Setting up the boat to race

3 weeks ago, the boat finally went in the water. Once it was in the water, we were able to climb the rig, take care of a couple issues, and get out on the water.

The first challenge was swapping out the roller furler for a Schaeffer Tuff Luff foil. Incorrigible came with the foil, we just had to install it.

When we finally had a clear weather window, two of the crew plus me, headed to the boat to sort out the forestay. I belted on my climbing harness, tied in to the main halyard (since I also climb, I prefer to use climbing knots. Contrary to what most sailors would use, I relied on a double figure 8), climbed onto the boom, and proceeded to get hauled up.

Prior to climbing, the starboard jib halyard was run to the bow stemplate, and cinched hard to make a temporary forestay.

During the survey, the steaming light was noted to be burned out. I stopped to check it out, and learned I would need to dissassemble it to fix it. Hindsight being 20/20, I need to pull it off entirely.

Up I went. At the mast head, what I discovered was that the J/35 has two sheaves integrated into the mast. These are for jib halyards. There are also two aluminum arms, or wings, jutting outboard and forward about a foot, with a block suspended from each. These blocks are for the spinnaker halyards. All of the 1980s guides to rigging your J/35 recommend doing away with the starboard halyard.

I suppose the logic is that 85% of the time, you set after a port-side rounding. So, you set the spin on your port side. Assuming you use the port jib halyard, the port spin halyard is outboard of it. But, should you need to do a gybe set, you still have the starboard jib halyard, so clear the clutter and remove the starboard spin halyard.

Anyway, the block is still there. The block on the port spin halyard is trash. 30 years of UV and vinyl for the sheave don’t play nicely. A project for another day.

Swapping the forestay was easy. The cotter was missing from the pin holding the roller forestay in. Oops. Pulling the pin, the forestay was ready to be lowered. I dropped that on the other jib halyard, and had the tuff luff stay raised. I set the pin, bent on a new cotter, and watching the clouds for the next front approaching, I opted to skip taping up the cotter, since I had left it below.

I’ll tape the cotter when I go up to sort the spin halyard.

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