14 Apr 2011

Arrrgggghh!! – I be losing me marbles – Windvane troubles

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The black connections had to be glued in at both ends after they were pulled out.

The plan was to head of across the Atlantic as quickly as possible, I sailed to Los Palmas from Corralejo which was a 16 hour journey. The Navik self steering was destroyed at 0200 when I ran over some debris, the entire servo rudder knocked clean off, I know people have sailed around the world with these windvanes but they are poorly constructed, very brittle and over 35 years all the plastic components are living on borrowed time. Also you can’t buy any spares for them, I have had four separate things break on them.

I tried to keep everything to a bare minimum but I have learnt one thing …. do not skimp on the most important items!! Your windvane is THE most important item after your sails and rigging, hand steering for 10 hours is enough to make anyone go crazy.

So with a broken electronic tiller pilot and half a windvane I now need to decide which to replace … do I spend 600 on a electronic gizmo or do I spend 2300 on a windvane. For me the option that would give me the best peace of mind is the windvane but all that money quickly reduces my cruising budget.

Then once I have made a decision I have to wait for delivery …. I am cutting things fine, but I will not stay in the Canaries! I am doing this for the sailing … which should tell me that I windvane option is the way to go.

To maintain my marbles, how deep should I dig, I don’t want to take the cheap route only to regret it 300 miles of the coast.

Navik minus the rudder

Royally pissed off, not to mention very tired, covered in bruises and one hell of a cold. Another yacht was lost with the skipper and dog airlifted 70 miles from my position on the way here… story to follow.

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13 Responses to “Arrrgggghh!! – I be losing me marbles – Windvane troubles”

  1. Reply Ju Randall says:

    Might be worth you seeking out Jon Crouch if you’re still in Las Palmas. He’s mainly and engine/electronics guy, but he has all sorts of contacts at machine shops etc. He’s an ace bloke to know!

  2. Reply Ju Randall says:

    Sorry – should have said, he lives on his boat in the Marina – pontoon by Pier 19 restaurant (can’t remember number), just down the gangway on the left.

  3. Reply Chris says:

    Now that I have cooled down a bit, I know I can sail and heave to for the night, or even learn to balance my sails – there is a link to the solo sailing bible I posted a little earlier, but I would like to be moving during the night and I don’t mind learning to balance the boat with the knowledge that I don’t have to rely on it…. wait that’s a double negative.

  4. Reply Dani De Rouck says:

    so where are you now ????

  5. Reply Chris Aylott says:

    Las palmas, should be leaving within the next two weeks to Cape verde, then Trinedad and St’Lucia or Venezuela.

  6. Reply Dani De Rouck says:

    Remember Hurricabe season starts 1st June, safe sailing !!!

  7. Reply Sven says:

    You actually can get spares for Navik, Mister Vee started making the most important ones. Not sure the pendulum rudder will be offered though…

  8. Reply Griselda says:

    Wow, Abby, that is right on! I am so sorry about this, and I was walking the dog on the clean beach yeteardsy, thinking about it, and the whole difficult engineering feat it will take to fix; instead of blaming and shaming, why can’t we agree to cooperate and help, and then not let more underwater drilling happen! And someone walking on the beach told me that there are some people trying to restart the whaling industry. As if killing whales needs to happen! As if they haven’t seen the devastating movie about the dolphins being killed in Japan. As if the world doesn’t need to start working on sustainable development and farming, and careful management of resources. As if we didn’t urgently need to stop using war and violence as problem-solving tools, instead of diplomacy and win-win negotiations. And I read the reasoned argument by Rabbi Lerner this morning, about the Israeli army violently assaulting the flotilla of humanitarian aid in Gaza, and felt that it is sometimes just too much, the way humanity destroys things. I am glad you are still working to bring peace, and to show a more inclusive and cooperative face of Judaism to the world. GOD BLESS YOU! Baruch Hashem!

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