Posted by: tflana | May 27, 2013

Lesson Learned

Brian did go out sailing yesterday on our friend’s boat with sustained winds of 25 kts and gust up to 35kts.  Most sailors in this wind will not want the full surface area of the sail out with that much wind because it is unsafe and makes the boat more difficult to handle.  By decreasing the amount of sail surface is called reefing the sail.  Most mainsails have 2 reefing points to give you some flexibility based on the weather conditions.  Yesterday’s winds did lend itself to put 2 reefs in the mainsail, so as the 2 of them got the boat ready to leave the dock, Brian set up the mainsail to have 2 reefs, so they were ready to go.

As they got out into the harbor and they started to raise the sail, there was something not quite right with how the reefing lines were set up.  So while the wind was blowing and the chop was hitting the boat, they had to rerun some of the lines to make it safe to continue to sail, definitely not the ideal conditions to check out the sails.

Well here is where the lesson learned came in.  Our friend used a respected rigging company this spring to check his rigging and help put on all of his sails.  The rigger that did the work has a great reputation with his skill and knowledge when it comes to rigging a boat, in fact, we will be using the same person to work on Scout.  The unfortunate thing was that no one raised the sail while the boat was on the dock to make sure everything was set up correctly, complacency and maybe just a little of embarrassment to ask the rigger to take the extra step almost created a disastrous situation.  The simple check/double-check system is always the way to fall back on.  Brian knows Scout better than anyone else including a trained rigger, he is hands on for everything we do with Scout.  There is always going to be something that slips through the crack, but I  know when Brian is working on something with Scout, he will be in it 100%, the best safeguard I know.

Lesson learned:  Be hands on, ask the experts but don’t always count on the experts, and know what is safe when you are on the water!

Hope everyone has a safe holiday whether you are on the road or water!  If you see s veteran or soldier, thank them for everything they do so we all have this chance to enjoy a day off from our rat race.

Tara and Brian


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