Nice progress is being made on our good ship Ocean Planet. Here is a brief rundown of what is underway to get ready:
Painting: The bottom has been sanded down and a coat of epoxy paint sprayed on. When that is sanded, we can then spray on the bottom paint. Most of the bottom will be blue except for the required (by the Open 60 class rules) fluorescent orange that will be on the keel, rudder, and 2sq meters of the hull. On the topsides we are laying out the hull numbers, a real drag as we have to shuffle some of our logos a bit. Another rule to be met is we have to paint a big spot or block on the deck of a bright color, and I am having trouble picking a good location…
We have moved the mast step fwd 3/8″ to rake the mast more and remounted the deck bearing housing to align with the new angle. I moved the step a 1/2″ back in Calif. but didn’t change the deck bearing then so it was definitely time to do it. Attached are pics of the step/bearing and the deck bearing, both were made by Jeff Daniels of Metropolis Metals in Alameda, CA, who also made all of our custom titanium stanchions and chainplates.
The rudder bearing housing is ready to go back in and be set tighter in the hull, as there had been a bit of slop there. While we were at it we cleaned it up and put in new roller bearings (thanks to Phil at PYI for a new set!) to replace the ones I dropped all over when I dropped out the rudder….;-)
The engine servicing is underway, the engine control panel has been moved to the vestibule (it was getting soaked in the cockpit), and I’m looking at a way to adjust the throttle at the engine without going outside for charging when it’s nasty and cold. Still fiberglass work to do to plug the hole where the panel came out, but it will happen (always too slowly for me….)
Mast: Our awesome freestanding/rotating mast by Ted Van Dusen (http://www.composite-eng.com/) has been getting a lot of stares while it is lying down. It very simple but so different from regular masts that even experienced sailors scratch their heads while checking it out, which gives me great satisfaction… I predict that someday most boats will go to freestanding spars. Anyway, we will soon be installing new halyards and running rigging by Samson ropes, using the latest Validator SK and Warpspeed lines (http://www.samsonrope.com/home/recmarine/index.cfm) great stuff! I’m also working with Samson on a new low-twist rope for luff ropes on roller furling code zeros and gennikers.
Sails: All of the sails are at various Doyle sail loft locations where they are rushing to fine tune them and repair anything they find. If the fundraising goes well, we really need to order a new working jib, reaching jib,
and storm jib made from Doyle’s new breakthrough durable cloth called “OceanWeave.”
Electrical: For the southern ocean we are installing a special compass (kind of like a gyrocompass, but different) that will work there. Configuring the wiring and NMEA data transferring systems has my brain in a knot, but thanks to the help from the folks at NEXUS (http://www.bruntonmarine.com/) I won’t blow a mental fuse. Also going in is a new PC with an ATHLON 2200+(1800mgz) CPU, I’m really excited about this one, I can’t wait! This kind of CPU performance is what I need with all the applications I run on the boat PC. (http://www.amd.com)
Supplies: We have gone through all of our crud (tools, extra ropes, blah, ba-blah) and organized it as well as possible so that we can find stuff when we need it in the coming rush to stock the boat for the trip. We’ll get the food later but I know I’ll be bringing a big box of Prometan bars! (www.marinersvitamins.com)
All of the above projects represent a fraction of all that is really going on, too much to list everything…
I have been “dialing for dollars” which has been going pretty well. Last week we were a good $95k from being able to make the start, but now it is down to about $80k! Mostly it is our existing supporters that have been closing the gap, but I’m hoping that we will keep getting more attention here in Newport soon and raise some “new money.” Next Tuesday I’m doing a talk at the New
Bedford Yacht Club which is a really nice place with a great junior program. Almost reminds me of my home club, the good ol Encinal YC in Alameda…
Special thanks to New Bedford YC member Victor Pinheiro (who I met in Horta in the Azores) for setting this up, and for loaning me his car while I’m here. Brave guy.
You may be getting a call from me soon, so have those checks and credit cards ready….:-) WE CAN DO IT! It sure would be nice to get enough for the start ASAP so that I can actually prepare myself for the race. I should be studying weather software (like the ‘Force 4’ routing software that I have by David Brayshaw’s ‘Local Knowledge’), etc, etc. I like to be prepared and time is
running out so the sooner the better.
Goin for it in Newport,