Conover Cove – a status.

We’re quietly docked in Conover Cove. The cove is known for its impossibility of getting a spot on the dock, but we have a place as we did when we were here last September. The difference this time is that the dock did not fill up – It’s May and the weather is not pleasant – Cool and raining.

Len, on a Canadian boat, docked at a right angle to us, tells me that the number of boats vying for space has been dropping steadily since the 1990s. Apparently both sailing and skiing are ‘‘boomer’’ sports and successive generations are not adopting the sports – at least in the US. The Maxi 95 FB owner’s group that I belong to is mostly younger people with families.

I haven’t really broken anything yet, though we have set the dinghy on the stack for the Newport fireplace, definitely putting a slight bend and perhaps breaking its deck seal.

This year we’ve bent on new sails, started mounting our dinghy on the deck and are using our watermaker. All is working and we’re pleased with everything, but there are the unexpected.

The new sails are new – which has an impact – the correct size for the mast, and ‘‘offshore’’ weight. What does this all mean in practice?

The larger sails mean that we have more sail area – maybe –the luff (leading edge) on both sails are longer: the sails go higher up the mast. The new 135% genoa (jib sail) now runs from the deck to the masthead. But the foot (bottom) of the sail is shorter, so the sail does not come quite as far back, so perhaps the square footage is the same. What we have noticed is that we have a more pronounced weather helm (the boat wants to head up into the wind more readily).

To accommodate this sail I have had to shorten the pennant the sail attached to at the tack (forward bottom corner) by using short shackles and shorten the halyard because the wire part of the halyard was coming down past the winch and cleat on the mast.

The biggest nuisance is because the sails are new (and perhaps because of the heavier material), they will not fold as small. For the main this has in the insignificant issue of the sail cover not closing completely under the sail.

For the ‘‘135’’ (one-thirty-five), it means that the sail will not fit in the bow locker. This is a problem because it means that the sail must be removed from the forestay when we do a sail change, something we did not need to do before and because it is currently so bulky, we have no ready place to store it. (As time goes by, it should start to fold smaller.)

The new dinghy is turning out to be everything we had hoped: it is small and fits on deck, it rows well, and does not need to be bailed each morning even when it had been left in the water.

We have lifted it out the water using the jib halyard and the towing bridle. This turns out to have a small problem in that the dinghy then lands on the Newport diesel fireplace. I’ll attach a lifting bridle to the stern so that as we lower it, we’ll pull the bow forward and lower the dinghy into place.

The water maker has worked very well. Installation was easy and it seems to produce about 1.3 US gallons per hour.

When I measured the energy consumption, it was indeed about 45 watts, less than our solar panels produce on an cloudy day. So we’ve very pleased.

The only surprise was that the water produced in the first 15 minutes is very salty. I expect that as the unit sits overnight, the salt migrates across the membrane to the less concentrated ‘‘brine.’’ Basically, it follows the diffusion gradient.

Right now, we have some humor looking at the amortization of the water maker across the number of gallons. At ten gallons, the water has only cast $340 per gallon. It drops quickly, but it will be years before it is below a dollar a gallon.

However, we have not emptied our first 25 gallon tank of water yet.

Author: johnjuliano

One-third owner of Caro Babbo, co-captain and in command whenever Caro Babbo is under sail.

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