Thursday, 11 June 2015

The first week

Our first week on Mareda has been chaotic, as expected.  With no time to write a coherent missive, here is a list of happenings:

Mareda in Locmiquelic, Lorient
The first time I tried to plug in to shore power, I dropped the electrical adapter in the water and it sank like a rock.  As soon as the horror wore off, I realized it had “SPRAY” marked on it.  Mareda claims her territory.

We realized after our first night on board that we had lots of storage space for clothes, but they were mostly closets rather than shelves.  We didn’t have enough hangers. Return home to buy electrical adapters and get more hangers. 

Seen around Vannes: A traditional Sinagot.
The genoa furler was impossible to roll in without using the winch.  After several calls and photos with Jeanneau, we tried to minimize the angles between the furler, the pulllies, and the winch, with only moderate success.  Epiphany:  what if the halyard is simply winched up too tightly?  Bingo.  Problem resolved.

The gennaker is great fun !  After a few tests, we found that the best way to roll it up cleanly is to sail on a broad reach and hide the gennaker behind the mainsail, then let off on the halyard a bit.  It rolls up like a tight sausage.  We still have a problem with the breaking pulley that is supposed to only allow the furling line to operate in one direction (so that it doesn’t unroll while you’re trying to roll it up).  Forgot to take pictures… next time.

The gennaker !  Ice blue and fire-engine red.
The swing keel hums and buzzes when sailing close-hauled at more than 5 knots.  Other swing keel owners tell us that this is normal. 

The boat is HIGH in the water !!  That’s great while sailing, but in port we’ve got a lot of area for the wind to push us around, which makes things a bit tricky to dock.  And we also learned that it’s best to have the keel down as far as possible for manoeuvres, otherwise you slip sideways all too easily.

I really appreciate the “german” winch system.  We still have to think ahead when we tack or jibe, but the manoeuvres will become automatic with time.  It’s great to have all the controls near the helmsman.  The lines, however, end up becoming a pile of spaghetti if you aren’t vigilant. 

The B&G electronic system (Zeus and Triton) are excellent, too.  We haven’t fully exploited all the gadgets available, but it’s really a luxury.

And the interior is so luxurious it’s almost ridiculous.  We’re a bit embarrassed.  People stare at Mareda when we come into port (just when we’re getting ready for manoeuvres we haven’t mastered).  The downside of all this bling is that it also attracts unwanted attention.  In Vannes, we had a 1 liter glass beer bottle hurled at us.  Pictures as soon as we have time to arrange everything ! 

The lazy bag is not as big as we thought /  hoped, or maybe it’s that the sail is new and stiff.  It’s so high that it’s hard for me to stow it by myself.

Patrick cracked his laptop computer screen and is having psychological difficulties coping without a computer.  We’ll head back to Lorient to repair it before going any further.

And we had our first “too full” incident with the black water (toilet) tank.  The 80-liter capacity goes quickly with 4 people !  The leak was smelly and no fun to clean, just in case you think it’s all bling bling and glamour out here…

Stuck on Groix Island by a gale for THREE days.  But there are worse places to be stuck.

Picnic at St Nicolas, Groix island.

St Nicolas at low tide.

Hiking around St Nic.


We sailed Mareda from Groix to Lorient (7 miles) with 20 knots in the nose and gusts to 25.  With only 1 reef in the main and the genoa at 60% she performed beautifully.  She heeled over onto her chine and didn’t budge.  When the gusts hit, the sails strain but the boat stays steady and the double-rudder system means you’ve always got one well down in the water and you always have good control.  

2 comments:

The Cynical Sailor said...

Wow - things have been full on for you guys! I cannot believe someone threw a beer glass at you!! What was that about? The boat does look really glamorous, I can see why people stop and stare.

Astrolabe Sailing said...

Great update! Sounds like all is going well and you are getting to know your new baby!