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Work being done over winter 2009-2010

2010 Work

The main work being done over the winter is a new suit of sails.

Witch has exhibited some lee helm, which is probably because in the early sixties she had 5 feet cut off the boom to make her more manageable on an ocean crossing. As the headsails need replacing the opportunity is being taken to adjust the balance of the sails. At the end of the season Mark Butler from James Lawrence Sailmakers came out for a day's consultancy on board and after experiencing the lee helm he measured everything.

Back at the office he drew up the existing sailplan over the hull shape and calculated the centres of effort and lateral resistance, This showed a lead of 14%, which accounts for the lee helm. The only way to correct this is to change the balance of the mainsail and the headsails.

Mark has drawn up a new sailplan that gives a lead of 10.5% that should result in slight weather helm. In order to achieve this the boom has to be lengthened by 2 feet. This will add 45 sq ft to the mainsail. Frank Halls are scarphing the length to the mast end of the existing boom.

The old staysail was a perfect size and will be replaced as is. The new jib will have a 2 feet longer luff and a slightly shorter luff perpendicular.

All the sails are being made from 18 inch panels to give a traditional appearance. The mainsail will have external bolt ropes and brass thimbles.

One consequence of all this is probably going to be more reefing!

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