Harken Hell

Author: Mark
Date: Apr 26, 6pm MST
Location: 07 11.87S --- 120 44.79W
Conditions: 15-17kts @ 130T, 257T COG, 7.5kts SOG, 2m swell with 9s period

Slight issue. We had two of our Harken cars come off the mainsail. After further investigation, the cars have a small Teflon like insert on either side to facilitate smooth motion up and down the track. Several of the cars had this piece come off, and one had both pieces off. This allowed the car to jiggle and wiggle, and wear down and eventually pop off.

What does this mean? No mainsail until we get spare parts. We will most likely be able to rig it so we can use two reefs and spare a couple of cars on the mast. I will go up the mast and inspect the track to make sure there is not wear on the track itself from the chaffing of the cars with no insert. If there is damage, we'll need to replace a portion of the track. Not a big deal, if you have spare track lying around. We don't. Note to other Harken track boats, get spare cars and spare inserts.

The good news is we are sailing downwind the entire way to Fatu Hiva - so we don't have to use the main. The bad news, I wanted to use the main at this point of sail to power up the boat to 8+kts and make some mileage.

The other positive is I've figured out how to better rig the Parailor on our boat. We are on a port tack, so I moved the guy block from the port forward cleat to the bowsprit. From here we are swinging the sail farther to starboard, allowing us to get tighter on the wind with the starboard sheet. We can now sail up to 90 degrees apparent with the Parasailor alone. While we are not going as fast without the main up, but we are averaging about 7kts with 15-16kts of wind at 145T.

We hope the wind keeps up and does not slow down as it is forecasted to do later this week. We'll see.

No luck today with any large fish. We just reeled in a small tuna. Too small really keep so I tossed back into the water. Tomorrow is another day! Yeah!

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