Sailing my Paradox and country living

May the force be with you


The force for me, means the the tides and the winds. They were  both  consistently  with me today.very nicely for my trip to Plymouth. Caught the middle of the ebb to help me creep out of the River Dart in the light wind. Once out of the river and out in the open sea found a very nice Easterly breeze which sent me across the bay towards Start Point at a good rate. By then the tide had turned to add about 2 knots to my speed and the wind was giving  me a hearty shove from behind.

After I zoomed across Bolt head and into Plymouth Sound. Only at  the last moment did I have to turn to windward to beat into Jenniclife Bay to anchor in 20ft in the shelter of the cliffs.

From the Dart to Plymouth Sound -30 miles – in less than 6 hours  So, must have broken the Paradox speed record for this week.

I have a small niggle / concern with my reefed sail. It wrinkles at the luff, and to a lesser extent, the leach, as it rolls up. No matter how carefully I roll in the reef this always happens and it spoils the shape of the sail for windward sailing. The pictures below show this shortcoming. I s’pose it’s due to the draught sewn into the sail and the sail would have to be cut flatter to avoid this.





A very placid calm night at Jennicliff Bay. Stir fried vegies and sardines for tea.


The crowds in Jennicliff Bay


Pineapple for afters.



6 thoughts on “May the force be with you

  1. re: Wrinkles
    I believe this is the bane of roller reefing!
    Aside from anything else, I surmise the pressure in the middle of the sail pulls the edges inwards. this may be so even if luffing as the sail flaps into a curved, not flat, shape.
    Traditionally things (!) were laid in bunt of the sail as it was rolled up – or staves were fixed along the middle of the boom to make it barrel-shaped. this took up some of the bagginess ….
    I was going to suggest cutting hollows in the luff and leech but on reflection, that may not work.
    otherwise – Full Length Battens.

    I like these in any case, They have to be parallel to the boom (unless the boom is tapered) and the boom has to be near right angles (not >90deg.) to the luff. You would only need them at your customary reefing stages*. {and you could reinforce the leech with clew patches at these points if your leech is not already continuously reinforced – as it should be anyway! (lack of which can also lead to distortion))}

    If the foot is not continuously attached along the boom I would expect wrinkles similar to yours.

    Traditionally the boom was “necked” at the fore end to accommodate the extra bulk of the luff rope and tabling. this necking might help stop the luff riding back along the boom as it would tend to do if the boom kicks up for whatever reason (flogging, luff tension …)

    golly! didn’t know I was embarking on a dissertation!



    *ps if planning battens suggest doing a trial roll-up of sail and mark the luff and leech positions of the batten …


    • Frank. Many thanks for your thoughtful and comprehensive comment. I’m sure that you’re right in that the weight of wind in the sail pulls in luff and leach. The luff is already cut with a hollow, BTW..

      No way would I want to add battens, tho. Too much complication for me.
      I reckon that I’ll just have to put up with what I have and smile. The sail is wonderfully simple and effective.


      • hard to beat simple and effective Jim!
        btw 1 With synthetic sails I leave the battens tied in
        btw 2 The paradox is such a capable boat – enclosed, shallow draught, super tough bottom so, although I understand ‘gentlemen don’t sail to windward’ I like to, esp in heavy weather, so I have searched for Paradox’s (sp?) tried with more conventional rigs – without finding any – do you know any?


      • Normal Bermudan rig would have the centre of effort too far forward for the hull, which has its lateral resistance further aft than most.
        There is a guy in Estonia who’s building a junk rigged version, albeit 20 per cent larger than standard. It will be interesting to see how it5 turns out.


  2. Hi Jim,
    Agree with all that Frank says _ how about gaffer taping a couple of thin battens along the middle half to three quarters of your boom to see how it affects the wrinkles? If it doesn’t work, easy to remove and no harm done.
    Saw you inside the breakwater at Plymouth the other weekend, was leaving by the Eastern entrance, on my way home to the Yealm, so missed the chance to pass by for a look_see.

    Next time hopefully.




    • Thanks for your thoughts, Mark.
      The Paradox sail has a sleeve sewn in at top anf bottom for the boom and yard to fit in. So any added bulk at the boom could only be small,… 1/ because there’s limited room in the sleeve.. 2/ any added bulk there would have some effect on the set of the unreefed sail. So it’s a difficult one to solve.
      I’ll try a thin batten in the sleeve for my next trip and see how it goes.

      Frank and Mark many thanks for your interest and tips. Much appreciated.
      Ps my next trip would be in the Poole and Solent areas, but expect to return to Plymouth Sound one day.


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