So, here’s a start of a run down on what i’ll need to do to get ready to go.
First, for the boat
First, a waterproof electrical system, with a crash pump.
I’ve learned from experience that this boat is impossible to sink, but if the cabin fills with water it’s impossible to self-rescue. Bailing just ain’t gonna do it.
My plan is to first fit a waterproof electrical system with navigation lights to replace the suction-cup lights I currently use, and add a crash pump to de-water the cabin in case of capsize. In theory, i’ll just have to right the boat and hold it that way for 5-10 minutes while it pumps out the cabin.
Right now, i’m looking at a 3700 GPH bilge pump. Coupled to a 35 AH battery in a waterproof box. This will be located in the cabin storage area at the foot of one of the berths. The discharge hose will go out straight back thru the storage compartment and out the transom. no bends, and little head pressure should make the most of the flow from the pump.
This will also give me a reserve battery i can use to charge a GPS or tablet based chart plotter if I need to.
I’ll also want to replace the current open-cell foam mattresses with closed-cell foam. If things go south and I need the crash pump, i do not want to have two large blocks of waterlogged foam below, holding all that water weight and keeping it from being pumped out.
I think I might go with multiple layers of those interlocking floor cushion matts that harbor freight sells.
Beyond that, I think I’m ok in this regard.
I’ll need to add some lateral clam cleats in the cockpit to give me a place to hold the mainsheet when I need to use my hands. somewhere to quick hold the sheet if i need to adjust something or go for something stowed. A pair of sideways cleats on the cockpit bulkhead would do.
I’ll need a bungee mechanism to hold the tiller on a heading for a few minutes. I’ve done this with one on the aft cleats before, but I may do something a little more elaborate. I’ve seen some really nice ideas on this in the Duckworks Magazine BBS.
Also, I’ll need a tiller extension. sailing solo without the outboard on the transom will require me to move significantly forward compared to where I normally sit when I man the helm.
I’ll need to come up wit ha small float or the masthead, to help prevent it from going turtle if i do capsize.
I need to fabricate some good oarlocks out of stainless i’ve never been happy with the ones i’m seeing commercially available. this should prove easy. a few pieces of stock from online metals and an hour or two with a Tig setup should get me sorted.
Canada requires a radar reflector. Gotta get one.
Would be nice, but not 100% necessary
These would be nice, but I could do without.
- New sails. The ones i have work, but real sails that aren’t tarps would be good.
- New oars. I’d like a set of spoon oars; the flat ones I have would do, though.
- An inflatable PFD. easier to move around in.
- Hatches. the current ones leak a little, and are difficult to open one-handed.
I’ll need a drysuit. Ocean Rodeo is a sponsor of the race; and have a great product so i’ll probably go with them. I would love their BOSS suit, but budget will probably limit me to one of their lower end suit. Even their most basic suit is a nice bit of kit. i’ll also need some warm layers to go underneath.
Radio / Chartplotter / GPS / Etc
I know I need to have a VHF on board; however, I’m not sure how I want to go as far as navigation. I know I want a paper waterproof chart at a minimum, but I’m not sure if I want to do a handheld that has GPS, or a tablet-based chart plotter app, or some combination of that in addition. Or, mount the cast-off 30 year old basic VHF RAY-33 I inherited when someone at the yacht club upgraded.
Flares / Signals
I’ll need a fresh set of flares this season. My old ones are expired.
I want to get a few pairs of cheap extra glasses online so I can have fresh lenses and not worry abotu loosing my only pair overboard.
I’ll want some easy to eat food and bottled water on board. Maybe an MRE or two, just in case.
In summary, yeesh. it’s quite a list when you spell it out. In the coming weeks I’ll start getting some of these going.