Saturday, March 27, 2010

New hardware for the Shark

Regular readers may remember my jamming mainsheet system when the wind blew up during last season's Pas de Deux race. It was not the first time I had trouble fiddling with my mainsheet controls. Once, during a broach right at a crowded windward mark, with the spreader not coming out of the water, I couldn't release the main until the boat finally rotated into the wind. Less exciting but also performance robbing: every tack my head is looking down in the boat, as I struggle with traveler car lines. It would be much better to look at where the boat is going. Anyway, after putting it off on my previous boat, and this one, I decided overhauling  the system was way overdue. Cost be damned. I want the absolute minimum of fuss, so I can focus more on pointing the boat where I want it to go. This week, all my new parts arrived. One part of the new system is pictured to left. It's a windward sheeting car. It is very, very expensive. I'm hopeful it will help make my tacks smoother. I also received a shiny new black track, and various bits and pieces to keep the whole affair smooth and mindless. I get pretty excited about go-fast toys. Most of the go-fast Sharks already have this hardware, so I think I am getting a little closer to equipment parity. A notable exception is the Shark, Nuisance. That boat has the regular traveler set up with manually operated lines. To catch that boat I'll need parity in a different category, the brain.

My goal is to eliminate every distraction, small and large that gets in my face when I should be focusing on smooth, precise tacks, or powered-up steering. So here goes another hindrance to sailing sharp and fast!