Trepidations

Yesterday shook me up a bit. I’ve been thinking about my concerns and how to manage them. Some are general, some are specific.

Working backwards, I need to leave the dock here Friday noon fully provisioned and ready to race. Start is Saturday morning.

In general, I have confidence in the boat. There are a few mechanical items still on my to-do list to ensure reliable diesel power for charging and propulsion, but apart from that the basic boat is ready. Rig is fine, electronics are fine, safety gear is fine. Got a nice harness and dual tether today as well as a bit more required equipment.

My biggest concern after yesterday was the mainsail. Not the damage, but the realization that it was too much for me to handle solo. So I don’t mourn its passing.

I’ve been reluctant to just add slugs to the other main. I’m not sure I could do it in time, and I’d like to be sailing. Plus I wouldn’t mind a smaller and/or more cruisey main for distance racing, at least at this point in my development. Don’t need to kill a good racing main needlessly.

After some research I found that the Tartan Ten has a main that’s maybe a foot short on the hoist and 6″ on the foot. And there are T10 mains kicking around here that I can beg, borrow or steal. I’m hoping I can try one out tomorrow.

My second concern is getting peak performance from the autopilot. And I think that requires a wind input. I went carefully through the legacy Ockam system today, and discovered that there is no output that I can feed to the AP. So I’m weighing either a) leaving as is, b) replacing masthead wind sensor, which would mean shutting down the Ockam system and installing a couple of MFDs in the cockpit, or c) installing a network compatible wind unit on top of the radar and leaving the existing ockam system intact. Leaning towards b but with time and budget concerns. If there is a cheap expedient option for c I’d jump on it but think b is the right solution.

I’m super excited with the boat, but have to make sure I can keep it under control and take care of myself. That’s mostly what I’m thinking about now.

Weather continues to be weird here. Raining today. I’m watching the long term forecast anxiously. At this point it looks like a fast race. I just hope it’s not too fast 🙂

It also occurred to me while recapping yesterday’s sail that I was pretty single minded in testing and learning and didn’t pay much attention to the comfort and security of my guest. Sorry Bob. Hopefully we can have a more relaxed sail another time.

Still have to fit in my qualifying sail as well. Down to the wire… Fortunately the weather looks settled for early next week. Plan is to head out midday Monday.

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