Baggywrinkles? What’s that all about? Worried I’m losing my self-esteem? Well, not really. Beyond what sailing into the wind is doing to my face, the name has a certain ring for me.

Baggywrinkles is a historic textile term. A lot of sailing is textile art – think of all the sails and all the lines. Baggywrinkles are where the two meet: If a sail chafes against a line, both wear out. Baggywrinkles are protection. They’re those funny things that look like a merger of a hairy caterpillar, a feather boa and a lambswool duster. They’re easy to make. All you need is some worn out or left over ends of rope.
These baggywrinkles are on the rigging of the Raglan, a fine schooner that towers above us here in Port Townsend. It was built in Denmark to haul lumber from the Northwest. Later it was purchased by Neil Young and fitted out with quite a luxurious interior.
Aurora is spending the week here getting a new traveller. (Basically this is hardware on a track with a bunch of pulleys offering a 1:5 effort:energy ratio that lets us position the mainsail. See Glossary of Nautical Terms.) The folks from Port Townsend Rigging have removed all the old, party frozen blocks, installed a new rail and a car with ball bearings, and lines that lead into the cockpit. This traveller, along with our new roller furling system designed by Liza of Port Townsend Rigging and the brand new genoa designed by the Carol Hasse, will make Aurora an easy boat to sail and save crew energy on those long hauls.


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