Home > Journals > Around Alone Preparations

The latest news from Ocean Planet

June 9, 2002


I’ve been back in Charleston since last Monday, my week home was short but sweet. It was good to see Jeanie, our goofy cats, and to fit in a classroom seminar in between going through the mountain of paperwork and emails . . .

Good news: Big thanks to everyone who pitched in to help make the $50k matching grant organized by Hank Grandin and our supporters!! We just made it, and the pledges are coming in just in time to help get us back afloat . . .

Speaking of the boat…no, we haven’t sunk…;-) In fact, Ocean Planet is high and dry in the boatyard getting ready to head for the Azores. This will be a singlehanded trip, as it is my transatlantic qualifying passage for the Around Alone, required of all the skippers and boats. The only skippers who are not required to do the qualifying trip are those that have already soloed around the world, if their boats have been around too.

I am finishing and modifying a lot of things to get ready, including new runners and staysail stay using Samson Ropes new “Lightning” Vectran/SK75 blend. This great new rope provides the durability of SK75 (spectra/dyneema) with the no-creep characteristics of Vectran. After the qualifier, I will also be upgrading some sheets and halyards to the double-braid version of Lighting: Validator SK. (check out www.samsonrope.com)

Doyle sails has installed new Lighting double luff ropes in the working jib and gennikers in addition to repairing and customizing our mainsail. The double ropes in the luffs will twist less when furling, which is a big deal on our “soft” luff furling sails.

Other projects include:

Improving the keel wedging system with additional wedges for fore/aft rigidity (design upgrade by yours truly, with approval by our Guru, Tom Wylie).

Raising the foredeck hatch 4″ to reduce water coming in while open (less bailing after sail changes!). Thanks to JB Currell and MAS epoxies for helping out on this and other tasks (www.masepoxies.com)!

Customizing our Nexus Instruments configuration so I can switch between the masthead and radar tower wind transducers (www.bruntonmarine.com).

Installing more custom titanium handrails made by Jeff Daniels of Metropolis Metals (these are SO cool).

Upgrading our LED cabin lights to the latest by Don Mcleish and Berkeley Point (www.berkeleypoint.com).

Fixing our SSB radio (always great consultation from Don Melcher at HF radio on board (www.hfradio.com) and Marilee at Waypoint (www.waypoints.com).

Designing and installing our emergency transom rudder system (thanks to expert fabricator Erich Chase!).

There are a hundred other projects under way, but it’s time for bed and my brain is requesting sleep. In the attached pic, you can see how we can slide the keel up to the boat, so it can sit closer to the ground while we are working. Sure beats climbing up a teetering 18ft ladder. If the pic is confusing, don’t worry, the keel system is semi-secret anyway….

Bruce and Ocean Planet.


Next Story