The Oppie sail arrived in the post today, and I finalised the length of the spars and the position of the sprit tightening pulley. I reinforced the mast step in the bottom of the boat and it is nice and rigid. There was enough wind in my back yard to make the sail set using the boom vang and the sprit. There is no cunningham, because the tack is tied to the boom and the boom is down-hauled by the vang. That is the Optimist system, which I have followed. I have a small repair to do on the sail, which is not in bad condition, but was sold to me at a low price.
I like this arrangement without the plastic foredeck, because it allows me to put many of the functional things like my anchor and warps in the bow of the boat and avoid clutter elsewhere. It is all very accessible.
There is a small lake (Lac de Caniel) about 20 minutes away, and will go and put her through tests for weather helm and lee helm. I’ll need to choose a day when there will be some constant wind but not too gusty. When I was at sailing school, we used this lake when conditions were too rough at sea (Veulettes sur Mer), which meant that we had to be careful of violent gusts causing gybes and capsizes. The one uncertain thing is the balance of the boat which would be determined by the mast position. I have guessed it as slightly forward of the original mast position (the Tabur 320 is a catboat). I’ll have my tools in the van to make any adjustments necessary.
I have two church organs (which I moved from England and installed) to repair and tune next weekend in the Yonne (near Sens and Auxerre), so I might have some time to give the river Yonne a try. It is slow flowing between the locks, and wide enough to tack upwind if there are no barges – so that should be quite interesting.