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Pocketship at Florida 120 with a bimini

PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2023 5:22 pm
by Jray
I took my 10 month old Pocketship ‘My Seasonal Rose’ down to Pensacola, FL from Greenville SC last week. Florida 120 is a fun regatta (no racing) that goes from Pensacola to near Fort Walton Beach and return, along the Intracoastal Waterway. Had a great time with a lot of nice folk in everything from a Hobie Cat to a 28 ft trimaran (they needed the room with family of seven!) We all camped along deserted beaches each night. There were around 40 boats total. This was my first sail outside a lake and really enjoyed the stronger, more consistent sea breezes. Never held the same tack for 4 hours before. (Although there were also times we had tack upwind for several hours.) Also had to deal with a narrow channel with a 2 knot tidal flow on the bow and less than 2 knot advance from the wind - IE I used the motor for 10 minutes to get out of there. Also towed another boat that ran out of gas.

To prepare for 5 days in the Florida sun, I designed and built a bimini so I could sail in the shade. I salvaged an 8x8 awning to build triangular bracing, attached to the boom gallows poles. I laced a cover on the resulting 4x5 ft framework. To allow this, I had to change the main sheet. I took the same cockpit attachment point and went straight up from there, via 2 double blocks, to the boom. I used the 2 double blocks to get more advantage since the boom attachment point was now further forward. I didn’t have a ratchet block anymore but I just looped the extra sheet around a cleat once, back into my hand to provide enough friction. And yes, sometimes I looped around the cleat enough to hold it fast, despite John’s admonition about never cleating a main sheet. (See above about the 4 hour tack in a steady wind)

Re: Pocketship at Florida 120 with a bimini

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2023 8:49 am
by slash2
I like the Bimini idea. I think I’ll need something similar to that for summer sailing on the Chesapeake. It would seem that sheeting the boom at its aft end would make a Bimini easier to do, but I suppose the gallows would interfere with that?

Re: Pocketship at Florida 120 with a bimini

PostPosted: Sun May 28, 2023 1:31 pm
by Jray
Yep, sheet behind the boom gallows would angle forward and snag across the gallows uprights when boom was to either side - so not cool. Attached in the middle, the sheet now runs diagonally completely forward of your seated piloting position, so its actually out of the way better.