Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Second Daysail

It was Labor Day when we last took our son’s Cape Dory 14 out for a sail. James had a day off last Sunday, so he invited me along for another sail at Kaw Lake. This was his first trip out with the boat since the work was done on it, and I was anxious to see how he liked it, and how the new brailing line worked.
The Dory closehauled in a light breeze on Kaw Lake.
This was the third run on the road with the trailer since we had put new hubs and bearings on. We stopped twice to check the hub temperatures, and they were just slightly warm to the touch---perfect. Most experienced trailer haulers get in the habit of checking their hubs at every stop as soon as they roll out of the vehicle. Jean used to work in a trailer supply establishment selling spindles, hubs, wheels, axles, etc., and did a brisk business with those who didn’t. Also, when any bearing or hub work is done, they should be checked every mile or two for a number of stops. If anything starts to go wrong, it can go downhill fast, and you will know something is wrong by the excessive heat on the hub. I got bit by such a problem once. I had hydraulic brakes on a trailer at the time, and hadn’t yet learned the necessary habit of always pushing back against the trailer when it is being dropped, after the reverse solenoid is unplugged, to make sure the brake cylinder is fully retracted. On the next trip, the disc brake pads were just touching the brakes. The friction heated the brakes, then the wheel, until the heat blew the bearing’s grease seal after just nine miles. Well, enough of the technical stuff.
James enjoying the shade of the mainsail with the tiller
tucked under his arm.
Unlike Labor Day when we had to wait in line for an hour at Sarge Creek ramp to take out, we now went straight in and straight out with no hindrance at all. Instead of hundreds of boats on the lake, I believe I saw about five.

American Pelicans making good use of a sandbar.  The
lake level is dropped each fall so they can seed the exposed
shoreline with grasses for the migratory birds.
The wind was again light and variable, but we had a couple short runs at close to five knots. We got into some previously unexplored areas in Washunga Bay, and in spite of spells of light air, as close as I can recreate our track on Google Earth, we still did about 8 miles. It was a pleasant and relaxing day. The brailing line worked well, but a couple practices will get it perfect.


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