Preparing to Sail


Getting my Schooner, Bluenose ready to sail at a big Event next month.
Rigged the boat up and gave her a real good inspection.
Amazing what I found!, Rigging cord frayed nearly through, Stainless Steel cables chafed and worn and lots of other things in need of attention.

Most of the things I found wrong would not have been noticed at the Lakeside, only found them by sitting down at the side of the boat and having a real close look.
At the Lakeside, folk are chatting and asking questions, its all a bit of a rush to get the boat rigged and into the water, no time to sit and check that all is well with the gear.

From now on the boat will get the once over more often, will save any red faces from things which should have been noticed at Home!!!.

John. :slight_smile:

I hear you. :wink:

Done some similar stuff after I dusted of my boats after the winter.

I found an awesome document on this.
How to winterize your boat

Maybe a little late now, but might be good to have in half a year.


Good article, very good instructions for what to do, before packing the boat away for Winter.
But, the temptation is to leave things as they are, “Must remember to fix that before I sail next”, comes into play - - - and you forget !!.

WE all do it, we all regret not following the articles advice, then spend lots of time fixing things, instead of sailing in the better weather.
Which is just what I have been doing for the last few days !.

A good “New Years Resolution” would be to check all our boats in early January, instead of early Spring.

John. :headache:


Your Bluenose has always been an inspiration to me & I plan to build a schooner after I finish my junk.

Your new website looks good - haven’t been to it for sometime & was just there this morning looking over the gallery & your how-to tutorial.



Hello Chuck,

Thanks for your kind words, lots more to come on the new site, but been busy with Real Life!!.
The Bluenose build Log is a bit long, but how else can the build of a big boat be described?.
Each time I read it, I spot something else to include, but as it is, it works well.

Been looking at some Silk for new sails, very thin, it has been coated all through with PU Plastic, totally wind and water proof, nearly the correct colour, BUT, very expensive!!.
Still thinking about it for a Winter Project next year.
May buy a small sample and try it out first on the boat.

John. :slight_smile:


Done a lot of thinking about the “plastic coated Silk” mentioned earlier, and have decided against it, mainly on the colour, it was just too dark a shade of Brown.
The correct shade is “Light Oak Tan”, which is not available in the plastic coated one.
Sails just have to be the correct colour, lighter than correct, you can get away with, but, not darker, just doesnt look right!.

The next thing which has been given a lot of thought, is the sail Setting Tracks on the Park Avenue Boom.
There is no way that they can be made to Scale and be strong enough to work properly.
So, sadly I will have to leave them off the Boom, may draw them on to indicate where they would have been, not too sure about that yet.

Real Life forces don’t scale down too well, and compromises have to be made.

John. :wink:

Amen brother!


Still been giving the sail Tracks a LOT of thought, really want to have them on the Boom, they were a prominent feature on the real boat and I would like to include them on the model.
I have not given up, I am just doing a lot of thinking !!!.

John. :confused:

Hi John,

For the ‘scale’ look while sailing, the normal loose footed sail will approximate the shape of the Park Avenue boom without the complexity or friction.

I was looking for T section extrusions but could not find anything small enough.

I remember seeing a brass fitting consisting of a flat plate with a tube along it, and the tube had a slot. This cut into sections and placed across the boom, would create the base for the sliders. The sliders could be short pieces of nylon rod tied to the foot of the sail. (similar to what we use in IOM for the ‘groovey’ mast)

You could make up a section from brass plate and solder a piece of tube to it. Then cut the slot in your table saw. Then cut into short sections to fit the boom.


Hello John,

Thanks for your thoughts, that is a good idea, its now in the pile with loads of others !!.
The big problem is to make something that works ok, but looks right too.
Just been downloading more pictures of the real boat, hoping for inspiration !!
It will come, eventually !!!.

John. :slight_smile:


JUST found a fairly clear, black and white 1930s photo of the Sail setting slides, the REAL things!!, missed it earlier, but, just now it jumped out at me !!.
So now I have an idea what the sliders looked like, I can start on drawing up a Scale version of them.
Things are starting to look up!.

John. :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

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Well, here we are in another February !, Time does pass quickly when you are enjoying yourself !!.

Started on a thorough check of my schooner Bluenose, ready for the first Event, which is on the 6th and 7th of March.
Will be sailing at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, which is a fabulous place to sail, sailed there many times in the past.

Most of the schooner seems to have got though last years sailing quite well, a few dents and scratches, but nothing serious.
Changed some of the Rigging and a few hooks and fasteners, but thats all.

Fitting new batteries, the old ones are getting past their best - - - dont want any red faces !!!.
Really need new Sails, but all the Silk I can get is all the wrong colour, so still looking .


John, I just got 2 yards of Dupont “Supplex” for Constellation. It’s what SC&H uses in their kits and Dan’s super detailed them as he has everything on his Syren. He raves about the stuff. He’s used fabric glue for panels, tabling, etc, and hasn’t had a problem in two years (his words).

It has a silk like texture to it, is strong, UV resistant, & resists wrinkles.
This is one source there’s got to be a UK source somewhere.

The pics show the new Mizzen tops’l and comparisons to the muslin I originally planned to use. That sail’s taken one round in the washer with no ill effect and not a stitch is sewn into it.


Thanks for the Link Jerry, looks very good.
Does it feel like Silk, or is it hard , most important, does it stretch - - and then stay stretched !!.
Some cloths stretch more one way than the other, but I dont want either !.
If you put a piece to your lips, can you blow through it.

Lots of questions, but it is new to me, never heard of it before.
Should be OK, its an International company making it !!.

John. :slight_smile:

It’s gives a little in the weave, as any fabric will, but I wouldn’t call it stretching, it comes back. Dan’s sails look like new and even survived a collision with Ray’s Surprise without any tears or punctures It holds air well. It feels a little stiffer to the touch than the muslin which is basically limp, but it’s not starchy feeling or hard.

It’s made by DuPont - the folks that make Kevlar, Nylon, Dacron, Rayon, etc etc. Supplex in light-weight outdoor apparel - rain-gear, ski jackets, etc.

Here’s some pics of Dans Syren: Click

Hello Jerry,

Thats one very impressive boat !.
I will give the Supplex a try, sounds to be ok to me.
Will keep you posted how I get on with it.
Thanks a lot.



With reference to “Preparing to Sail” I spent quite a long time checking and rechecking my Schooner, for its first big Event of this Year.
Turned up to the Event nice and early, rigged the boat and launched it, checked everything was working just fine - - - ALL OK !!!.

All except one thing. - - - there was NO WIND !!!.
None at all !.

The Event was held at the Ellesmere Port Boat Museum, which just South of the river Mersey estuary, normally quite a windy spot.
I waited about, but the wind didnt show, gave the boat an almighty shove, out into the middle of the water, hoping to catch some wind.
Nothing doing !!!.

She just drifted about catching just the slightest wafts of air.
As the photo shows she was stopped, the first time ever for this boat !!.


Just been reading older Posts !!!.
Gosh, how the Years go flying by!.
Been very busy getting Bluenose and Endeavour ready for a big Show at the end of this month.
Some things just don’t change!!, all of the things mentioned above have just been done again !!.
Must try to post more often.

Good to see all is well and you are still sailing. Say hello to the wife from me.