Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Final Sail Before Haul & Refit

Today marks a significant milestone for our team as we proceed into boat rebuilding mode rather than acquire and evaluate the boat mode.  Tomorrow we plan to haul the boat out of the water and disassemble the rig, rudders, keel and dagger boards. That gear, along with the hull, will be safely at home in the shed where the refit will take place.  I will report with pictures on that process later this week.

While Meaghan and the rest of her team continue to pound the pavement for financial support and sponsorship, the boat side of our team had some serious things to consider for the upcoming refit.  We had to evaluate what to change and what not to change in an effort to make the boat as competitive as possible without busting our slim budget.  That process included going out for a sail off Charleston harbor one last time to finalize a few decisions before we haul the boat out of the water.  The good news is that we need to do fewer modifications than I initially thought. The list is still considerable.

The entire deck layout will be modified to accommodate a more current layout with reefing system lead aft, more adjustable jib lead systems and many more tweaks being able to happen from the cockpit.  We are even going to move the utility winches inboard and tie them to the coffee grinder in an effort to make the boat more “adjustable on the fly.”  This process will involve the special project teams from both Spinlock and Harken, in an effort to establish a think tank of resources to make sure things all mesh at the cockpit in an ergonomic and reliable way.  The other big job is that we will be replacing the electronics package.  The newer B&G pilots with the latest software have an uncanny knack for driving an Open 60 in the Southern Ocean and will be at the heart of our modernization of the boat from a performance point of view.  There is also going to be a long list of “freshen up” items as well.  The boat has done a Vendee Globe and a handful of Transatlantics since its last serious “fluff and buff” so that represents a significant portion of the work list.  Our final sail ended up being a great exercise in finalizing a work list and now it is time to execute!

Thanks for checking in,