Before I get started, let me apologize to my non sailing friends. This post probably will be pretty boring to you, but we are really excited about how easy this will make our sailing life and it might be interesting to our sailing/cruising/soon to be cruising friends.
Since it looks like we will be in St. Thomas for the next week or so, we decided to order new Mack Packs for Storyville. We've been wanting a stack pack system for a long time and since we are planning to do a lot of sailing once we get past St. Martin, and head south, we figured this would be a good time to make it happen.
We put all new sails on Storyville before we left two years ago (Wow - two years ago, hard to believe) and at the time we had the chance to add stack packs. We decided not to do so because we were worried that it would affect our sail performance. Sail performance, that's a laugh. We haven't done near as much sailing as we had hoped to do. The reason for that is that we've spent most of the last two years heading east into the prevailing trade winds. On the few opportunities that we have had to sail, we realized what a pain it is to use our main sail. Mostly because we are a center cockpit boat and it is impossible to reach the sail in order to stow it away properly and get the sail cover on. It can be a 45 minute to an hour job that takes both of us to accomplish properly. After a day of sailing the last thing you want to do is spend an hour and a half putting away two sails (the main and the mizzen), so as a result, we tend to sail without the main. If we have sufficient wind, that usually is not a problem, but it will be so nice to have the option.
We ordered our system from Mack Pack and it will be shipped here next week. Click the link to learn more about their system.
UPDATE: We received the Mack Packs and have them installed. It took about a day for each one as the sails had to be removed and there was a lot of drilling and tapping in order to attach the packs to the masts and booms. Troy made it all look easy. Mack Pack sent a great instructional video and written instructions. There were a wonderful company to work with.
Here is a picture of Storyville with her new Mack Packs. We think they make the boat look great:
To reach a port, we must sail - sail, not lie at anchor - sail, not drift ~Franklin D. Roosevelt