Chip Ford's 1974 Catalina 22 Restoration Project
Sail #3282  l  Marblehead, Massachusetts

The never-ending project to fill my hole in the ocean while bailing it out

Preparing for Sailing Season '08
The New Ullman Offshore Mainsail

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My new Ullman Offshore full-battened, loose-footed mainsail arrived from Catalina Direct a few days ago.  I finally got around to taking it out of its box, then its new sail-bag and laying it out on the kitchen floor (it's getting crowded in the house, with everything from the boat now in here for the winter).  (Nov. 10, 2007)

In a casual inspection, everything seems to be as-ordered:  The sail numbers are correct (3282), the two sets of reef points ordered are there.

Ideally, I'd like to spread it out, look over the sail as a whole -- see more of the details.  But that's not going to happen for a few months to come, so I did the best that I could.  I was going to wait until spring to inspect it, but this morning on the discussion group, Jay Holz ("CjAndeai") advised: "Open that new sail!  Check it out good now before the sailing season, just in case there's a problem."  I thought that was smart advice, even if my capability is presently limited, considering my usual luck getting the one bad piece from a lot.

Jay added:  ". . . many of us need to know what your first impressions are."  My first impression is -- quality and good workmanship.  The little details I inspected were stitching and reinforcements:  They both look very well done.  Configuration -- how it'll fit on Chip Ahoy's mast and boom -- will have to wait until spring.

From everything I was able to eyeball as I carefully unfolded the sail in limited space, this looks like a quality sail -- and what a difference in stiffness from my old (original with the boat) mainsail.  I'm anxious to try this "loose-footed" concept -- entirely new to my experience.

As with the rest of the workmanship, the headboard seems to be attached quite securely and provides everything I'll need.  All and all -- upon this cursory kitchen floor inspection -- I love it so far, am satisfied that I got what I ordered.  Come spring and raising it up the mast will be the next test.  Sail in bag is now stored away in the closet until then.

I unbagged and spread out the new mainsail today, my first look at it in its entirety.  I inserted the battens just to make sure they'd fit properly before I try hoisting it for the first time.  The two sets of reef points are there, the numbers are correct; everything looks just fine, ready to go.  (I finally uncovered the picnic table and chairs today as well, at last.)  (May 11, 2008)

Today I went out to Chip Ahoy on its mooring to attempt getting the mainsail to fit without the roach hitting and rubbing the backstay.  Wally and I noticed this problem when rigging the boat on Monday for launching.  We removed the third batten down from the head of the sail to keep it from hanging up on the backstay.  At that time, it appeared to be the only problem area.  That evening I lowered the boom from 3 feet 6 inches by about 4 inches but hadn't raised the mainsail since.  My plan was to raise it and see if that 4" adjustment would allow the sail to swing clear.  If it worked, I would be on my way out for the first sail of the season on the opening day of a heat wave.  (Jun. 7, 2008)

The mainsail isn't hauled quite all the way to the top of the mast, yet still the roach in the leech is hitting -- not just at the third batten down but at the second down as well, and touching the top batten.  On Monday I'd lowered the boom by about 4" to where its top was now about 3 feet 2 inches above the mast step.  It's needs to be lowered considerably more.

A view of the problem from the port side.  At a minimum, without more adjustment the edge of the roach isn't going to last long without wearing through the batten pockets.  Worst-case scenario:  An unexpected gybe I think could potentially take out the backstay and bring down the mast.

When we prepared to fasten and mount the new boomkicker on Monday, first the boom was hung.  I used measurements based on instructions provided by its manufacturer, Seoladair Ltd., as well as additional tips and advice from other C22 owners' websites, to drill and tap the three holes in the boom's bottom for the kicker's top bracket.  When we attached everything all looked fine, as it was supposed to look.  The problem now seems to be that the boom is too high even based on the measurements we used:  Boom height, 3' 6" -- boomkicker bracket 10" above the mast step.

I lowered the boom but doing that overly bent the fiberglass rods on the boomkicker.  The increased angle caused the vang's block to rub against the front edge of the solar panel.  When I had this problem previously, I cured it by adding a shackle between the vang's block and the mast step plate.

-- Cont'd on Page 2 --
Moving on with Season 2008 improvements
It's never-ending ... but Sailing Season '08 is ahead and coming!

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