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Sail Selection – Part 3 Measurements

Alright so I’m not going to lie, it has taken me a couple of weeks to get organized to do my measurements. The Headsail_Staysail Measurement v1.3 guide I was asked to fill in is comprehensive and with Spindrift being out on a pin I was having issues getting accurate numbers and photos.

What did I need?

You only need a few tools to get this job done: measuring tape, pencil, extra hands, drill bit, nice flat space, and a camera.

Where did I start?

Several of the measurements are just taking your overall boat dimensions. Some of these can be found in your owner’s manual or online.  Once you have your general rig specifications filled in, we move into the freeboard measurements. The freeboard is the distance from the waterline to the deck. For Precision Sails they wanted the distance at the shrouds as well as the distance at the bow.

Things then got a little more exciting as I had the kids hold the measuring tape while I measure my fairlead (jib sheet) track. Spindrift has a really long track bolted to the deck, so it took some finesse to get the measuring tape to cooperate. I was surprised to see that my track is over 7 feet long. That’s a great amount of sail trimming I can do!

What did I find challenging?

The only measurement that stumped me a bit was the furling drum height measurement. I had to measure from the base of the forestay up to the tack attachment point. However, my bow plate has a 2 inch chainplate attached to it, so do I start where the turnbuckle is or where the deck is? I decided to provide them with both numbers and several photos so they could figure it out.

The last part was measuring my old sail. I stretched it out on the grass in between rain storms and got my Wendy weight on one end and measured the other. At this point they do not want you to stretch the sail or try to account for any curl or contour. They want a straight line measurement for each side (foot, luff and leech). Again, photos were taken of each and we were off to the races.

At this point you are probably wondering why I needed drill bits? Well, Precision Sails requests that you use a drill bit to determine the gauge of the furling slot. So my furler fit a 7/32″ drill bit, so I am a #7 tape size for them. I also used calipers to take a couple of measurements for them.

And so it begins…

Measurements and photos have been sent off — along with a few upgrades of course! Now I just wait for the design team to let me know if they need anything else!

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