solo diary

solo diary

SA will be on the water tomorrow to help US solo racer (and long time Anarchist) Brad Van Liew tow his Open 60 up the river in Charleston, SC before unstepping the rig and then hauling the boat for a full refit and deck redesign in preparation for this fall’s Velux 5 Oceans race.  Look for video and photos from our first trip on an Open 60 tomorrow.  Be sure to check out Brad’s site and donate a few bucks while you’re at it – there’s just nothing cheap about an Open 60 and I’m sure they’d appreciate some Anarchist support. Here’s the latest from the last US racer to win a major international solo event, and possibly the next, as well. 

Today marks a significant milestone for our team as we proceed into boat rebuilding mode rather than investigate-and-acquire mode.  Tomorrow, we haul the boat and disassemble the rig, rudders, keel and daggerboards. That gear, along with the hull, will be safely at home in the shed where the refit will take place.  We’ll be posting pics and updates from the shed later in the week.

While Meaghan and the rest of her team continue to pound the pavement for financial support and sponsorship, the boat side of our team had some serious things to consider for the upcoming refit.  We had to evaluate what to change and what not to change in an effort to make the boat as competitive as possible without busting our slim budget.  That process included going out for a sail off Charleston harbor one last time to finalize a few decisions before we haul the boat out of the water.  The good news is that we need to do fewer modifications than I initially thought – but the list is still considerable.

The entire deck layout will be modified to accommodate more current thinking, with the reefing system led aft.  We’ll install a more adjustable jib lead system and lots of other tweakables that I can work from the cockpit.  We are even moving the utility winches inboard and tying them to the coffee grinder in an effort to make the boat more easily adjustable – my sailing style includes a lot of tweaking – I am never satisfied, but it’s worked for me in the past!  This process will involve the special project teams from both Spinlock and Harken, as we establish a think tank of resources to make sure everything meshes in an ergonomic and reliable way.

The other big job we have is to replace the electronics package.  The newer B&G Pilots with the latest chips and software have an uncanny knack for driving an Open 60 in the Southern Ocean, and they will be at the heart of our modernization of the boat’s performance.  We also have a long list of items to ‘freshen up’ – the boat has done a Vendee and a handful of transatlantic trips since her last fluff-and-buff, so that represents a significant portion of the work list.  Our final sail ended up being a great exercise in finalizing a work list – not it is time to execute.  Stay tuned – this part is tough, but a lot of fun, and we’re grateful for all your support and interest.

Thanks for checking in,