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, December 22, 2007
Yesterday we assembled, mounted, and partially wired up the Rutland 913 wind generator. The regulator is on the road from Melbourne and it may be in tomorrow. The replacement of the existing regulator with the new one, which will manage both the solar panels and the wind generator, should not take more than an hour or two, given that all of the cabling is now in place.
This morning I worked on a leaky window over the galley. There were 34 screws to remove, then gentle prying of the plexiglass, then scraping off of the old material. The boat shop did not have clear silicone glass sealant in stock so I'll finish the job on my next visit.
Also, I finally got the 50-lb anchor from Harley Swarbrick. He originally said that he would have the anchor ready in 3 weeks. But with health troubles and unexpected vacation of his work shop the job took about 8 months. I never gave up on him and the wait was well worth it, not just because I agree with Harley that it is the best anchor in the world, but also because it will be one of the last - if not the last - anchors produced by this living legend of Australian boating. After much rumination I decided to place the new 50-lb anchor at the anchor well and move the 35-lb Swarbrick from the anchor well to the rear as a backup anchor. So my working anchors will be a 45-lb Manson plow anchor when I can get away with it (i.e. sand or mud bottom, good weather), and the 50-lb Swarbrick for unknown holding ground or rough weather.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The RFD Life raft has been installed. I used Sikaflex to bind the 12mm ply curved platform (which I built, YAY!) to the deck and to bind the fiberglass supports provided by RFD to the curved ply platform. The raft is strapped by three 316 stainless steel fittings bolted through the deck with four 5/16-inch screws per fitting.
One of the enclosed photos (from the starboard) shows some red and green components. This is the automatic-launch mechanism. If the boat sinks before we have a chance to deploy the life raft a pressure-gauge goes off at 4m of depth which will cut a rope and inflate the raft. The raft will surface as the boat sinks, with the raft still attached to the boat by the painter. At some point the rope between the raft and the boat will reach its full length and the strain between the floating raft and sinking boat will reach the 1.3kg "weak link" strength of the mechanism (green component) and the raft will break free of the boat.
At this point the crew swims to the raft, is saved, and lives happily ever after.
Monday, December 10, 2007
We took delivery of the 4-person RFD life raft on Friday. Brenda and I experimented with possible locations of the raft. The easy way would have been to put the raft athwart ships at the centre of the deck with the the fiberglass supports running along the deck, forward and aft. Unfortunately we had one big constraint: a solar-powered fan servicing the head (toilet, or "bath room") was just port of the centre line, and we deemed it and the light that it provided too valuable to lose.
Eventually we settled on a fore-aft placement just starboard of the centre line. Unfortunately the amount of curve of the deck necessitated the fabrication of a platform rather than the trimming of the provided fiberglass supports.
I spent about two hours producing a cardboard template of the curve and on Sunday I made a one-day dash to Darlington with the goal of producing something acceptable. I really needed a band saw but only had a jig saw. Normally I would have simply gone out and purchased a band saw but it seemed wasteful to purchase one when I expected to depart in only two months for a long absence. So jig saw it was. This meant somewhat rough curves and no jarrah (too hard).
Fortunately I had a nice sheet of 12mm marine ply on hand ( Robert's Boat Chandlery comes through again!) and was able to knock something up and return to Fremantle at 7PM. The supports are of 12mm marine ply, held together with 2-part epoxy glue and nails. They look like boxes but inside there is an internal third longitudinal.
I have filled in the nail holes. Tomorrow I will finish the sanding by hand the put on the first of two coats of 2-part white marine paint. I will also fabricate backing plates of 20mm jarrah to take the bolts inside the cabin. I will use Sikaflex to hold the platform to the deck, relying on the weight of the raft and the curve of the deck to help keep the platform from sliding around. The raft will be held down by three straps attached to stainless steel fittings bolted through the deck (hence the jarrah backing plates).
I've attached two photos that will reveal all.
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Steve Hartley modified the stack pack (i.e. sail cover) to accommodate the new mast steps. He also added 50mm on each side of the zipper and more accommodation at the mast for the head of the sail. The result is very good.
Also, I brought back from Taskers one of the two spinnaker poles that had been cut into halves that can be snapped together. The full-length pole will be kept on deck. The split pole will be kept below deck as a spare.
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