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Thread: Most common breakages/least important and most important "required" equipment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    Default Most common breakages/least important and most important "required" equipment

    I'm interested in feedback from SHTP/PacCup veterans on their experience and thoughts with their most common breakages and what equipment that was required for the race that they found to be least important and most important.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Austin, TX
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    Rudders, autopilots, vang attachments, and goosenecks are all likely failure points. That's the stuff that is constantly moving. Add spinnaker pole or whisker pole too.

    Least important stuff. Well, there is a bunch of stuff you will never use, hopefully, until you need it, then it is essential. Not much point in putting required gear on this list, since you will be bringing it whether you think it is important or not. Not required and not important... Actually, fewer tools. I wouldn't limit what I could fix, but I would bring far fewer redundancies. We brought a set of sockets, a set of box wrenches, a crescent wrench, and channel locks. Another boat brought two crescent wrenches. Not much I could do that they couldn't.

    Important stuff. We brought a cordless drill and used it and we would have been very, very sad without it. If you have a small boat, I'd bring more clothes. We thought we'd be all tough and serious and brought two pairs of underwear last time. I was literally wet for 11 days of the 11 day trip. By the last day I couldn't sit down. What I would have given for a dry, salt-free pair of drawers every day or two.

    I imagine these lists will really vary depending on the person and the weather and the boat.
    Life is not a dress rehearsal.

    Bermuda 1-2 on a Schumacher 28

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    You reaffirmed my thoughts on a redundant auto-pilot and a good e-rudder...and I have definitely found I only used a few tools regularly on my boat even when in the boatyard. I will definitely bring more than 2 pairs of underwear...that sounds painful.
    I'm just trying to get an idea of how to prioritize importance of all the required gear, all the while understanding that it's all potentially essential.

  4. #4
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    How many of you carried a spare mainsail?

  5. #5
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steevee View Post
    How many of you carried a spare mainsail?
    Not I. I would bet that's unusual.

    I had no significant breakages on the SHTP. (Edit: I take it back. I blew out my primary spinnaker in the last 12 hours of the race, but I had three others on board.) I did lose the rudder on a Farallones race, but (unusually) the E-rudder was on board because I expected to start the LongPac 4 days later.

    When you think about spare autopilots, don't overlook putting another pin in the tiller. Those pins often work loose and fall out. (Mine is still good after some 10 years, knock on wood.)

    My biggest mechanical problem, hard to foresee, was failure to pump water when I ran the engine to charge the batteries. At home the boat is almost always at rest or moving slowly when I start the engine, but on the SHTP I might be doing hull speed. So the water intake was in the valley between the bow and stern waves. With a greater distance to lift the water, plus excessive clearance between the impeller and housing due to being old and worn, the water pump had trouble priming itself. So a spare water pump would have been useful. Or a newer engine!

    Max
    Last edited by Critter; 12-21-2016 at 10:18 AM. Reason: Striving for truth

  6. #6
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    Sep 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steevee View Post
    How many of you carried a spare mainsail?
    Tiger Beetle carried a spare mainsail, along with spare battens. Made no sense to me to have multiple headsails and spinnakers and then have only a single sail for the one sail that will remain up the entire race. So I carried the 'old' main along with the new/current main.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    372

    Default Stuff that breaks.

    I didn't have any 'common' breakages, but did have to repair/replace things during the races over:

    Autopilot ram and motor - those fail, I've had to swap in the second autopilot at some point during each race to Hawaii.
    Fuses and circuit breakers - these go out, carry spares fuses and circuit breakers. Write on the fuse box which equipment the fuses are for.
    Spinnaker poles and mast cars - these break, carry a sleeve and rivets for the pole, and a second car for the pole butt end on the mast.
    Halyards - chafe is the problem, carry a spare halyard, be prepared to trim a short section of halyard every couple of days if you have chafe problems.
    Engine raw water impeller - have a spare and any tooling needed to remove/install the impeller.
    Engine fuel filters - this is a common failure if the start is particularly bouncy and gunk in the tank is stirred up. Carry lots of fuel filters.
    Winch pawls - these break, particularly if the winch is 'sawed' rather than rotated through 360 by the winch handle. Carry spare pawls and springs, and know how to strip the winch to replace broken pawls.
    Full batten mainsail cars - these break when slatting, have at least one spare on board.
    Spinnaker sheets - these get beaten hard, particularly chafing under the boom. Have blocks to lead spin sheet clear of the boom and life lines, and carry at least one spare spin sheet.
    After guy - chafe when the guy goes through the pole jaw, be prepared to trim the guy shorter during the race, have chafing gear on board.
    Interior cabin lights - the bulbs go out, have some spare bulbs to keep the lights on at night.
    Clevis pins - these can crack, shear, and bend. Carry at least one spare clevis pin for each diameter of pin in the rigging (and extra cotter pins!).
    Monitor wind vane - have lost some plastic bearings/bushings, carry spares and a circlip removal/installation tool to get the clips back on (very difficult without the tool).

    Major failures that I have not had, but which would require some forethought to prepare for:
    Boom vang: vang breaks, or attachment points at mast or boom fail. Lot of load there, if the vang supports the boom's weight, how will you support the weight if the vang dies?
    Gooseneck: these break, especially if the attachment is a cast aluminum fitting. Very difficult to jury rig, consider carrying a spare gooseneck if you're at all uncertain about how you'd go about re-attaching the boom to the mast.
    Broken shrouds/stays: if you don't lose the mast immediately, you have a chance to re-rig the broken section if you have materials on board. I carry (as spares) wire in required diameters along with turnbuckles and end fittings such that I can replace the longest piece of each diameter wire. (For instance, I have three wire diameters in the rig, so I have one piece of wire for each diameter). For the backstay I carry a length of vectran (cheaper, lighter than wire). Pretty much impossible to do if you have rod rigging, depending on the mast tang fitting.

    Major failures I have had:
    Rudder failure - carry an emergency rudder that works.
    Headstay failure - didn't lose the mast, was able to continue sailing to Hawaii under spinnaker. Ran lots of halyards forward to deck padeyes to keep masthead tensioned. Actual failure was the headstay stem fitting at a weld point, that had to be fabricated and shipped to Hanalei for installation.

    - rob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pacific Palisades (Los Angeles)
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    Ditto on the gooseneck. Awkward to jury rig, not easy to fix even in a slip.

    Current wait for a common cast gooseneck from Rig-Rite (the only supplier for Kenyon): "Backordered. Maybe in stock by spring".
    Last edited by Christian; 12-22-2016 at 05:13 PM.
    Thelonious II, Ericson 38 (formerly Thelonious, E32-3)
    Los Angeles
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  9. #9
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    Sep 2007
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    Most frequent failure: Bank account.

    Merry Christmas all!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    Most frequent failure: Bank account.

    Merry Christmas all!
    Because it is such a pleasure to live vicariously through the divas in our lives, tell us, Bob: What is Rags getting from Santa Claus this year, Bob?

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