Wednesday 6/06/12 II
06 June 2012 | Galapagos to Marquesas
Mmmmm. Amy baked some delicious bread! We also just sailed past another sail boat. Tiesha II (phonetically...) came within about 100 yds of us. Its always weird to come so close to another small craft way out in the middle of no where. And here we thought we were the only people doing this.... Mental note, find something more original to do....
Still clipping along at about 7.5 kts. Making some water. Maybe do a bit of tidying up before we get in. The boat is in serious need of some cleaning.
For those of you planning a similar trip: Get Dyneema chafe sleeve from west marine. Many feet of it! Magic stuff. It is really just like having only the outer braid of a double braid rope--but made out of really slippery dyneema. We've found many places where a sheet might rub on rigging or superstructure, or even another sheet, so you slide a few feet of this over the line and into the appropriate position. Chafe--Gone!!! For example, the way our preventer is rigged, our screecher sheet rubs right against it. Slide some of the chafe sleeve into place on the screecher sheet and the wear from any chafing is gone. This stuff is really durable and really slippery. Just gets a slight fuzzing up with wear. It will also work well on dock lines or anchor lines/snubbers etc. It only seems to come in a couple of sizes that are a bit small, but it will fit over larger diameter lines pretty easily... Another example, we rigged our jib sheet around a shroud so that it w ould hold the jib open when well off the wind. Nearly chafed through the jib sheet in a day. I cut of that end of the sheet, slipped on some chafe sleeve, and re-tied on the sheet. Zero chafe after many many days of the exact same rubbing.
Also, now that we have had a high quality tylaska shackle shatter on us, we have made soft ties of all running rigging to the boat. That is, instead of clipping stainless shackles to stainless fittings like pad eyes, I have made loops of line at all attachment points and attach the shackles to the loops instead. This avoids some of the shock loading. Plus I have also run a back up line through the center of each block on the running rigging (for example a main sheet block) to the boat attachment point (typically pad eyes for us). so if the shack fails, or the loop that the shackle is clipped to fails, the back up line is there to catch the load before sending the block whizzing across the boat at skull shattering speed. Lose an attachment point on a sheet or a traveller and you could send your boom into your shrouds and lose your rig.... The shackle that failed on us was on our main sheet. Fortunately we have a weird double mainsheet set up--and no traveller, so the windward sheet failed and the leeward sheet caught the boom before it smashed into the shrouds. note that this happened in only 10 or 12 knots of wind, it wasn't a failure due to an undersized shackle--if anything it was well oversized. But shock loading, for example when the main fills in a sloppy sea, just popped the stainless where we had stainless connected to stainless. Hopefully the soft connections will prevent this. Another interesting bit of data on this front...I had a spare block to use when the tylaska shackle failed--with a standard snap shackle (a large harken snap shackle on a 75 series black magic block). The first thing I did was to run the sheet through it and attach it to the pad eye, with a safety line tied through the center of the block and through the pad eye--the damn snap shackle popped open within an hour of being set up. Another shock load--and mind you, not a bad shock load. I thought this must be a freak accident, so I just reattached the shackle. Mind you these are big harken snap shackles. It popped open again. Good thing I had the safety lines in place which caught the block each time. It was then that I made up the soft attachment points and the shackle has not popped open now after a couple weeks of heavy downwind trade winds use.....