Mid May update

I’ve seen lots of good (but slow) progress over the past couple of weeks. I did some sailing up the Coast, into San Francisco Bay and back home. I took out, repaired, and re-installed the code 0 halyard; these repairs are temporary at best, and I’m likely going to need to replace some of these halyards.

The solo mast climbing gear from ATN, Inc. is really paying for itself (it’s my 6th trip up). I also used it to install a Windex windvane (the old one had gone AWOL).

Going up the mast is much easier.

Sorting out a viable electrical system

I also started putting my teeth into the electrical system. In particular, I’ve made progress on the solar panel front; once a bunch of orders arrive I should be able to mount a bus, run a few cables, and have 3 mobile solar panels (i.e. I’m not going to permanently fix them).

As far as the hydrogenerators go, we’ve finalized the design for the bracket, which we’ll use to mount the hydrogenerators to the sugar scoop. Fabrication will start soon. In parallel I ran some testing on the possibly damaged hydrogenerator and converter (I’ll be sending the HG to France for fixing/revision but we think the converter is good).

Noodles of cables!


I’ve started playing with the big headsails. I doublehanded Changabang with someone who knows what he’s talking about. In about two hours we hoisted the gennaker, the code O and the heavy spinnaker. Back home, I tried the gennaker with success. See video below and a screenshot of the electronics. This is still without using the internal ballast.

This is with the gennaker. We were doing steady 9-11 kts with true wind at 110. With 1 reef we were able to put true wind abeam.

But today I wanted to try the big spinnaker. It was much trouble to get set up for the hoist, what with the foot catching water, lots of water. In the end, when I pulled on the spinnaker sock halyard, it was really hard to pull it up. So I bailed out, sorted the sail at home; and now we wait for the next opportunity (that is, after a small tear is fixed).

Obstacle course

I somehow thought that sailing out of Pillar Point Harbor was going to be easy. I’m learning that it’s a bit of an obstacle course out there. As I exit the marina I have to contend with reefs (well signaled), crab pots, fishing boats, whales, kelp patches, and further cargo ships. When I come back docking is fairly straightforward. Except that lately, with the wind blowing from the South, I had to develop new techniques. Live and learn, and use fenders!

Wear and tear

As I start to get familiar with Changabang, she shows me plenty of little things that need attention. It really never stops! On a good note my partnership with the good fellows at PredictWind is being extended to include the hardware for tracking (YB3i); I’m down for the monthly bill. Good stuff. On this good note, stay safe!

Author: Skipper

Wannabe circumnavigator. http://pjsails.com/a-skipper-looking-for-adventure/

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