Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Shakedown Cruise

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.



  1. I used to do a lot of work for a guy before he sold his company, purchased a sailing yaught, and sailed around the world. The last I heard, he sold the boat and is living in France.

  2. Your posts are entertaining and informative. Never considered Gorilla tape but think that will find a place in our tool box. I'm thinking ahead to Sweetie's next boat purchase & know it will be a fixer-upper. Have you ever considered going as far north as the Withalacoochee at Yankeetown? Lots of sailboats in there & three marinas but it's about three miles upriver. Elvis movie "Follow That Dream" was filmed there and at the river's mouth.

  3. Dizzy: there are worse things than living like a Frenchman -good wine, good food, and good loving.

    Treesong: glad you enjoyed them. Still planning our next trip. Thanks for suggesting an interesting place.

  4. That's what shakedowns are for, working the bugs out. Still got a few bugs to work out of my boat, waiting on warm weather...

  5. Good to see you are enjoying your boat a lot. Do you sail the entire winter away? I have to catch up on all your posts. I quite enjoy them.

  6. Craig: this is warm weather, it's not snowing

    Muddome: Mixing it up with sailing and visiting family and friends. That's not a bad way to spend the winter. Glad you enjoy my posts.

  7. Maybe for you Yankee's lol
    Anything below 70 is downright uncivilized !

  8. Spud: sometimes I wonder if the North won the Civil War so snowbirds would have a place to go in the winter.