|| When we
bought Redwings, the canvas was in tatters. Which is a
good thing because we effectively did not pay for it and
there was really no need to put any time into thinking
about the issue of weather or not we needed new sails. We did. UK Sails of Hong Kong did all of
our primary working sails for us. I had been racing with
one of their main sail makers Tim Keogh for several years
aboard Vixen, an X-372 based out of Hebe Haven in Hong
Kong, and I knew that we would get good sails and good
Our inventory breaks down as
follows: Fully battened "Cruising Mylar" mainsail &
150% Cruising Mylar genoa (in photo above), 130% heavy dacron high
cut genoa with foam luff, 3/4 oz running spinnaker and 1 1/2 oz
reaching chute. The staysail is the only working sail we kept, but
we had it completely reconditioned by the UK loft.
storm trysail and storm jib (which hanks on the staysail stay) were made by Neil Pryde Sails in Hong Kong. Both are
day-glo orange and are 12 oz dacron.
spars are original "Allspar" from Australia. During
the refit in Hong Kong, we took the rig out and stripped off all of
the hardware and paint, sanded, filled and holes and corroded areas
under winches etc., cut off the bottom six inches which were pitted
and corroded, primed and re-painted it, and put all of the gear back
on plus new toys for the spinaker and running back stay running
rigging. We also replaced all of the shrouds and stays with 10
mm high-strength (forget what you call it - not the round stuff but
the sort of octogonal strand stuff) wire - slightly larger than the
over-spec stuff that was already on there and had lasted for at
least 10 years. We added an adjustable element to the backstay
that we bought second hand from a racing boat. We don't use it
much - only when racing ourselves in fact (though if we were doing
extended upwind cruising I'd probably crank it on a bit).
replaced the bottom spreaders with new stronger ones that have
larger bolts to attach them to the mast. This is a good thing
as we sheared a bolt on one of the old top spreaders on the Atlantic
crossing. I wish I had replaced those as well. I think
they are a little under-spec for the boat. We also made a
proper mast step out of heavy aluminum (about one inch thick).
This will not only provide a better base for the mast, but will also
make it easier to remove in the future.
used Spartite for the partner seal and it worked great for four
years, but then started to break down quickly and was leaking like
crazy when we started bashing around the Caribbean. We still
have it in there (as of March 2001), but now have lots of 5200 and
self-amal tape around it as well as a rubber boot secured by massive
hose clamps - no leaks now.
details of this rigging re-fit can be found on The
page where we talk about the pain of the re-fit.
very strange thing we discovered is that the bottom 20% of the rig
is actually twisted to starboard by about 10 to 15 degrees.
This seems to have been a permanent feature. Must have just
been a bad extrusion that Formosa got at a discount or something (I
hope for their sake!). The builders just put the mast in at an
angle such that it is a bit twisted as it begins life in the cabin,
but by the time it sprouts through the partner on the coach house,
it is straight. Not much we can do about this now but live
came with good running rigging for the most part. John had
installed Harken roller furling for the headstay, and a Harken
Batcar and traveler system for the mainsail with single line
reefing. Redwings also came equipped with Harken adjustable genoa and staysail
fairleads. These systems have worked very well in general.
battcars, the main travels up and down the mast on little cars
with 20 or 28 ball bearings in each so its easy to hoist and easy
to drop: essential for short-handed sailing. This, combined with
the single line reefing, make it very easy for one person to
shorten sail underway under cover of the dodger. One minor
problem with the system has been that under extreme loads, the
plastic ends on the cars sometimes smash off resulting in the
sail pulling away from the mast in places and ball bearings going
everywhere. Hopefully we rectified this problem by
purchasing aluminum ends for all of the cars. We fitted them in
Israel. The ends were ridiculously expensive at US$40 per pair
(and we needed 12 pairs), but the Delron ball bearings are 90
cents a piece and its obviously a real pain when there is a
breakdown so I think its money well spent.
In Hong Kong, we added a rigid
Forespar boom vang, as well as rigged the boat for the
spinnakers. We installed a Harken Big Boat adjustable mast
track system that can handle the two 17 foot (x four inch) Forespar
spinnaker poles. We mounted permanent large standing guy
blocks to the toe rails. We bought all new sheets, guys,
halyards, everything from Syd Rigging at the time of the Hong Kong
refit. We moved from steel to nylon halyards for the main and
genoa to spectra halyards.
of the running rigging leads to the cockpit. We have Lewmar
40's on both sides of the companion way and Staylock jammer cleats
side: Geona furler, main uphaul, #1 reef, #2 reef, main halyard,
boom vang, port spinnaker halyard, cunningham, and outhaul.
From this station alone, one person can throw a reef in pretty
side: Geona halyard, staysail halyard, spin pole uphaul, spin pole
downhaul, and starboard spin halyard.
main genoa winches are Lewmar 48s. The smaller chrome winches
which were the main winches when the previous owner bought the boat
are now the staysail winches - they look to be about 40 to 44s or
©2001 All Rights Reserved by Aaron Henderson and Colleen Duggan