Tuesday, November 17, 2009

keeps on ticking (for a while)

Below is a Timex Expedition watch that I've had on Spartina since she was launched. It had belonged to my Dad, I brought it back and hung it in the cockpit on the transom under the aft deck. It had swung back and forth with wind and waves for so many miles, from Pamlico Sound to Punch Island Creek, that it had worn an inverted arch in the grey paint. I went to change the time the other day and the stem pulled right out of the watch. I guess rain water and salt spray are not the best things for Timex watches (where are you now John Cameron Swayze?) (Then again, I could have rinsed it off once and a while.) So I need to get a new watch for next year. Which has me thinking about other changes I need to make for next year's cruises.

I do need to get a new flashlight. I'm looking at the one below, a Pelican 2410 Recoil LED. It is on sale now for under $50. That is pricey for a flashlight, but it has a lifetime guarantee. I'll have to think about it for a while. It does use AA batteries. I try to have all the gear on Spartina use AA's, makes it simpler for supplies. In fact I just bought a 36 pack of AA for $13 at Home Depot. That should last me all of next year on the boat.
I also need to get a new knife. The old one corroded and fell apart.

The other change I am thinking about for cruising is pulling the 60 lbs of ballast (in the form of four 15 lb dumbbells) out of the boat. John Welsford's original plans called for a weighted centerboard and then experimenting with sandbags to get the ballast right. I put in a steel plate cb weighing 100 lbs plus the dumbbells at 60 lbs. That, to me, is just right for day sailing. But when on cruises there is quite a bit of gear, food and water on board, certainly more than 60 lbs. A look at Kevin B.'s video tells me Spartina does not need all that weight. She performed great under some pretty stressful circumstances - no complaints there - but she does look a bit low in the water than she needs to be. So maybe I'll pull out that extra weight.

Other than that, we are in pretty good shape. Safety gear, cooking gear, sleeping gear are all tried and true. The changes mentioned above are just a fun part of getting ready for a sail.


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