Sailing Hints III

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Sailors workshop: M-Scow edition

I have been sailing M-Scows since 1983, and one of the tougher things to deal with is mast rotation.  If you are sailing, tacking the boat can go like this for your crew:  lower new leeboard, uncleat jibsheet, duck under boom, pull in other jibsheet, raise the high side leeboard, kick the boom.  The better crews shoulder check the boom as they get under the boom to rotate the mast in one smooth motion.  The shoulder check method will leave some substantial bruising near your shoulder and down your arm.  I remember asking one M sailor what he did to make sure he didn’t have any rotation problems, and he told me he didn’t have any problems.  He later told me my question made him realize how many problems he actually had with mast rotation on the “M”.

I used to buy some Teflon wafers that were sold by APS for the Hobie 18.  They were pretty thin and about the size of a half dollar.  They were wonderful!  The mast would rotate, and never get hung up on the last tack.  Over time, it would slide off the ball.  If you went to a regatta, you would forget it was on there, leaving it behind in the parking lot.  So I always had extras.  About 5 years ago, they stopped carrying them.  

The search for a replacement came to an end at a welding supply store.  It’s a weld craft 598882 gasket for a tig torch.  You can find them on the internet.  I bought a bunch of them.  Remember I leave them behind.  I should have a decent supply at the Easterns on September 22nd and 23rd if you want to try one out.  They are kind of thick, so you will have to adjust your side stay tension.  But they work, and you can spend more time looking for wind or the next shift.
I am supplying a picture of it below.

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