Consequent on our decision to see if our frail old bodies could cope with a cruising range a tad farther around this this (apparently) round planet, we decided that our chances of survival and continued access to GnT’s would be improved by a few upgrades.
A new Cutlass Bearing and Prop Shaft (much to Liz’s chagrin, I have kept the old one as a spare). Refurbished the Maxi propeller en route.
New Log transducer and a CHIRP transducer for sonar plus a water maker through hull fitting.
Hauling in and out is always a bit traumatic but always dramatic.
Windward was well cleaned and has a new anti-fouling plus sacrificial zincs renewed.
Next, an Iridium Go! which enables us to get weather GRIB files via satellite from anywhere (OK, not the full data but enough to avoid trouble).
A Blue Water water maker installed by the doughty Alex.
Serious win, a second hand whisker pole for $120 from a Saffer yard dude which will seriously help our downwind sailing (assuming the world IS round).
After SERIOUS struggles with the renewed Stuffing Box on the prop shaft, we called it quits and upgraded to a Lasdrop Gen II seal – again courtesy of the resourceful Alex ( I must explain, seems everyone at Atlantis Marine HAS to be called Alex [we have entertained 3 of them so far]).
Note that this was done in the water. Alex was super relaxed about it and I was less so, rigging up my powerful emergency bilge pump to cope with the expected biblical flood.
Never got used. Alex lined it all up quickly, there was a brief spurt of water (LH photo), the main bilge pump did a reluctant purrrr and then Alex had the air line on and that was it. So much easier system to manage than the old stuffing boxes.
Next, we have installed a Hydrovane Wind Steering system (more photies later). This works after you have balanced your boat by sail, locked the helm and then engaged the Hydrovane to keep you on course by maintaining your angle to the wind. If the wind angle changes you clearly have to adjust so it follows that you have to pay attention.
Interestingly, the Hydrovane saves energy by your not having to need to use the 12V electrical AutoHelm and can handle bad weather better than the electrical system BUT, the two can party in REAL ROUGH WEATHER as you can put both on and whilst the Autohelm does the main job, the more sensitive electrical autohelm can save the day when you are surfing down a big wave as it can respond more quickly and sensitively than the Autohelm and keep you straight.
Meself, I’ll try to stay on the helm and be available if I can ……….
We have moved the Raymarine e78 multi-function display (MFD) from the helm to the chat table and installed a networked 12 inch new Raymarine MFD at the helm. The system is networked and upgraded to the latest version of the AXIOM software so we have better functionality and better display options.
You will notice from the display that we have upgraded the radar to the Quantum digital system – seriously better.
We have upgraded the old Wind Generator to a D400 – Andrew can now stop cursing about his sleep being disturbed by the donk-donk-donk-donk etc of the old Aerogen positioned above his head in the guest cabin. It is whisper quiet and generates plenty amps.
We have retired the old Simpson-Lawrence windlass (it is going to be installed on an old Cape Town boat that arrived here 30 years ago). The new one is a brute. A 1200W Maxwell from New Zealand that treats 10mm chain (we just upgraded to too) like knitting wool.
A not uncostly item was replacing the remainder of the running rigging that we did in Fort Lauderdale with Dyneema or equivalent. The colour selections were a challenge ….
We have also invested in something that we hope that we will never use; a Jordan Series Drogue. If used, it will be secured to the stern by very stout chain plates and the +- 132 mini-drogues will play out on the line behind a bridle. All set up to go in the stern locker. Maybe we will try it out on the 90NM haul to the BVI.
Basically, if it gets really too heavy, you deploy this and it slows the boat down to the speed of the seas system and everything (apparently) gets manageable thereafter.