Dinghy Woes

My dinghy just collapsed. All three tubes are not holding air. I guess it had a good run. So, another $4,000 to $5,000 unplanned expense. Complicated by the fact that it is near impossible to buy a new one in Indonesia. Not to mention the 70% tariff. The good news is that I am still on the Wonderful Sail 2 Indonesia Rally so I can grab rides. Fair winds and following seas 🙂 My thoughts are with those in the path of the hurricane.


Solar woes

Having solar panels on a cruising sailboat is just about a given. People talk about how many watts of solar they have. But I was reminded that sometimes it just doesn t work out. On my trip from Gladstone to Cairns I was heading North(ish) the entire way. The sails shaded the solar panels. Even on a bright sunny day I did not get much charge. Fair winds and following seas 🙂

Upwind woes

Question:Reboot (a 42 Catalina) is an excellent light air boat. That is great most of the time. Rounding Fisher Island into Hervey Bay (near Bundaberg, Australia) I was confronted with 25 knot winds gusting 30 and 2 meter breaking seas. My destination (Bundaberg) was directly up wind. With my jib set at 30% of “J” I was close to theoretical hull speed. My main was on the “fourth reef”, that is the furling bag on the boom. I couldn t point high enough to make any real headway. When I tacked the set and drift nullified my progress. I was solo sailing but considered putting up the main to the third reef to point higher. I was very concerned that I ll lose control if I did. Being solo means all sail changes are very slow. Thoughts on how you would handle this situation?Postscript: Finding myself blown 25 nm north of Bundaberg with wind and wave forecast unchanged for the next three days and low on fuel I boogied to Gladstone. I considered motoring into Bundaberg but could only make about

Steering Woes

When crossing the Atlantic we lost our wheel steering. Investigation showed that the poorly engineered turning blocks had given way. After tightening the cables once again this morning and disassembling the steering pedestal we discovered that the turning block unit had failed again. We need to further disassemble the system to get to the broken part. Edison has apparently reengineered the part (at a cost of $400 US) so hopefully once we get the part and reassemble it it will last more than a couple of years. It is a shame that we did not see this in Vuda Point when we had it all apart. I think it is additional damage from the beating Reboot took in the thunderstorm. Oh well. At least we can steer with the autopilot. Fair winds and following seas 🙂