November arrived and we had to put the boat back in the water before winter.
After a light sanding, the hull received a single coat of anti-fouling and the boat was ready for launching. We were anxious to test our new Radice shaft seal.
The good thing about launching your boat before winter is that you are almost sure to be alone on the water. Very few sailors come to Greece in winter and the marinas are nearly empty.
On the way to the harbour, we were checking continuously the new Radice seal. Everything worked properly. No overheating and no leaks…
The weather in November and December was marvellous. It was a nice opportunity for trying the boat under sail. We decided to use only the second forestay and hoist an old N°3 gib with hanks.
Even with a very light breeze, Samourai was already moving nicely through the water. It was an amazing sensation !
The 3 reefing lines went through the mainsail and were fixed back on the boom with a bowline. We then did some reefing exercices to see if everything was working smoothly.
After much thought, we decided that drilling through the deck to install deck organisers wasn’t necessary. In any case, the Contessa 32 was designed with a much simpler system including double blocks on each side of the hand rails. The boat was sailed this way since the 70’s and we felt we should first try everything this way.
The three reefing lines and the outhole are all coming back to the cockpit. We also decided that there was no need for “Spinlock clutches”. This simple and genuine deck arrangement was perfectly fine and kept us away from drilling. To add a pair of deck organisers and a couple of “Spinlock clutches” we would have to drill at least a dozen holes. It is well known that a leak can easily occur when hardware is under continuous tension.
During our trials, we worked out that when using a smaller foresail, the track had to be forward if you wanted a nice sheeting angle. In fact, the genoa tracks are a bit too short on the Contessa 32, but since we are not racers, the arrangement was more than satisfactory and had the advantage to be very simple.
Back in the harbour, we added a couple of anti-chafe hoses on the mooring lines. We used heavy duty firefighting hoses. Those are extra resistant and with a few tie wraps, they will protect the lines from chafing.