A Top Ten List

Here is a top ten list (well, nine is pretty close) of what we did during the refit that we really like:

1. Our new Hall Spars carbon mast. The boat is stiffer, pitches less, and we have every confidence in the engineering and execution of this great spar from a great company.

Technicians fitting the spreaders to our new mast during a test rigging at Hall Spars. The clamp is used to apply pressure to slightly compress the mast so that the spreaders can be pinned to a bar that passes through the mast with absolutely no play; which gives you an idea of the precise tolerances this spar is built to

2. The Treadmaster deck covering we installed. It was a huge amount of work, but we are truly nailed to the boat now and feel far safer than we did on the old non-skid painted deck or even on the teak we had before that.

3. The new rudder bearings perfectly installed and aligned by David, machinist at Billings Diesel and Marine. The steering is smoother and easier than it has ever been.

Talking of precise tolerances, if you want something machined to fit absolutely perfectly, the first time, every time, this is the man to talk to: David Reese, machinist at Billings Diesel & Marine

4. New running rigging and running back stays of rope. Much nicer to handle than our old rigging of wire, particularly since, being lighter and therefore having less momentum, loose halyards and runners don’t whip around in a seaway when we are changing sails. By using exotics specified, supplied and spliced by Jay Maloney, we got greater strength than wire with almost no stretch.

5. We completely rebuilt the forepeak to accommodate a newly designed chain locker so that all 330’ of our 7/16” chain will self-stow without any need for someone below to flake it down—not just a convenience, but safer too since both of us can now be on deck when hauling the anchor.

6. Our new electronic navigation system comprising a Dell laptop—out of harm’s way below—running Nobeltec software with C-Map MaxPro vector charts driving a waterproof screen, keyboard and mouse at the cockpit chart table; a powerful and flexible system that will be easily upgradable to take advantage of future advances in software and cartography.

7. The small changes we made to the deck running rigging and fittings including more clutches and improved leads—small stuff but a big improvement in sailing efficiency.

8. Ergonomic and technical improvements that we have made to my (John’s) office (the old chart table) and Phyllis’ work station (the salon table), that make them more comfortable and efficient for working on writing and photography.

9. The wood bezels we had built, fitted with removable Lexan covers that double glaze our ports so that they no longer drip condensation on us when it is cold.

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Meet the Author

John

John was born and brought up in Bermuda and started sailing as a child, racing locally and offshore before turning to cruising. He has sailed over 100,000 miles, most of it on his McCurdy & Rhodes 56, Morgan's Cloud, including eight ocean races to Bermuda, culminating in winning his class twice in the Newport Bermuda Race. He has skippered a series of voyages in the North Atlantic, the majority of which have been to the high latitudes. John has been helping others go voyaging by sharing his experience for twenty years, first in yachting magazines and, for the last 12 years, as co-editor/publisher of AAC.

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