A week’s sailing on a small boat has given me some insight on what works and what doesn’t. In general, enough stuff worked most of the time to keep the shiny part up and dark side down. Anything beyond that is bonus.
One thing I learned is to keep closer attention on the boat’s rigging. A trailer sailer is a compromise. It has to be easy enough to set up the mast and rigging for a day sail, but also has to hold up to weeks on the water. The rigging loosened up a bit and that’s something I should have caught earlier. I didn’t notice it until pop rivets snapped out of the base of the mast. Fortunately, a pop rivet gun and rivets are part of the boat’s tool kit. It was only a half hour repair to replace the rivets and tighten the rigging. It never should have gotten to that point.
One very useful thing in our took kit was gorilla tape. It’s duck tape’s stronger cousin. We used it from everything to minor wiring repairs to holding a headlamp over the compass for night sailing.
The new solar panel worked pretty good, but there were a couple of glitches. During a hectic time on the water, the spare anchor got tangled in the solar panel wire and pulled it apart. To prevent that in the future, the wire will run completely inside the boat and clear from cargo in the hold.
During the last night out, the boat’s battery died. Good thing it was the last day. We need that battery to run the anchor light. I have sleep apnea and run my c-pap machine off the battery, so it’s a medical issue too.
That’s about the only things that caused problems -minor stuff in the big scheme of things. Most things went well. Anything that broke could be fixed or worked around.
Now all we have to do is pick out our next sailing destination.
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