The Naiad Voyages

Mark Austen

2017.05.29 - First Voyage

It's 12:31 on an overcast Bank Holiday Monday and you probably could not scrub the smile off my face with coarse grit sandpaper! I've been for my first proper sail in Naiad. Nothing broke, nothing went wrong, the wind was light, the current was weak and we took a trip up stream a bit before sailing back. Downed sail mid-river and paddled back onto the mooring. Elapsed time perhaps just two hours but a real voyage nonetheless.


The mainsail is up.


The staysail is up, both sails are drawing, just.


And the mooring is back that away about half a mile.


I even had time to make s short video.

So, what's wrong and what needs doing?

The mainsail luff (next to the mast) is too long. I could either cut down the sail by 2" or so or reduce the block, shackle and rope distance at the throat by that amount. I'll try the last one first and if that doesn't do the trick the sail will have to come off and be shortened.

The luff lashing around the mast needs to be changed as it binds when the sail is raised or lowered, I need to to ride easily up and down the mast.

I need a way to anchor to the windward bank so that the main can be raised but also to be able to release the anchor easily when it's time to get going.

Wind tell-tales are needed on the shrouds about 4' above deck so that I can also see what the wind is doing low down.

The topsail needs to be made, the high banks on the river obscure a lot of the wind.

A bungee from one side of the cockpit to the other that can be wrapped around the tiller for short time "hands-free" sailing. Time to put the kettle on, for example.

Rope bags are needed to hold the peak and throat halyards when the sail is up. They clutter up the cockpit otherwise.

I need a toolkit on board with pliers, small hammer, screwdrivers, adjustable wrench, mole-grip pliers and self-amalgamating tape.

But most important of all, I need somewhere to put a mug of tea safely when sailing.

But a great first sail.

When's the next one?