Yesterday it was time to learn how to use the Gennakar, this optional sail turns this keelboat into a pocket rocket ship, with a bowsprit which is extended some six feet in front of boat allowing a huge sail to be flown for downwind sailing. Great care has to be taken when launching, recovering and gybing as the sail can be easily damage, with wrong handling.
There was quite a big sea running and perhaps a more wind that we would have liked, however we took our time, checking that the various ropes used to control the sail were set up correctly. We turned downwind and hauled one corner of the sail out to the end of the bowsprit before hoisting the head to the top of mast, it went up smoothly sheltered behind the main sail and filled as the jib was rolled and the sheet tighten. The boat accelerating away and we tested a few sailing angles. We had time to put in a test gybe which involved pulling the clew of the sail from one side to the other as the stern of the boat passed through the wind. before doing a spinnaker drop which involved gathering in the foot of the sail and pulling the sail into the cabin as fast as possible, so that we could turn back upwind to return to Paphos.
The outing confirmed that option sail will only be hired put to competent sailors. we also need to make a few adjustment to equipment to improve sail handling.