This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Pachuca was dismasted and hauled out of the water on schedule last Tuesday the 10th. Fortunately the wind was gentler than predicted so we were able to maneuver the boat with little trouble. Reg Kelly arrived at around 8AM. We then walked over to the works jetty to make sure that there was an opening and plan the arrival. While we were there Edgar the rigger came up and confirmed that the gap between two boats would be OK, and the crane would be able to reach OK. Brenda and I then ferried the boat to the works jetty and the work began.
The entire process is bewildering to me, so I simply did everything that Edgar told me to do. We removed the mainsail and stack pack, all of the halyards, and eventually disconnected the standing rigging (once the crane was supporting the mast). We had trouble disconnecting the mast electrics. Fortunately Peter Turner from Maritime Electronics dropped by to deliver a GPS receiver to me and provided a valuable 30 minutes of assistance with the electrics. Unfortunately the main wiring had a knot somewhere so eventually I said to just cut the wires and we'll rewire the mast.
By noon Pachuca was in her cradle and the mast (with head sail attached) was horizontal on supports. Brenda, Reg, and I then had lunch at the club. (swordfish for Brenda and myself, chicken laksa for Reg.) Later that afternoon I started my work.
I've set up a new 12-switch panel on the forward bulkhead of the main cabin, set in a purpose-made jarrah frame. The upper 6 switches are fuse-protected and will control all of the mast lights. I removed the fuses of the lower 6 switches and I will use them as connectors for the B&G instrumentation (e.g. wind vane, anemometer). The idea is that if we think that there is any danger of lightning I will switch off all connections to the mast. Yes, the power surge may jump the switch but on the other hand enough may be diverted down to the keel to avoid damage. I suppose if we are entering some serious lightning danger I can get a screw driver and disconnect all of the wires.
The mast-wiring exercise is very good for me. We will have a much open, convenient, and expandable system that I will understand.
As I said earlier, the mast head light was about 1/3 full of rain water and the deck/steaming light was too corroded to recover. I have ordered a high-tech German-made LED mast light that I saw with my own eyes is brighter, very miserly on electricity, and LED's guaranteed for 50,000 hours. The bad news is that it will cost me over $600. The deck/steaming light will be another $164. For good measure I plan to set up two flood lights at the cross trees to really illuminate the boat if required, and to provide some redundancy.
Yesterday I saw Greg Hansen of Maritime Electronics at the hardstand area. It is lucky that I did. He plans to install not a passive (i.e. listen only) Raymarine AIS but an active (i.e. I transmit Pachuca's details to the ships around) Simrad AIS. That means that I do need three more stainless steel antenna stands, not one. One stand will be for the Raymarine chart plotter. The other two will be for a VHF antenna and yet another GPS receiver dedicated to the Simrad AIS. We will be sailing out with four external GPS receivers and one internal one, not to mention any hand-held GPS's that we'll have on board. Anyway, the information on the antenna stands was important because hopefully Scotty will be putting them on this week (though the AIS itself will come later).
Next week will be a busy one. I'll phone DeGroot engineering to prod them on regarding the thru-hull valves.
Taskers will come to do a template for the storm trysail track. They will probably fit it later in the week. Once that is done work on the try ail itself will begin. While they're at it Taskers will take one of the spinnaker poles away to convert it to split in half for storage below. It will act as a spare spinnaker pole and, God forbid, a jury-rig mast. The other spinnaker pole will stay on deck. Why are there two spinnaker poles? Pachuca is an ocean racer and two poles were required for fast jibes since the inner forestay prevented end-for-ending the pole.
Edgar will work with Peter Turner of Maritime Electronics to put in a second conduit in the mast and set up the wiring for the radar. The mast support will also be installed just above the lower cross trees. A new VHF antenna will be placed at the top of the mast, where it belongs.
A couple of days ago I removed the B&G anemometer and wind vane and took it into Maritime. Bearings for the unit were ordered 2 weeks ago and will be installed. The tail of the wind vane is a bit corroded at the leading edge. Greg says that you can't get a replacement and in any case they used to cost about $300. He told me how to repair it using aluminium and epoxy.
I spoke with Debbie on Thursday. She's started on the canvas work.
Once things clear up I will drill new drain holes for the lower part of the anchor well. This will include plugging up the old ones (which were too low) and moving the cover plates.
At the Cruising section AGM and dinner Jim Putt highly recommended mast steps. Reg and I put mast steps on Angie, and it would take a full day of hard work. I've got to decide on either going with the mast steps or relying on botsun's chair and mountain climbing gear to allow me to climb up a halyard. (Edgar can climb up to the mast in probably 15 seconds. I would settle for 15 minutes.)
I've accepted the fact that there is too much work to do to expect in only one week. I've decided to leave the boat laid up for as long as it takes.
Enclosed are some photos of the haul-out.
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