Sunday, September 16, 2007

Getting ready for the Harvest Moon Regatta!

I don’t know if I’ll sail as a part of the race or not, but I am going to take advantage of the full moon and do a shake out sail offshore. It’s about time. I still haven’t had Romance outside the Galveston Bay jetties so this isn’t a small undertaking for me. I’ve got a short list put together of things I need to accomplish on the boat before I could even meet the Category 3 offshore racing requirements. Not to mention it’s just stupid for a novice sailor to go offshore without some of these things. A few of these have been on other lists, but things like fixing the transmission took priority. I am really excited to be back on track and getting my boat ready for offshore cruising.

Must Do:

1. Purchase and install an offshore life raft. Practical Sailor just did a big spread on life rafts. I may take their advice and buy the budget recommendation. Avon makes a good raft that is relatively budget conscious as well. I need to pull the trigger and get this piece of gear mounted on my deck.
2. Buy an EPIRB! I can’t believe I’ve left this off the must do list for so long.
3. Replace the old Furuno 1621 Radar with a newer 1623. My old unit has crapped out and as with all my old electronics I have realized they are not worth repairing. To do this right I just need suck it up and buy new gear. The 1623 is a direct upgrade to my old unit so should be an easy install. It draws low power and has a 16NM range which should be plenty for me.
4. Finish the autopilot install. I don’t know why I’ve let this drag on, but it’s time to wrap it up.
5. Boil out the heat exchanger on the old Westerbeke 4-108. She still overheats above 2000 rpm.

Nice to do:

1. Buy a Garmin GPS chartplotter. I haven’t decided between the old 492 or one of the 550 models. One is discontinued and the other just had a major recall. Probably the newer one since Garmin does have great customer service if it has a problem.
2. Replace the mainsheet, main halyard, move the current main halyard to the spinnaker halyard.
3. Replace all running rigging on davits, mizzen mast, and spinnaker pole.
4. Get my Garmin handheld back to Garmin for repair.
5. Install lifeline netting on the deck to keep me and the pup onboard while underway.
6. Pull the windless and get it sand blasted and powder coated.
7. Do a top and bottom oil change on the 15 hp Johnson outboard.
8. Get the Main and Mizzen over to Cameron for repair, renewal, or replacement.
9. Secure the second CQR to the anchor chain and road with new stainless fittings.
10. Win the lottery to pay for all of this.

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