Equipment list

Sails

Mainsail.

Reasonable condition but the leech is beginning to sag a little. This only really matters going upwind, and to counter that I reef a little early so that the leech can be tightened more. Fully battened. Slab reefing. 4 reef points. Plain slides with beefier slides at the battens. With an occasional squirt of sail slide lubricant, the main can be hauled down on any point of sail. 36.8 sq m.

Spinnaker.

Has advertising on it, so clearly it’s been bought second hand, ex-racing. It used to have a cone and cover with it, but this kept snagging and then split. I removed that and have ever since used the techniques described in this most excellent and free book and have never had a problem raising and lowering the spinnaker single handed. There’s also a spinnaker pole.

Genoa.

29 sq m. Light weight material. Has a couple of small patches to repair short tears but otherwise fine.

Jib No1.

17 sq m. The lower panels are stretched a bit and it’s a bit stained from contact with mud from the anchor chain.

Jib No2.

10.2 sq m Very good condition.

Storm jib.

Bright orange. Perfect condition. Fits very nicely onto the detachable inner forestay I installed.

 

I’ve been very happy with the rig. I added a detachable inner forestay for the storm sail, and changed the slab reefing system so that the reefing lines are contained within the boom and it all works nicely.

The spinnaker is really excellent in flat water and a little off the wind. I’ve had 6-7 knots under spinnaker and main with not enough wind to break a ripple on the sea. It was so good coming back from the Azores in mostly very light wind that I even left it up overnight. There’s a video of it working on that trip .

However the spinnaker often needs a lot of attention if the wind isn’t steady, and dead downwind the speed varies so much that the sail will often fill and empty, or even backwind if there’s enough of a following swell. In those conditions, I use two foresails instead, hoisted on the same forestay. In fact, combining foresails proved so effective, I organised things so that any two foresails could be raised together to give this range of sail areas:

 

Genoa + jib 1 57.80
Jib 1 + jib 2 26.95
Jib 2 + storm jib 15.40
Genoa 28.90
Jib 1 16.75
Jib 2 10.20
Storm jib 5.20

 

This arrangement I made easy by writing numbers beside each of the sail hanks with coloured marker pens. The numbers show the order the sail hanks need attaching to the forestay so that the luff of each sail can be pulled taut without the hanks of one sail interfering with the hanks of the other. To pull both headsails up evenly, I attach a block to the halyard and then use a short strop over the block to attach the head of each sail on either side of the block (I keep the block and strop handy in an anchor locker so it is quick to attach).

I sailed almost all the way from the Canaries to the Caribbean under this arrangement, and about 1/3 of the return journey.

This arrangement enables a great range of sail area without the weight and expense of roller reefing. I have used roller reefing on other boats, and while I appreciate the ease of use I found that a rolled up foresail performs really badly upwind. The ideal is I guess having two roller reefing headsails as racing boats do, but they’d have to be good quality (expensive) to be reliable and then there’s still the added weight aloft and it is still more complex than hanked on foresails.

A further benefit of the twin foresail arrangement with both sails attached to the same halyard is that if a squall comes, both sails can be dropped immediately from the cockpit by opening the halyard clutch. Both sails quickly drop onto the deck/net. I had very many squalls for the last 1000 miles of the first trans-Atlantic, and I got into the habit of leaving the storm jib up on the inner forestay and having twin headsails on the outer forestay. Dropping the twins left the storm jib to keep up speed and steerage in the squalls. When the squall had passed both headsails could easily be raised by hand, with winching only required for the last foot or so.

The inner forestay and the water stays I attached to provide the downward force are currently in storage - they weren’t need on my last rip through Brittany.

 

Navigation

Thinkpad laptop with OpenCpn

World wide chart coverage, AIS software, and software to run the charge controller. Power use can be throttled back - minimising it allows OpenCpn to run perfectly well.

Acer aspire one

Spare laptop with the same software set up. Switching from one to the other requires just a USB plug switching across.

 

Long distance wifi antenna, enables internet in most anchorages.

VHF COBRA MR F55 EU

AIS Comar CSB200

Depth sounder: PCFF-80 fish finder - displays on the laptop, easily arranged to display both the OpenCpn screen and the depth sounder output.

2 interchangeable VHF aerials, one at the top of the mast, one deck mounted.


Electricity

2 battery banks, 2 x Trojan T-125 6v batteries, and a separate 12 sealed battery

2 solar panels, BP 380J, 80 watt with long low resistance leads allowing them to be placed anywhere on the boat and plugged in.

Morningstar Sunsaver Duo Charge Controller plus Meterbus (interface between controller and laptop that enables setting the voltage setpoints for the various charging phases, and gives a detailed view of the state of the batteries).


Safety

Pilot mini gas alarm

Jordan series drogue (unused)

Gale rider(?) drogue - like this

Radar reflector

Merveille radar detector

Gme EPIRB


Anchors

Mantus anchor (excellent!)

CQR 20 anchor

3 lengths of 10m chain, plus lots of anchor rope

Dinghy

Custom hypalon RIB - a couple of patches, but otherwise fine. 12 knots with a Tohatsu 6hp, up to a scary 25 knots with a 15 hp engine.

Other items

FM radio: Beat 185 MP3 USB/SD player

Plastic water proof electrical compass binoculars

3 Autohelms

Bestek 300w inverter

Led lighting, including under lighting in kitchen

Thetford duplex oven/ grill

Whale foot pump in kitchen

Electric pump in bathroom

Rain water collection taps, one in the galley, one in the bathroom

Buckets, fenders, ropes

Morse controls (not connected to engines)

Aluminium mast with steps

2 x Harken 32 2 speed sheet winches

Harken 16 single speed winch (for reefing lines)

3 x portable water tanks, 25 litres

2 300 litres fibreglass tanks under beds, lined with epoxy paint designed specifically for potable water tanks (no nasty flavours!)

Ventilated lockers

Drogue attachment plates

Spinnaker pole

GPS via AIS or GPS dongle

200 metres of thin rope on a hose reel

2 camping gas bottles plus one Spanish gas bottle, two regulators

Removable water stays

Removable inner forestay

400,000 candle power signal lamp

Capstan HC 1200 hand bearing compass

Sony water resistant speakers XS-MP61MK2

Birch ply lined saloon ceiling with insulation

Solar panel connection sockets fore and aft

Some charts, many books, pilot guides etc

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