North Sails Palma Install Sails on J-Class Hanuman

We were in Royal Huisman Shipyard in Holland to install the new sails on the recently launched J Class Hanuman (E2).

The weather cooperated with light winds blowing from the Starboard bow allowing the yachts crew, Scott and Myself to hoist the cruising headsails first. These 3DL marathon sails are constructed from high modulus Carbon Fiber and Twaron with Polyester Taffetas on either side. Making them light and easy to handle with limited crew numbers. The sails are hanked on with soft Spectra Hanks and will be left stored on deck in custom made bags when not sailing.

Then the “Full Size” racing #3 was hoisted. This sail was designed to fit the maximum dimensions permitted by the rig and deck configurations and this design brief was achieved when the sail hoisted into the halyard lock and the tack of the sail was snug to the deck and the leach just kissed the lower spreader. The luff tension will be adjusted via a hydraulic ram under the foredeck to a Cunningham patch just above the tack. This sail is without the Taffetas to make it lighter for when the boat races and the style of hanks was altered for the Racing sails. They are still with spectra webbing but with buttons to loop the webbing over, making sail changing a little quicker if required during a race.

Then a brief look at the storm sails to ensure that all was well there.

The following day with a stiff breeze blowing from the Stern of Hanuman allowed plenty of time for us to prepare the 500m² 3DL Mainsail. All the luff hardware had to be installed and then the 6 full length C-Tech Carbon Fiber Battens needed to be cut, fitted and secured into place. Installing the Harken Switch Track cars takes a high level of concentration, to make certain that the guides on the cars are in the correct order. So the cars and battens are spread equally between the sides if the track. Then all hands were required as we hoisted the sail in its full length bag on to the `Park Avenue’ Boom. This operation used two halyards and a number of guide lines to ensure correct placement of the sail on the boom. In order to make attaching the main to the mast a lot easier. The Main is constructed with the same materials as the Staysail and Yankee, it has two deep reefs and it uses a lock system for the Halyard, at full hoist and at the reef points. The halyard lock system allows a winch to be free on deck, to relieve some of the strain put on the mast and a smaller, lighter halyard as the halyard is only required to lift the sail weight and not the loads seen when sailing.

Early the following morning in thick fog and icy conditions BUT with no wind we started to hoist the main sail. This is far and away the easiest method to bend on a large sail such as this. Even with the Main placed at the very front of the boom it still took four of us to line up the cars as the sail was being raised. When the sail reached full hoist and the halyard lock was engaged, the halyard went slack, meaning the sail was exactly the correct length and all the design and engineering time paid off with the lock working flawlessly. This shows the high degree of cooperation between North Sails Palma and Rondal, the spar builders, to ensure that a sail with a Luff length of 48meters and weighing 400 Kg can be built to such fine tolerances.

Royal Huisman elected to launch Hanuman in the Canal alongside the Shipyard as you can see from the photos, then step the mast and install the boom. Then we installed the sails still alongside the canal at the mercy of the wind direction. After successful static trials on the engines and other systems the sails will be removed, the main being left on the boom and lifted off by a crane, the mast pulled. Then Hanuman will be lifted onto a barge and carefully moved to more open water where the mast, boom and sails will all be reinstalled. This may appear to be a overly complicated process but this way the shipyard can keep working in their workshops with all the machinery and infrastructure whilst all external components can be fitted and run up.Hanuman Launched in to Canal© North Sails

We will be back to Holland in the middle of April for Sea Trials and hopefully get some great sailing photos.