Get it right

It’s been time to slow down a bit. I am all at some crazy speed, trying to get as many jobs done in a short a time as possible so I can get out on the water with my new sails from Parker and Kay East; but it’s not the right way to go about things.

There is a ‘Zero’ at the end of the dock, just in front of the gangway when I walk down to the boat.

The Zero is a series boat, interesting because it has a Cathedral rig; this is where the top spreaders are bigger than the bottom spreaders, with separate shrouds, which allow a large genoa with a good inboard sheeting lead.

This zero looks in good condition, it arrived with the owner the other day and we helped him put his mast up, stepping it using two other mini rigs.

The boat is sponsored, by whom I am not sure but the logo on the side of the boat says, ‘Get it Right’.

It’s good that this boat is there, because it has really made me think and really put the brakes on.

Yes, it’s true; I want to go sailing, I feel that every waking hour I should be out there, melding with my boat and becoming happy to be at sea.

But there are jobs to be done, and these jobs need to be done well., which means doing them slowly.

So I have backed off the gas and in the last couple of days I have installed my new EFOY fuel cell from UPS systems one of my new trade sponsors, I have also installed the extra loud and annoying alarm made by Andrew Wood of solo sails, who a mini sailor himself has a first hand idea of just how easy it is not to wake up.

Every wire I have installed has been soldered first, then pulled and twisted to check the strength of the connection.

In installing the fuel cell I have had to re-sight a compass, and with that drill new holes and properly fill old ones; snip cable ties, and re-secure them in better places, rather than just adding more.

I have noticed loose or corroded electrics on the way and put them right.

This little boat is going to Brazil; it’s a long way and there may be some rough water to cross in the interim.

I need it to hold together. I need it to work as hard as I will be; so as much as the inside of me is screaming that the breeze is great, the harbour entrance is just there and I should be sailing; the head on my shoulders is staying calm, looking at the Zero as I head back and forth to my van; getting it right.

New Toys!

I have managed to survive 4 days now of intensive physical training and slowly my poor body is getting the message, the aches and pains are disappearing and little muscles are starting to emerge again from their Christmas coverings.

My main focus for the past couple of days has been the installation of my new Raymarine autopilots and instruments.

Thanks, thanks and thanks again Raymarine!!

Sarah Brooke

I have upgraded all of the equipment on the boat and now have two complete stand alone pilot systems, running the GP tiller rams, one installed on each side of the boat.

My pilots are the SX5 model, which uses a gyro as well as the fluxgate compass. This is really essential for a boat as small and twitchy as the mini, as any sudden movements from the boat will affect the heading from the fluxgate compass, which can make the autopilot correct the course unnecessarily.

When the boat is moving a lot, rolling on waves or slamming, the pilot uses the fluxgate compass to give a long term overall good course and the gyro senses the small fast movements from the boat itself and corrects only where necessary, making for a much smoother ride.

The other significant improvement is the addition of a rudder reference unit which I have fitted to a tang, on my starboard rudder that comes in through the hull.

The rudder reference unit will complete the feedback loop for my pilot so it will be able to learn how rudder to use to make effective corrections to course.

The rudder reference unit has been giving me a hard time. It is the final item to install and positioning of it is critical. At the moment I have made a bracket out of plywood, just to get the pilots up and running and find the best position in the boat – later I will laminate a more professional looking version.working in a small hole

Last night I gave up on the installation – I was rammed into a tiny space at the back of my boat, in the dark, with a head torch on, not much room to move my arms and an array of screws, tape measures, drills and screw drivers around me, which kept falling into tiny spaces I could not reach them or moving of their own accord out of my reach.

After banging my head a couple of times and getting cramp in my neck I went home in a strop. Today however, I have returned with a don’t mess with me attitude………I am going to show that unit who is boss………just got to have a coffee first.

work in progressnew instruments in place