Spinnaker poles, lifelines and wonderful neighbours

The call came in that my new lifelines were ready so I stopped by to pick them up after work. On my bike. Not thinking that together with the old ones the whole package was 40lbs and around 120 feet of steel cable. How would I manage to carry that home?

In a stroke of utter luck, one of my dock neighbours, Ivan was there at the marine chandler and said he could take it home in his truck! SCORE. Below are the old and new ones

Once home I promptly got started by immediately dropping one of the new lifelines over the side of the boat into the water. Good work champ. Luckily another neighbour, Joce was there and jigged it up for me. SCORE TWO.

Two of the pelican clips were too big to fit on but I switched them out the next day and we were GOOD TO GO

Emma was coming over from Vancouver that weekend and we had plans to go to the San Juans and practice flying the spinnaker so we don’t look like massive chumps in front of 150 boats on the swiftsure lineup.

One of the things I needed to do was replace one of the ends of the spinny pole – it was seized completely shut, and kinda worked in light winds with a shackle, but in an actual breeze it just wasn’t safe. I’d managed to get a sweet deal off the classifieds of a spinnaker pole end, saving $200 but when I went to put it on on Thursday, it was fractionally too big and didn’t fit! DISASTER!

Luckily yet another Sweet Angel Baby Dock Neighbour, Ralph, said he could machine it at work to make it fit. And he did!

He dropped it off Saturday and I attached it to the end of my spinny pole enroute. Perfect.

We went to Stuart island in the San Juans to meet up with my friend Mal (making her first single-handed trip in her 21ft sailboat!!! What a superstar) and the wind was 5-10 from behind – perfect spinny weather!

So we took it up and doused it a few times, and also did some jibes for the first time on this boat – went pretty well! The actual sail is waaaaay too small for the boat, but ce la vie. Maybe it’ll be upwind the whole race?? (also someone sell me a used spinny cheap pls, luff around 45ft, thanks)

We arrived at Stuart island and Mal tied up to us


The next day we left, had a great sail into 10-15 knots of wind the whole way and realised my new sails have tell-tails! And I have no idea what they mean! One quick ‘how to sail’ google search later and I was fiddling around with jib car positions and such. Also practiced reefing again – and finally nailed it. Less than 30 secs to put in and shake out a reef.

Longish post so to sum up

  • I am a clumsy oaf who drops shit
  • my neighbours are the goddamn best
  • sailing is fun
  • when we come last in swiftsure I’m blaming the spinnaker size
  • Emma is not happy when the only thing I have to eat for two days is cheese and bread



  1. Your small kite would work well as a reaching chute or in higher winds. It looks to be quite flat to me therefore a good reacher or for single handing.

    • Yeah it’s a weird shape – tapers quite sharply and isn’t very girthy. Sure I can find a use for it!

  2. There is a facebook group called saiboat swap shop. Lots of used sails show up there on occasion.
    Your new main and lazy jacks sre way cool!

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