This may be old hat to most, but discoveries to me that I've found made sailing more fun this season.
1) In-mast mainsail furling. In the six years we've owned our MKII, I've been told furling is easier with the boom raised slightly. My difficulty was there was no aparent means of adjusting my rigid Garhauer boom vang to raise the boom. (It has no block and tackle or internal spring). However, I found it does adjust in length by turning the outside barrel- just like a turnbuckle. Furling, and more importantly outhoauling the mainsail is now a breeze instead the tugging battle I came to believe was normal.
2) Jibsheet routing. We have a 135 Genoa. I've always run the jibsheet under the top life line and above the lower lifeline. This was the PO's set up and I accepted it. However, the boat's upwind performace was never great because tight sheeting would deflect the top lifeline and place a heavy load on the lifeline stanchons. I now run the jib sheets inside of the lifelines and have seen a significant increase in up wind performance. I've also added blocks on the toerails for sailing down wind- another great thing.
3) Tacking upwind in a tight channel. I reef the jib, even in lighter air, so the amount of sail and sheet that needs to dragged over the stays is minimized. This greatly simplifies conditions that require short distance, quick tacks when I don't have a crew. Yes, I'm sacrificing some forward speed, but I think I'm offsetting that loss by a big reduction in tacking time. Important to those of us having to navigate narrow river channels.
4) The hatches have an option to latch in "slightly" opened position to ensure airflow in the cabin. I have tested the two small hatches and left them cracked open, and even with 15-20 knot winds and rain, have discovered virtually no water enters the cabin. The cabin smells much better after the boat has been sitting over the week.
Another reason for sharing this is that our season has ended and if I don't write it down, I'll forget these things and have to rediscover for next year. Happens to some of us considered as "seniors"
Paul & Wendy Keyser
2005 C36 MKII #2257