There have been a number of things we wanted to work better on the Flying Junior, but mostly because it is hard to find a sailboat store in Pittsburgh, we hadn't gotten around to it.The wind spinner is fairly old, and after the capsize, didn't spin as well as it used to, and in the process of trying to make it better, I broke it. We now have a plastic arrow that has guides, which makes it easier to see from all different directions, but is also somewhat flimsy, so we have to be more careful with it, so it won't break.
We replaced the pin that holds the main sheet to the boom - originally it came with some sort of L-shaped pin that should have been easy to pull in and out, but somewhere along the way, it was replaced by a pin that had a keychain on its end, and was fairly difficult to operate. We now have a nice quick-release pin that can be operated with one hand in about a second, so it is much nicer, and no longer a bottleneck. The price wasn't listed when I got it, and I went back into the store to check the price - $26! It is a complex piece, about four parts with tight tolerances, but still seems like a lot.
The lights we bought a couple years ago are not very bright, or at least I have heard from one boater that they are hard to see. He suggested raising the lights up higher, but because the boom needs to swing back and forth, that isn't really possible. So, we have added to our collection, a large submersible flashlight. We are in the process of trying to think of a way to attach a light to the end of the boom, or run some Christmas light strings along the mast or something. I don't think we will be able to buy something off the shelf, because almost all lights run on 12 volts, since they assume you will have a car battery aboard for powering your engine, radio, toilet, etc.
We also now carry one of those buoys that attach to docks, so the boat doesn't crash into the dock, and that has worked quite nicely the couple times we have used it. It is guaranteed for life to not leak, unless it is punctured by a sharp object, or smushed by a large amount of pressure -- what a guarantee!
We replaced the bungee cords that hold the centerboard, and they are much more springy than the old ones.
We bought a nice painter and a metal guide to pull it through, but now that we know how the existing guide is supposed to work, we use that, and it works well.
We figured out on our last trip how to make an oar into a jib holder - ie. a piece to hold the jib out farther. The oar is bigger than what you would want normally, but we always have the oars with us, so we don't need to carry another piece of equipment.
Posted by Jon Daley on September 24, 2005, 7:34 pm | Read 2446 times
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