ARC2012 Diary: Day 17 – Thursday

I slept in the forepeak last night. The wind had picked up and we were peaking at 10 knots downwind. Spirits had been high yesterday as we recorded 160 miles on the log. The best yet! Though as I slept, I envisaged each noise being a jibe, waiting for Oliver to start shouting ‘fuck fuck fuck’. It didn’t sound good. Just as I got up for my morning shift panic ensued yet again. As I went to climb up the companionway I saw the wooden floor grating up, and Will throwing a bucket of water over the side. We were then ordered to take the main down immediately. Myself and Will got the main down, and everything was back under control. Phew!

It transpired that while Will was preparing the cockpit for a clean, the boat jibed. Henrick the Hydrovane wasn’t able to cope with the speeds we were doing. This time the preventer ripped the fairlead from the deck, which then resulted in the kicking strap on the boom to brake. No one was hurt, another lucky escape.

We put the genoa up for a while, then the rain came. I helped steer the boat in torrential rain. Will took a shower. The sea went white as the rain came down fast and furious. The rain subdued the waves, it was quite a soggy wet affair.

The guys watched a film while I got some shut eye before my shift.


Author: Tim Butler

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  • Reply houston November 21, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    hi. enjoyed your excaliber exploits, but compared to the rival with baby stay for storm jib and slab reefing. ,how did you reduce sail in gale conditions? the distance from the forestay to the mast on excaliber is too far for balance. any thoughts would be of interest.

  • Reply todayiboughtaboat March 2, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Hi there,

    I’m sorry for the late reply I’ve only just seen your comment.

    Hmm, well I haven’t really experienced gale conditions on Excalibur that has warranted using the storm sail. I got the storm sail for when I do longer passages so its gone untested.

    On the Rival we didn’t use a storm sail, as for the Atlantic trip we were mostly downwind. For the Biscay trip which was a bit blowy we just reduced the genoa, and with 3 slab reefing Oliver reduced the main sail right down, and spilt whatever wind we got. From memory in the night the maximum we got was 38-40 knots though I couldn’t tell you for how long, but the Rival was able to deal with it, with that sail plan.

    I hope that’s of some help.

    What do you have?


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