Friday, April 1, 2016

Falcon Sail Installation

 I was very impressed with the Falcon Sail kit from the moment I picked up the box at the post office.  The attention to detail is reflected not only in the quality of the sail, spars, rigging, hardware, fittings, etc., but also in the details related to shipping and assembly.  When shipped, each component is heat-sealed in its own plastic bag.  Each component or portion of the rig, from standing rigging, boom vang, sail tie-downs, fairleads and pad eyes, etc., come in their own appropriately sized zip-lock bag.  As long as you don’t open more than one bag at a time, there is no possibility of getting parts confused, and one can be confident that everything needed for that assembly is included, right down to every screw, bolt, nut, and washer.  One bag had additional instructions included applicable to that installation.  I thought the attention to detail was amazing when I saw the Allen wrench in its own little bag.  It isn’t even part of the install, but is included in the event that the set screw holding the mast onto the mast step, which is supposed to be finger-tight, becomes too tight to undo.  But then I saw the last little bag.  All the bags are labeled, as was this one.  It read, “Falcon Sails, Nail for hanging sail/storing sail.”  Yes, a nail is even included to hang the sail by the eyelet installed in the head of the sail for when the rig is not in use.  Unfortunately you have to provide your own wall or stud to put the nail in.

Rig and sail furled and out of the way for paddling.

To accompany all the components and the sail are 19-pages of instructions with color illustrations.  A repeated theme throughout the instructions is safety.  There are recommendations that some of the rigging parts, like the boom vang, not be used right away, but after some practice and experience is acquired.  A template is provided that can be taped to the deck once the mast location is determined to help in aligning the shrouds and stays.  Some thought and planning will undoubtedly need to go into the placement of deck hardware, but the photographs help the new sail owner picture how previous applications have been done, so the rest is just a matter of common sense.  The bottom line is that with the help provided by Falcon Sail’s owner, Patrick Forrester, the installation was fun.  Now, it’s just a matter of getting on the water and having some of that fun the sail was intended for.  In other words, there’s more to follow.

With the sail set.  The mast is supposed to be raked (leaning aft).  It 
looked like it was in the shop, but in the open, the mast is clearly erect.
A bit of fiddling is part of any tuning process, and just part of 
getting to know the rig.

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