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
Monday, September 24, 2007
Last weekend we participated in the Cruising section's annual "treasures of the bilge" - a swap meet for yachties. I had no luck in selling my anchors but we picked up some bargains: a cruising guide to the Pacific for $5, a compass for $10, some useful dishes and wooden towel rails for free.
I paid $50 for a working depth sounder. I did a lot of work to install the transducer in place of that of the old Furuno transducer, but the readings that I got from there or anywhere in the hull were unstable. I tried both vegetable oil and water with some detergent as the immersion agent. The unit worked beautifully when I place the transducer directly into the water. I had hoped to use this cheapie as a backup unit that I could read from the navigation station.
Attached are photos of the compass in its new home in the cabin and one of the two towel rails (after some sanding and varnishing) in the head.
Debbie delivered the cockpit sun screens and hatch covers. The sun screens easily zip on and off, and can be rolled up to the mid-level rail, as shown in the photos. The screens have dramatic effect on the cockpit - giving it the feel of a room. Debbie's final task will be to produce a link sheet that will zip to the leading edge of the cockpit bimini and stretch to the grab rail on the dodger over the companionway. This will help to keep us and the boat cool whenever we are stationary in the tropics
Monday, September 17, 2007
Attached are some photos of last week's work:
- New spray dodger
- New bimini. Sides that can be zipped on and rolled up are on the way, as well as a "crossover" piece between the bimini and the dodger.
- The bimini has a window so that we can see the masthead from the steering position
- Port water tank, in need of new outlet pipe.
- This is the the unit that I had to move last week.
I handed the starboard water tank to Scotty this morning. It is in worse shape, with severe pitting in areas where the metal was against the wood framing. Although the tank wasn't leaking it was about to fail big-time.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
He then cut a square section out of the top of the tank to inspect the interior and reported that the tank is extremely well built of 1.6 mm stainless steel and is in excellent condition - great news because he estimates that building a new one will cost about $1200. He will replace the outlet pipe with a slightly heavier one that should see me out. Next week I will pull out the starboard tank for the same treatment.
It is very fortunate that my fiddling with that tee piece brought out that weakness because developing that leak during the cruise could have been dangerous and certainly would have caused a lot of trouble and expense.
2. Yesterday the track for the storm trysail was fitted. Steve Hartley will take measurements and begin work on the trysail. The track has a bend in it: starts near the deck on the port side of the mast, bends to the centre when it clears the mainsail, then up to the first cross tree.
3. I replaced a 5-amp breaker with a 30-amp breaker at the main switch panel, and marked it "autohelm". I then fitted the radar and VHF cables from the mast area to the navigation station. Peter Turner visited me this morning and we discussed the fitting of the chart plotter as well as the resolution of the AIS-radio problem. He made a good point: if we set up a switch so that the masthead VHF antenna can be manually switched between the AIS and the VHF radio then it would be impossible for a ship to hail me while I am in AIS mode. We went back to the original plan: masthead antenna for the VHF radio, stern antenna for the AIS. Peter figures that the stern one should be good for at least 30 miles for AIS. Peter plans to visit on Thursday to fit the autohelm ram (it was removed for servicing) and connecting it to the 30-amp switch. He will also connect the masthead antenna to the VHF radio. I will then be able to remove the long VHF antenna strapped to the side of the cockpit platform. The smaller VHF antenna for the AIS will be fitted later - probably in December - when the radar, chart plotter, AIS, and MOB bracelet system are installed. ... Setting up that switch sub-panel in the main cabin a few weeks ago has already paid a big dividend already, since otherwise there would have been no room for that 30-amp breaker on the main panel.
4. One of the better things that I did this week was to move the Brooks and Gatehouse sail monitoring system to make room for the chart plotter. A total of 39 wires had to be loosened then replaced after the unit was relocated. I had to draw a map of which colour from which of the 6 sheaths went to which connector. I was able to work with unusual (for me) patience and clarity and did it in about 3 hours without screwing anything up.
5. I discussed Zodiac life rafts with a salesman. The reason why the deck-mounted canister takes up so much more space than a valise is that there is one canister size for 4, 6, and 8 person rafts. Also, the lead time for an order is one month because they it may have to be sourced from France. I told him to expect my order in mid-November.
Slowly, steadily, and inexorably I am being dragged kicking and screaming into every aspect of Pachuca's setup.
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