jib luff gave me a sleeve that MAY have covered just the sail, now I have a sleeve that covered the top of the furler mount as well as going all the day to the top of the drum. A much better solution. Now on to getting that jib cut properly. It seems it’s about 8 – 12 inches too long. The full travel of the furler is 37′ 6″. Thanks to North Sails for lending me the tape measure to get that accurate measurement. Now I know what the luff needs to be. So the sail will go back to North Sails for an adjustment. I’ll also keep an eye out for some big sails to get cut down. Maybe some Carbon or Kevlar!
Well not exactly a “new” headsail. last year in a wind storm my 155 light air sail got ripped off the furler. I took all the sails I had on the boat to the local North Sail loft and they pulled out the #1 Genoa and said this is a pretty good sail! It was hardly used. The problem was it was not set up for a furler. It also had some minor little rips in leach of the sail. They said, no problem! They converted it to a furler sail by putting a #6 tape on it and did a leach tune up. I have had it on the boat for months but have not hoisted it because there isn’t a UV cover on it and they said keep it furled on the boat with no cover would kill the sail pretty fast. So I was planning on doing done sailing for a few days do I hoisted it an tested it out. WOW! The combo of the fresh sail and the freshly painted bottom made the boat move VERY nicely! The 155 was bigger and this was probably cut down just a tad for the furler tape and leach tune up. Visually it looks like probably a 135-145. It’s a lighter cloth than the 125 on the boat and so in lighter winds it feels pretty good. In 8 knott winds I had the boat up to 4 knots where in the past I resisted sailing in light winds because the boat just didn’t move well. I’m looking into buying a jib sock so I can keep the sail hoisted on the furler but now I take it down during the week and hoist it on the weekends. Next up is to pull out that old spinnaker and get something like the ATN Tacker and fly the spinnaker without the pole. For now though I am not opposed to sailing in the lighter stuff. Before it was 12 knots or more. Now 6-12 is still doable for sailing! Here are a few clips of Cuajota in about 6-8 knots of wind.
The old jib on cuajota was tired. It seems like every time I went sailing a new hole would pop up in the sail. I was on my third roll of sail repair tape and I would joke to myself but eventually it would stop because the whole leech of the sail would just be tape. I looked on Minney’s website and saw a sail that was just about a perfectvfitbfor my boat! I was skeptical because my boat is an odd size and only 118 boats were made between 1974 and 1980. What wethe chances of this working out? This was also the day for their annual parking lot sale so I was getting an extra 15% off. They pulled out the sail and it was in great shape, but it was cut down from a bigger sail.
We grabbed breakfast, thought about it, and had KJ come down to take a look at it. It was infinitely better than my old sail but they were asking about 1/3 the price of a new sail…that would be a perfect fit for Cuajota….KJ and I agreed it wasn’t a bad deal. I had 5 days to put it on the boat and test it out. If I didn’t like it I’d get a full refund. So I put the sail on the boat and went for a test sail in the harbor. I wanted to give I a try before I left the harbor with it.
I didn’t do much adjusting, just wanted to see how it felt….WOW!!! It was blowing maybe 8-10 knots in the harbor and the boat picked up and took off! I was doing 6.5 knots all the way up the channel. The boat was so controlled and responsive. I absolutely loved it! I went out of the channels and again it was nice. Soooo nice! Headed north and I was pushing 5.9 upwind into some pretty good current. Turned around and absolutely flew downwind! Was it just my mind? I wanted another opinion again. I asked KJ to go for a sail. He had Cuajota for 8 years and is very familiar with how she sails. We also have sailed her a number of times and recently so the next day we went out. This time thee was a Coast Guard small craft warning. We grabbed some foul gear and headed into the ocean. Again, the new sail was wonderful. With so much wind (about 15-20 knots) the boat danced in the chop. It was like she was frolicking out there. It pointed super high into the wind, way higher that the older sail. In that wind and the rough seas the boat was solid with the new headsail. It inspired confidence where the old sail I was afraid of it ripping to shreds in higher winds. We did a few tacks and a few jibes and again had a pretty positive view of the sail. KJ thought it was a great sail. It had brand new UV covers sewn on and the sail material was in perfect shape. No nicks, scratches or repairs. Still I wasn’t 100% convinced. I wanted to go to the North Sails loft and get their opinion. The sail has a North patch on it sp they should know this kind of sail. They said it was a great sail and they we so great they put telltales on it for me and gave me some reeling guides and measured it for me. This sail is a tad bit smaller than the jib that was on there before. I had a 135% jib before and this one measured out to be a 125%. It actually fits the boat a tad bit better. Doesn’t hit the spreaders or get hung up on the mast when tacking. All in all it seems like a great sail in excellent shape for 1/3 the price of a new one. It fits the boat perfectly and has great performance. My only question…am I going to miss that 10%?
