7. April 2020 Off By Søren

Right now Denmark and most of the world has been shut down to a degree, that has not been seen since World War 2. The reason is Covid-19. We know sailors, who didn’t get to travel to their boat before the borders were closed. Others arrive at distant islands and are put in quarantine, not allowed to leave the boat other than the most necessary provisioning. Not even swimming in the sea is allowed. They are under pressure for leaving the boat and travel home. Paradoxically, because often they have just travelled 2 to 4 weeks all alone at sea, which is probably the best kind of quarantine you can get.

With this world wide situation, it is a bit odd to make a post entitled Progress. However, we are still aiming at a departure on July 4th, so we have to make progress to get the boat ready. Also, some tasks over the last months has involved the force that will make the boat have progress through the water: Propulsion, which is an important part of getting from A to B: We have 2 kinds of propulsion: The sails, which is the primary propulsion, and the engine, which is very important in many situations.

Both have required a thorough upgrade by replacing them with new. We knew the state of the sails from the beginning, but the trip from Spain to Denmark has shown us, that also the engine needed replacement rather than a major service.

New sails

Already last summer we ordered new sails, as Elvstrøm Sails were running a campaign. The sails were ready last fall, but with the boat through a major refit, and because our storage was, and is, quite limited, Elvstrøm was so kind to keep the sails in their storage facilities until now. The Genua has just been hoisted. The main sail requires a trip up in the mast to mount a block for the lazy-jack, which will make the sail drop nicely on the boom without falling out on most of the deck. When this is done, it is about time to make a test sail, as it has been a long time since we last were out saling, other than motoring to and from the yard.

Facts on the Sails
Elvstrøm sails.
Mainsail is made in Dacron
Genua 140% in Hydranet radial.
Additional 3rd ekstra deep reef in main sail for heavy weather sailing.
Zip pack and lazy jacks
New Genua
New Genua hoisted.

New engine

Twice on our journey from Spain to Denmark we had to enter unknown marinas by sails only, we have drifted around on the Bay of Biscay with no wind and engine, and an increasing amount of oil have had to be removed from the bilge. I simply don’t trust the engine enough to depend on it in a narrow reef entrance with current and big waves, where an engine failure most likely will put you right on the reef. It can not be guaranteed not to happen, but to avoid stomach ache each time we sail challenging places, I must be able to trust the engine – you can call me a chicken if you like. So during February we was back on the hard to replace the engine. And with the engine we also replaced everything connected to it. And imagine – we can now have a normal conversation in the cabin with the engine is running. The new insulation of the engine compartment helps on this as well.

Facts on the engine
Solé Diesel Mini-44, 42 HP
New shaft and folding propeller (to be installed later this summer).
New blackjack and cutlass bearing.
Sea water fileter accessible from the cockpit.
All tubes and cables has been replaced, including tubes for bilge bump and draining the cockpit

Rule no 1: Never fall overboard

Other important things have happened as part of being ready for our departure. The gas installation has been replaced with a new. Gas installations must be secure for obvious reasons. Another minor, but important thing is that we have replaced the guard rail. Most important rule is to stay on the boat while sailing, and the guard rail has an important function to ensure we stay on the boat. For example if falling, where we have to trust the rail is strong enough to hold us.

It’s not pretty, but…

And finally a thing we already enjoy, even though it requires som getting used to from my side. A Sprayhood. I have never really liked sprayhoods, but this is probably due to my past where sailing was all about racing. A sprayhood back then was just in the way, and shelter from wind and water was never a priority. But for cruising it certainly is. I will never say it suits a boat, but I would not be without it. We are already enjoying the shelter it gives above the entrance to the cabin, and are looking forward to sit under it during long nights when cruising the longer legs of the circumnavigation.

Og mere er i gang, men det må vi fortælle om senere.