This means little to all y’all, but the lovely Nicole at Raymarine sent me a replacement Rod End for my Autohelm. The original is stuck in a lump of old tiller arm:
I should have ignored the surveyor report and just left the tiller arm well alone: crappy it was, but in a million years it was never going to fail. But… I meddled.
So now I have my new (totally different) tiller arm, which means a lot of hard work to retro fit it:
But – at least I have a new Rod End!
If my Hydrovane is a 1st mate, then the Autohelm is 2nd Mate – or at least a talented Cabin Boy!
I have no idea if my old version can be upgraded to work with the as-yet-uninstalled new Raymarine radar system. I’m assuming not.
Back in November 2015 the control head was deluged by a freak wave halfway across the Bay of Biscay (I know..what else happens on a sailboat? But there we have it!) and burned out, leaving me to handhold Frank to Camariñas in a (what else in November?) storm. Parking up in the aforesaid fishing port for Christmas, I returned to Texas and found a new unit on ebay.
But at the other end of the Autopilot, attached to the Type 1 hydraulic ram, is an arm. This connects the ram to the tiller shaft. It was still working, but badly corroded. Here is is after I managed to get it off:
And here is the new one!
The hole for the tiller shaft has been machined to 1.25″, but the key is not uniform to 3 decimal places (it has had a hard life..) so I took the arm without a keyway cut. I’ll have to find a shop to get it machined.
This tiller arm is bronze and weighs maybe 10-15 pounds. Slow progre$$, but progre$$.
One of the smallest yachts in the fleet that will set off on the circumnavigation next year. This yacht is only 34 feet in length, but it was designed by the great designer Olin Stephens of the American Company Sparkman & Stephens.
Continue on the GSC site.. https://globalsolochallenge.com/sparkman-stephens-en/
Getting close to Africa’s western coast, aside from not being a logical choice as in typical seasonal weather should mean finding headwinds and opposing currents, not to mention the not entirely unlikely chance of pirate attacks. However, if weather systems are displaced from their normal position the fastest route may take skippers further inshore.
Even though pirates are known to mainly target cargo ships, attacks on yachts are not unheard of.
My new Propeller has arrived from Bruntons in the UK.
Updated May 26th 2022: My SigmaDrive also arrived from Bruntons.
Frank was last out of the water in 2017, so way overdue for being hauled and cleaned up.
We motored (no sails – they are being repaired by Matt Sebring at Coastal Bend Yacht Services).
Some pics here. I was gobsmacked at the good condition that I found her undersides to be in.
Tasks – replace the propellor, replace the zincs, replace the sea cocks (especially the heads one), rub down and re-do the bottom, relocate the a/c, service the winches, drop the mast, etc etc.
Lots to do! I started with removing the prop.
How to switch to polyphasic mode
During your first solo races, the switch from monophasic to polyphasic sleep can be very hard. It can take up to 3-4 day of adaptation, this effectively means that for shorter races you never even get to see the benefits. During longer races on the other hand, after the third or fourth day we will notice that our body has adapted. We no longer feel the same impulse for sleep as direct correlation with day and night.
Click the link to read the whole item