Thursday, November 29, 2007

Single-handed Passage

Just finished reading Edward Allcards account of his first single-handed crossing of the Atlantic in 1948/49. The year Roach was concieved.

He has some handy tips that are still very valid for offshore sailing today - I think I am going the right way:

Advice to “Dreamers”

Have your working sails of heavy canvas - I think this refers to canvas and not dacron which is much stronger.
Have your sail made with vertical cut, clothes running parallel to the leech, in order that the stretch of the sail will be along the cloths, rather than on the seams - actually he is right and high cut number 1 jib is cut this way.
If Marconi rig, fit mast hoops up to the spreaders and jackstay above. All tracks tend to jam when the boat is off the wind. - yes, I have had this problem. By crimping the slides in mole grips you can get them to run up and down without jamming.
If you can afford roller reefing – fit it; but use the heavy pattern
Treat your sails with anti-mildew solution
Lash sails to spars with separate stops not continuous lacing.
Have at least 60 fathoms of stout anchor chain, and mark it. - Difficult in a small yacht
Don’t use yachty fittings – they are only good for the Solent
Don’t have a wood rudder stock. If it is, slide a steel tube over it and weld steel flats to the cutaway bottom of the tube, extending right across the rudder blade each side and riveting through. - Luckily Roach's rudder is transom hung
Have extra stout rigging screws on the shrouds - yes, and carry spares. I had a failure last Summer
The mast and rudder should never fail
Make the auxiliary engine very reliable and fit to run in any sea. It’s the best insurance.
Splice a length of chain at the end of rope halyards and outhauls at the “nip”
Use metal to metal connections – lashings part.
Don’t have a big cockpit - deck it.
Have sound hatches and deck layout to prevent submergence being permanent. - I need to sort out some hatch covers
Have two non-choking bilge-pumps. One to be worked at the
helm, and one from below.
Twin deep sinks are best of the galley, but fit non-choke waste pumps. Gravity outlets are no use on a heeled sailing boat.
Fit a sea-water pump in the galley and use it.
Position the galley aft where there is least motion.
Have a swung table in the saloon.
Have no equipment that cannot be used both at sea and in port.
Wherever the ballast is see that it stays there.
Assume that one day the boat will be upside down, and bolt things down accordingly.
Don’t have electric plugs an sockets on deck.
All deck-fittings should be bolted down not screwed.
Rattle down the ship.
Fit adequate lifelines
Make and fit baggywrinkles.
Keep the deck tight. Canvas for thin decks is best.
Don’t catch gadgetitis. Simplicity is best.
Don’t buy a boat without a professional survey
Do all the work on the boat yourself, if not get a written estimate
Check the compass for deviation, and take a spare. - Roach is getting a below decks compass this Winter
Never make fast to a cleat of belaying pin with a half-hitch.
Fit a wind vane that lasts – either the sock variety or the patent metal type.
Gas for stoves or light is a danger. - changing to Paraffin
So is petrol – so beware. - changed to diesel already
A ship is not complete without and vice clamped to a workbench, a sharp axe handy to the deck, and a coal stove below. - amazingly Roach ticks all three of these boxes
Finally, trust all men. Yea, even princes. Then cut the cards yourself. Caveat emptor.


Post a Comment

<< Home