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Old 22-01-2017, 13:13   #1
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Just Another Day at Work

Interesting Delivery: OK, so there I was. On a delivery carrying one of those deLorme thingys (great tool by the way) and I get a text asking me to do another one. This of course is exactly why I carry the DeLorme - it becomes a sort of mobile office. So, anyway, the new delivery is Tortola to Panama on a Beneteau Sense 43, the boat having been bought sight unseen in Latvia (or maybe Lithuania - can't remember which!) and delivered to USVI as commercial cargo.

I gee-up my crew and start prepping the boat only to be told that the deposit has yet to arrive in the lawyer's office and that it may not happen after all. My 3rd hand has just bought an expensive one way ticket...!! After much to-ing and fro-ing during which the Peruvian new owner manages to get his arse in gear and send the deposit, its On Again.

By this time I have sent the 3rd hand home (air fare again plus hotel accommodation). To be fair, the owner pays for the majority of this and I bill him for prep work. This would have been done free as the normal pre-delivery stuff but since at that stage it didn't look as if it was going to happen, costs and time had to be recovered.

The Boat: Well - it aint good! All safety gear out of date, No instruments working, No autopilot working, Broken Fridge, etc,etc. The owner doesn't want to replace the raymarine course computer (the cause of all the instrument problems) so, without realising it, he is expecting me to deliver it without any nav aids, without any autopilot and 2 handed since I've already discharged the 3rd hand. Since this is a bit of a milk-run of around a thousand miles, my very experienced first mate and I decide to just get on with the dam thing.

Silly us I hear you say! (and you're probably right!)

Day 1 sees us re-rigging incorrectly rigged reef lines and the first line promptly breaks....its blowing quite hard....Re-rigging Selden single line in boom reefing is difficult enough on the dock but we manage. The Genoa's sun protective strip starts un-ravelling; not a disaster but not pretty. Otherwise the sails are in good shape.

Day 2 see the genoa furling line break and as the foil drum rapidly unfurls it catches the broken line in all sorts of riding turns which are impossible to get out in what is now a good strong gale. We drop the main completely into what is left of the sun-sickened and torn sail bag and continue essentially down-wind with about half of the first reef in the genoa which we can neither get in - or out...

Day 3 and the the steering fails. We dig out the emergency tiller and carry on merrily until the rudder stock head comes off rendering the tiller useless. Luckily, The Sense 43 is one of those sexy things with 2 rudders so we transfer to the other rudder. Hand steering in what is now, and has been for 2 days, a strong gale, with an emergency tiller that you don't completely trust is physically pretty hard work...and a tad stressful... In pretty huge breaking seas and with a bit too much sail up, we are surfing along, touching 17-odd knots on the down-hill bits. Apart from getting pooped and nearly knocked down a few times, the hull behaves extremely well - god bless it! By about Day 6 we managed to get forward to discover of course that the furling drum pin has worked its way out, the foil has lifted and cracked and is trying to cut through the fore-stay. With a strong screw-driver we manage to get it bent out of the way and luckily it has only "polished" rather than cut, a couple of strands.

Day 7 sees the electrics come back to bite us. Smoke fills the boat from a burning corroded bad connection, exacerbated by the amount of water we are taking on and the generally spray-filled atmosphere. This is a bit worrying as we also have a 220 volt inverter on board which will not turn off and doesn't actually supply any mains voltage anyway! We had, almost on day 1, noticed that there was so much stray current floating around it was causing many problems. Bilges had to be pumped manually since the electric bilge pump ran continually in auto and in any event, didn't suck out the water (frozen check valve as it turned out, in an inaccessible place) cabin lights would work by themselves or not at all and so it went on. The weather abated somewhat over the last day and we made it in just over 8 days. Had things been working, I'm pretty certain we would have had a record breaking run!

Talking of the Electrics If you only have 1 head onboard - make sure its NOT electric - or carry a strong bucket...!!!

Tony
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Old 23-01-2017, 04:32   #2
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Location: NSW, Australia
Boat: Simpson 12
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Re: Just Another Day at Work

That's incredibly! I often find sitting at a desk all day everyday to be hard. You just blew my mind.
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