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Butterfly: sail uncleats

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  • Butterfly: sail uncleats

    My 13 year old has recently acquired a used (but rickety) Butterfly which he has sailed a couple of times. It seems that the main sail has a tendency to uncleat at the top, coming out of the track. This means he can’t lower the sail whilst on the lake. Would anyone happen to have advice? Sorry if this is not explained well. I’m just the mom and not a sailor.

  • #2
    Welcome aboard:

    Since the sailboat has probably been a little neglected over the years, look for two things: The braiding on the lead edge of the mainsail (the part that goes into the track on the mast) might be fraying or wearing out. If it's worn too much, it can slip out of the track and jam up on the mast.

    Also measure the track on the mast. See if it's the same width at the bottom as it is at the top. It might be that the track has been bent and that's causing trouble.

    There are other possibilities too, just those are two easy ones to check.

    By chance has he taken a sailing course of any kind?

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    • #3
      Thank you for this and I will look at all those things. He’s got his cansail 2 certificate. He sailed a Feva for that

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      • #4
        Great. He's got some training (that's mainly for safety), and is familiar with boats. That's a fantastic first step.

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        • #5
          You were right about a bend in the track, how I did not notice before, I have no idea!

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          • #6
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            Did you solve the track problem? Your description sounds. like it is not a major problem.
            Aluminum masts may be repaired. . BUT VERY CAREFULLY.

            If you have not done so: Please look up Butterfly Fleet. The Internet shows 15 fleets and no status of their being active. Contact or call them for help.
            Also look up local sailmaker if any.
            The sailing community is small but close. I will be very surprised if you do not get help. Let us know how it goes.

            If you can get in touch with a Fleet or club, they will be a source of information and help. Fleets of Butterflies seem to be North vs South. Sailmakers are generally closer to the local active racing clubs or large sailing facilities.
            It is also possible there is a sail training facility in your ares. Even if a private club, they welcome new sailors. Many local municipalities have sailing venues.

            Hopefully you do not get discouraged and please do not throw a lot of money at this particular boat before you discover the nature of sailing in your area. The Butterfly looks like a good boat for young folk.I would have loved to have one at that age.

            We are in Austin Texas and one of the most active (Sailing, racing, training) clubs in the country resides here. Look around.

            Good Luck.

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