It was the first time this year I had a chance to go sailing, but although the weather conditions were nice my bilge keeler was not! She had not been tested since I put the mast up in April. The mast was too far forward so when I hoisted the genoa the luff was slack. I began to reposition the stays, slackening the forestays and tightening the backstay until the mast head was pointing backwards slightly. Hoisting the genoa this time meant that the luff was tight. I then tried to reduce genoa size my wrapping it around the forestay but the wind took it and it started to unwind. I noticed that the tack was not cut right, and the corner tension was not right, this is why it was flapping. Whoever had sewn this genoa had done a bad job. I was getting quite mad, 2 years of trying to get this boat to sail is wearing me out.
I decided I could dispense with the furling idea, and dispense with the badly sewn tack. I would reduce sail permanently by rolling up the foot of the genoa around a boom. The boom would be long enough to go past the side stays without touching them, in effect making it a self tacking jib.
I next tried the mainsail and after a few tries I reefed the main to a modest size. I am concerned about all this as I realise one of the faults with the Hurley Felicity is that the keels are too small, so when out at sea with full sail she heels over rather badly. All last summer I was sailing in strong winds and she was heeled over most of the time. So I have decided to reduce the sail area so she will be more controllable and pleasanter to handle. There was no reefing system on either of the sails so I have had to make my own, but finding a badly cut genoa is too much for me to correct. So I hope by getting it out of the way completely will make a small jib easier to control.