Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Lisbon to Gibraltar - 3: Selene and crew

There were four of us on Selene. Angelika, one of the core crew, her boyfriend Dave, ex sailing instructor Ian, and me.

Selene herself is a Nautor Swan 44, a venerable old lady launched in 1973. Heavy long in keel she excels to windward and in strong winds. She is a beauty with lines that gets as many admiring glances as a classic car. Unfortunately we tended to hide those lines with drying washing and a bizare and unsightly blow up bimini.

Our first job was to re-fit the mainsail after its emergency repair in Cascais from tears that came on the crossing of Biscay. While the main was ok the jib was almost too frayed to be usable without a lot of TLC. We also had a full set of cruising sails, some of them originals from Selenes infancy.

While the photo above shows the standard sloop rig, Selene can also be configured as a cutter and with time spare on the run down the coast we tried rigging a stay sail. It seemed to add to the balance, though there wasn't much of a speed increase.

Inside there is lots of wood and struts, not this bare empty space of modern racers.

Many thanks to Mark for letting us sail this lovely old yacht.

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