Salt is up dry. It’s cold outside and I have fire in the fireplace to keep comfortable and warm. However, It’s obvious time for planning of a new season. It’s time to look at general improvements and speed enhancing in particular. We will not no.2 forever!

Seilmakeren

This years first race will be the Seilmakeren (named for Seilmaker Iversen in Bergen) – a shorthanded race from Bergen to Stavanger and back. More than 110 yachts are already registered. We where number 93 to register in November – six months before the start! There is a shorthand craze blowing over Norway. I can think of a few arguments why sailors wants to go short-handed. First of all it is annoying to keep calling to get crew while you sail almost as well without the extra hands, but first of all it is regarded as much thougher which makes participation in short hand races stand out among fellow sailors.

Seilmakeren will start early May – which is way too early and might be very cold indeed. In May the North Sea is still cold. At night it is very hard to keep going and stop shivering. And there is no way we will not have to sail hard upwind for half the race. However, we are ready for the other half. A new 110 Sq.meter asymmetric spinnaker is ordered from Westaway Sailmakers in Devon, England. I am going to mount it on a 80 centimeter long pole at deck level to get as much power at shy reaching as possible. However, the main point is to ease the downwind sailing by making jibing and setting of the spinnaker much easier and safer. By the way – we are ready for the upwind part too. Hopefully we can use the Cape Horn going upwind and keep warm by the diesel burner. I mean -if you have to, you do whatever it takes.

Hysterical competitivenessA long rainy and windy season

Another speed enhancing job is to scrub and wet-sand the under-body. Somehow parts of the paint is not as smooth as it is supposed to be. I am also considering sharpening the aft-edge of the rudder to make it slip the water more easily. I might as well sharpen the front of the keel and epoxy the former through-hole for the sounder too. I have no more use for it and it’s probably just braking by making inharmonious curls in the passing water. I know – it’s a little hysterical. But the boat is up and dry, and as stated – I’m not going to stay no.2 forever. Whatever it takes.

1000-mile race

I am considering taking part in the 1000-mile race from Netherlands to Bergen and further to the Shetlands and back. I admit it is easy to dream on while sitting warm and comfortable by the fireplace. But it sure would be cool, and this time it is possible to take part from Newcastle to Bergen, Shetland and back. It is much closer from Stavanger to Newcastle in England, then to go all the way down to the Netherlands. Besides – we did well last year.

All varnished wood that is possible to take of the Salt is home. I have stripped down most of it and I will have it ready for spring. I am also looking at the other sails beside the spinnakers. Is it possible to redo them and make the old Genoa 2 into an overlapping self tacking genoa? And what about the mainsail – could I add much more roach with battens able to cross the backstay? It should be possible…

Adding stuff

And I have to get the AIS working. I won a wonderful AIS receiver and responder at the Shetland Race last year. With the mast down I will be able to add a new VHF-antenna for the AIS. Besides it has its own GPS-antenna. The Tacktic T-150 wireless wind instrument – which worked for 14 days and then closed down – is still not back from repairs. It is unbelievable – but I hope it shows up by spring. How can they do business like this? In sum – lots of stuff added that is not enhancing the speed, just adding up space, weight and new stuff to repair…

Whale with rubber bumperKeel in need of bumper

At last I am considering a rubber bumper for the old whale. A smart Swede has come up with a keel protection device that takes the worst part of grounding away. You can read more about the Keel Pro here. I truly hate grounding. Anything that can help me from ruining a nice day by hitting a submerged rock will be considered.

The rest is just waiting for the ski-season to begin, watching the sun making the days longer and spring closing. Besides sanding varnish in the basement.

The Kaskelot depiction takes you topside

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