Members' Online Book: Transatlantic On "Pèlerin", Chapter 15 of 15

What Worked and What Didn’t

Pelerin more trhan proved her capability - checking the sail trim as night falls 145 IMG_5953

"Pèlerin" more than proved her capability—checking the sail trim as night falls.

There’s nothing like a good long voyage to sort out a boat, for better or for worse. That much I learned running a working charter boat for so many years. Every season we’d cover around 8000 hard miles between the English Channel and the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. On our return to Falmouth at the end of the season we’d present the list of destruction to our long-suffering support crew, only to watch them scratch their heads and ask, "How on earth did you break that?"

Just use, hard use, and this on a boat on which everything was beefed up, and at least one or two sizes bigger and stronger than standard. All of which learning was put into the building of Pèlerin in 2007. Since when we’ve had ample time to find any weak spots in her armour, and make good any deficiencies.

During last year's enforced lay-off in the Canary Islands, one way we kept morale up was to go through everything so that we’d be 100% ready to take off in the autumn—it kept the dream alive, if you like.

Rig, hardware, mechanical systems, we went through it all with a fine tooth-comb whilst we were in a place where the skills and materials existed to put things right if necessary. And now, after 3700 ocean miles between the Canaries, Senegal, Cape Verde and Brazil, we feel we can fairly and objectively comment on what has worked and what hasn't.

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Meet the Author

Colin Speedie

Colin, European Correspondent here at AAC, is a deeply experienced offshore sailor who holds a Yachtmaster licence, and a gifted photographer and talented writer who has added a whole new dimension to Attainable Adventure Cruising. In addition, since Colin and Louise are from England and had their OVNI 435, Pèlerin built in France, they bring a European perspective to our site. You can read more about Colin and Louise and their business at their website.

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