Monday, 12 January 2015

The Code D, Demystified: Part 1

We visited our sail maker just before Christmas to talk to him about getting a Code D sail made for Mareda. I stammered around clumsily, explaining that I wasn't exactly clear about the technical specifications.  He stopped me immediately. 

“Let me make it simple for you,” he said.  “NOBODY knows what a Code D is, nor a Code 0, nor a Code 5.  You just tell me what you want the sail to do, and I’ll make it.”

This did, in fact, clear up a lot.  Various technical articles and web sites of the major sail makers all have a different opinion on what these headsails are supposed to do.  In general, a “Code” sail simply means a headsail on a removable furler.  The Code D is a light-to-medium wind reaching sail that can be used with a large apparent wind angle from 60° to a full 180° polled out.  I suspect that the name “Code D” was invented by Delta sails, while the generic term for it is a Code 2.  But I much prefer my sail maker’s take on things: forget about what it’s called and focus on what it does. 

Can you name these headsails? Answer at bottom of post...
While smaller than a classic spinnaker, a Code D can be used with a larger range of wind angles than with either a symmetrical or asymmetrical spinnaker, and the fact that it is on a removable furler makes it easy to set and easy to douse by short-handed crews.  This is exactly what we are looking for.

Fortunately, our sail maker already has some experience directly with Sun Odyssey 379s and suggests a sail area of 65 m2.  A symmetrical spinnaker for the SO 379 is 99 m2 so we will lose some power, but we’ll gladly trade power for ease of handling.  Because it’s so easy to use, we’ll put it up earlier and take it down later than with a spinnaker, or so we’re told by Code D owners.

In the technical articles that compare various headsail options, the Code D wins over both symmetrical and asymmetrical spinnakers and even the famous Jimmy Cornell touted Parasailor. If you can read French, a couple of great articles are:

But this ease of handling comes at a price. To furl and un-furl correctly, the size, cut, and material of the sail have to be adapted specifically to your boat.  The error tolerance for the length of the stay is less than 1%. Too short or too long by more than this and you’ll end up with a mess when you try to furl the sail.  People who buy sails and furler systems without having a custom fit are usually the same ones who gripe that furling spinnakers are crap.

The price, however, even with our custom-made sail, is still cheaper than the spinnaker option from Jeanneau for the SO379.  Go figure.  The only downside, then, is that we have to be patient and wait for the sail maker to make his detailed measurements once the boat is delivered.  He says once he has all the numbers he needs, he can deliver the sail in 15 days.  He’ll also be making a 3rd reef point in the main sail for us, and we’ll have to rig up a way to fix it to the boom.  It just can’t be any worse than what we had to do on Spray

In Part 2, I’ll describe the nitty-gritty of the hardware, equipment, and installation, with pictures from Mareda, sometime in late May when she's all rigged. Stay Tuned !

Answer to headsails photo question:  1.  Asymmetric Spi  2. Gennaker  3. Classic Spi  4. Parasailor  5. Code D.
Posted on Monday, January 12, 2015 | Categories:

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

New Year's Travel Inspiration

Like most sailors, I’m an avid reader.  Like most avid-reading sailors, I collect travel-related quotes.  Here are a few of my favorites to kindle dreams in the middle of a dreary winter.

Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you traveled.
The Prophet Mohammed

Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi

The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
St. Augustine

He who does not travel does not know the value of men.
Moorish proverb

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness.
Mark Twain

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.
Maya Angelou

One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are.
Edith Wharton

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in seeing with new eyes, or the eyes of another.
Marcel Proust

Travel makes one modest; you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Gustave Flaubert

Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Half the fun of the travel is the aesthetic of lostness.
Ray Bradbury

A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.
John Steinbeck

Voyage, travel, and change of place impart vigour.

I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.
Robert Louis Stevenson

For the born traveller, travelling is a besetting vice. Like other vices, it is imperious, demanding its victim's time, money, energy and the sacrifice of comfort.
Aldous Huxley

To move, to breathe, to fly, to float,
To gain all while you give,
To roam the roads of lands remote,
To travel is to live.
Hans-Christian Andersen

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbour. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Mark Twain

I know of a cure for everything: salt water. In one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.
Isak Dinesen

The sail, the play of its pulse so like our own lives: so thin and yet so full of life, so noiseless when it labours hardest, so noisy and impatient when least effective.
Henry David Thoreau

A traveler without observation is a bird without wings.
Moslih Eddin Saadi

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world. You are surrounded by adventure. You have no idea of what is in store for you, but you will, if you are wise and know the art of travel, let yourself go on the stream of the unknown and accept whatever comes in the spirit in which the gods may offer it.
Freya Stark

The cure for boredom is curiosity.  There is no cure for curiosity.
Dorothy Parker

Beware the bareness of a busy life.

My heart is warm with the friends I make,
And better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,
No matter where it's going.
Edna St. Vincent Millay

* * *

Now it’s your turn:  any favourites that I should add to my collection?  And have a happy and healthy 2015!