To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Coat Hooks and Staysails

Cindy Ann is putting coat hooks in a number of the hanging lockers. And she's also putting them under the companionway ladders. You can't have too many hooks. Red Ranger has a great foul-weather gear locker just under the companion-way steps. But without hooks, you have to figure out how to put everything on hangers. Hooks somehow seem more sensible than hangers.

Dave and Nancy (of Fawkes) stopped by to talk mizzen staysail. It's the saltiest sail in our rigging.

Red Ranger is a double-headsail ketch, so we have the expected jib, staysail, main and mizzen. All pretty ordinary sails for a modern ketch. (For non-sailors, and folks with simpler boats, you are correct, it really is a lot of sails for two people to handle.)

We have a pole for a spinnaker, plus lifts and halyards for a kite. But no actual spinnaker.

The saltiest sail in our inventory, however, is the mizzen staysail. It's rigged in front of the mizzen, analogous to the way that the ordinary staysail is rigged in front of the main. Until Dave stopped by on Sunday, we'd never even taken it out of the bag. We knew it was there, but...

While Cindy Ann did practical stuff, Dave and I discussed mizzen staysails.

I've got a copy of Wallace Ross' Sail Power. There's a short section on mizzen staysails with a couple of line drawings and a few photographs. One photo is a helicopter shot of a boat with spinnaker, main, mizzen staysail and mizzen all flying at once. Impressive.

But, the picture is a little hard to interpret. Dave and I dragged the mizzen staysail around Red Ranger's deck but couldn't make complete sense out of it.

It's a simple thing: a big triangle of nylon. But there was no obvious way to rig it. The clew is rigged through a block on the end of the mizzen boom. No problem there. The head is hoisted on the mizzen mast. Aye aye. But there's that third point, the tack.

The text suggests that the tack is bent on amidships or even to weather. We just couldn't imagine how that would work.

Then, today, I found this picture of a Whitby 42 in action. This was the total "Aha" moment.

In this photo, the tack has a pendant of some kind that seems to be lead to the toe rail. This makes perfect sense when compared with the hardware actually mounted on Red Ranger's deck.

Now we're ready for a warm, light air day when we can bust out the mizzen staysail to make progress even when the wind is just a breath of air across the water.