So the news of the passing of the inventor of Kevlar has sparked a bit of a trip down memory lane for many of you:
Back in the late ’80’s I got a spot on a One Tonner that was to be a training mule for an upcoming full-blown UK Admirals Cup campaign. For one of the RORC overnight races out of The Solent, the sailmaker bought down a set of brand new sails made from this wonder-stuff Kevlar. The crew duly loaded the inventory down below, and then received instruction on how to handle the sails. We were told that it was vital that they be rolled, not folded, as folding would break the fibers.
After a few sail changes it became apparent that the sails that had been tightly packaged on the loft floor could not be so neatly rolled on a wet, heaving deck, and in that state there was absolutely no way to get them down below through the miniscule hatch. So we endured an arduous race with an assortment of headsails strapped to the windward rail, tacking them when neccessary, and then surviving threats of protest for having very visible moveable ballast. Happy days …. – Anarchist Rob
We know you’ve got Kevlar sails horror stories, so let’s hear them!
Title inspiration thanks to The Stone Roses.