Wednesday I went out for a sail. It was a bit windy and the water was choppy but it had been over a week since the last sail so I was determined to get to open water. I noticed the boat was not really moving fast at all for the amount of wind. When I got back from the sail I checked the equipment as usual an found 2 cracked batten boxes in the mainsail. I had repaired one already but these were now destroyed.
Great. With the Catalina trip on the horizon for the weekend and the lack of availability for these parts I didn’t think there was a chance I would get to Catalina this weekend. I called North Sails which is the brand of sail it is an they said bring it in and they would see if they could find something. They couldn’t. My mainsail is probably at least 10 years old. I’d bet on 15 so those exact parts are no longer made. What they did do for me was GIVE me some parts toque the repairs! I did the repairs today and the boat is all ready to go. The weather looks mild. 60s. We will have about 7-9 foot swells on the way over and about a 10 MPH breeze. The trip back seems like it be a bit more adventurous! 20 MPH winds and 15 foot swells. Shouldn’t be as wild as the big wind sail a few weeks ago…but it’ll be fun!
I was worried that with daylight savings time and winter that I would be on the boat less and less. Well I am on it at least twice a week. Last week I took the boat out looking for some wind and I found some of the most enjoyable sailing conditions yet. NO waves, medium air and some breathtaking views. There was a storm that was going to be passing through and that brought in some low and dark clouds which are ALWAYS the best for dramatic views. I sailed down the coast for about an hour and saw the sights. It was an amazingly calm day and the wind was just perfect. Moving the boat through the calm water at about 7 knots without any issues. I tacked and turned around and came back into the harbor. It amazes me that I have only been sailing since August. I was terrified of the open water and now I am getting so comfortable in it and really enjoying being out in the open water where I feel so free. Discovering this at 42 is such a blessing and a curse. If I had known at 22 I would have probably done some very foolish things, but maybe I would have done some amazing things, like sailed to Hawaii, or South America. I would have definitely chartered a boat in the Caribbean or South Pacific. Who knows what kind of boat I would own now…maybe even living aboard? Probably not..lol…but I would have a lot of experiences under my belt. So I feel in some ways I have missed out on some experiences that I may not have. On the other hand I’m still young enough to enjoy and sail to my hearts content and I live in the sailboat capital of the US so I can sail year round and make up for lost time. So its now time for me to make some lifetime memories…do some truly magical things and make up for lost time. The first step is Catalina. Its a 24 mile trip west off the coast. From there…who knows? I will sail in the Caribbean. Since I am from the Bay Area, I will sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. I will sail the Mediterranean and enjoy Spain, France,Italy and Greece. But for now, one step at a time and one day at a time. Lets just rack up the smiles and experiences and make up for the lost time.
Enjoy some pics from the sail, and a video of the sail as well…..
So I’ve been waiting to fix the jib because I was a little nervous about dropping it by myself. I also have new traveler lines but because of the age of the old bolts and screws I was having a hard time. Today I was determined to make sure I got both of those jobs done so the first thing I did was attacked the traveler. All week I’ve been coming to the boat and applying penetrating oil to the screws. On the way to the boat I stopped at the hardware store and got a big f’n screwdriver. It only took me one or two turns and the screw came loose 10 minutes later my new lines were installed in the traveler.
Now onto the rip in the sail I gathered up my courage and lowered the jib halyard and gently tugged on the sale and it instantly started to lower. Hmm. That was pretty easy. Made sure didn’t fall into the water. I lowered it just enough to put the rip all the way on the deck. Then using sale repair tape I taped both sides of it nice and tight made sure there were no air holes. Then do the reverse and raised the sail and then rolled it back into the Furler. All in all that took me about 20 minutes. So two jobs that I thought were going to take me the better part of the day took me only 30 minutes now if there was only wind….. I’d be out sailing and it would be a perfect day.
One amazing thing I am noticing is that because Newport Beach is probably the hotbed of sailboats and yachts, everything I need for the boat can be found locally. I dropped off the sail it North Sails which is makes sails for everyone and all the major racing boats and organizations. My sails are North Sails sails so I looked it up and there is a factory repair center 10 minutes away. I dropped the sail off and they asked when I wanted it back…I said tomorrow, they said ok…tomorrow at noon! WOW thats service! I won’t even put up the 155, no need…The 135 will be done tomorrow. Way to go North Sails!