Already in February we went chatting with the yard’s rigger Richard, when we had our davits installed at Fox’s marina. He visited onboard Suwena for evaluating the situation. He told that he prefers always make a rig tuning when sailing. Thus we agreed to see each other again when we are back aboard in spring.

At the end of April the winds were unusually calm but we anyhow went to the foggy river Orwell on Friday after the Easter when the wind was up to 8 knots. Andrus thought that our shrouds felt too loose and that the forestay had a little sag in it. Immediately Richard started to tighten the shrouds and backstays.

There were so little wind that we had to use the engine to make our own additional wind. Despite of this there were not enough breeze. Richard told that it is best to make the tuning of the rig when the boat is listed by 15 to 20 degrees. Then there is enough load on the windward shrouds and the shrouds on the lee side should not get loose.

Finally when Richard was happy with shrouds, backstays and the triatic stay between the main and the mizzen masts he started examining on how to get our mast bended backwards for getting a nice prebend into our main mast. It could be done if we lengthened the forestay. Thus we lowered the genoa to deck and after this the furlex motor was lifted upwards by the genoa halyard for accessing the forestay adjusting screw. At this stage we found out that the furlex electric wires were too short. Richard remained cool and thought out loud in the middle of the river that the other way would be to undo the forestay and access the adjusting screw from below. Quickly the plan was made. The mast was supported by gennaker halyard which was made fast to the deck to prevent the mast falling backwards. Next we disconnected the pin holding the forestay in place but electric wires were still a problem. Andrus was running every now and then to cockpit for turning the boat 180 degrees because we were slowly motoring on idle in a one know current back and forth. Next we loosened backstays and I tightened the gennaker halyard trying to bend the mast forward as much as possible. Finally we had to give up and it it also started to rain simultaneously. We put the rig back together, made a coffee and motored back to Fox’s.

In the marina we dismantled the fixings the furlex electrical wires and managed to get additional 10 cm length for the forestay. The tuning was definitely worthwhile. Now we have the main mast with the stylish prebend. We’ll see at sea how the tuning affects Suwena’s sailing abilities.

The main mast of Suwena
The main mast of Suwena

Overall we are really satisfied with using the help of the professional rigger. We also learned a great deal ourselves about adjusting the rig. Many thanks to Richard for the well tuned rig of Suwena.

Tuning the Rig of Suwena

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