We wrote up a bunch of boat jobs pre-crossing to the Caribbean from Cape Verde back in December. Similarly, we have collected a mixture of jobs for our last weeks waiting to cross back.
Fix the Danbouy light
A Danbuoy is a floating marker that is deployed from a boat to indicate a person’s location in the water in a MOB (Man Over Board) situation. It typically consists of a long telescopic pole with a buoyant float in the middle, a flag or other high-visibility marker attached to the top of the pole, and a weight at the bottom to keep it upright. In an emergency, such as a man overboard situation, the Danbuoy can be quickly thrown into the water to mark the spot where the person went overboard, it’s designed to float in the wind and current at the same rate a person would in the water. Even in big waves and at night, it should be very visible as the light sits about 2.5m above sea level, allowing the boat to circle back and retrieve them without losing the person’s position.
We have an extendable Danbouy onboard Hannah near our port solar panel. It has a bright LED light made by ACR attached to the top of it, but recently the plastic tube connecting the light to the Danbouy broke when accidentally leaned on.
This would have been fixable, and we were in the process of fixing it to find that the AA batteries inside had also recently exploded, and when trying to clean the mess from the internals, the spring for the battery connection also seemed to have corroded and disintegrated, so it would no longer be possible to power.
We needed to source a new light! Lucky for us one of the chandleries that we had recently been to had the exact same light, so we headed to buy it, but unfortunately it had already been sold since we saw it.
So, instead, we bought a different LED light that is generally used for life buoys, and worked out a secure way to attach it and also have it automatically set off if the danbuoy is deployed.
We started by super gluing a bolt to the bottom of the light, which we then also secured with some twisted wire to the bottom of the light. This was then entirely covered in epoxy putty. The bolt could then be attached to the top of the Danbouy, also using lock-tight to keep everything secure, and the entire contraption was then wrapped in tape. The new light already had a cord to pull to turn the light on, so we attached this to the previous string attached to the boat, so when extending the Danbouy, the light should come on.
Oiling the cockpit floor
Back in Saint Martin, we bought some Teak Oil.
Applying teak oil to teak floors on a boat is a popular practice to help maintain their appearance and protect them from the elements. Teak oil penetrates deep into the wood, providing a protective layer that helps to prevent moisture from penetrating the surface and causing damage. It also restores the natural beauty of the wood, enhancing the grain and bringing out its rich color. Additionally, teak oil helps to protect the wood from UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause it to deteriorate, making it a smart choice for anyone looking to keep their teak floors in top condition.
We used the oil on various parts of the internals of Hannah, but you really can see the biggest difference with this halfway progress shot of the cockpit floor.
Reattaching gas locker
Hannah has 2 gas lockers on the aft deck, each of which holds a single gas bottle.
From lots of sailing and the boat moving around some of the screws into the fiberglass that they are attached to had become loose and the threads didn’t really hold anymore.
So to get a handle on the situation, first, off came the locker.
This is the first time in more than 2 years the lockers came off, so everything was in need of a clean underneath.
You can also clearly see the attachments to both the back of the cabin, as well as into the deck.
Kathryn re-threaded the holes to a larger size, used some new stainless bolts, and then fitted everything back together.
Mast step string
Half way through our East to West Atlantic crossing we put a small tear in our Ghoster sail (now fixed) when it got backwinded and became stuck on one of the upper mast steps on the main mast.
We have had a plan to stop this from happening again since December, but are only just putting it into action.
So, time to go up the mast!
The plan is to tie strings from the steps to the nearest stay so that nothing (including halyards) can get caught on them. And the challenge is to do this in an aesthetically pleasing way.
We went for a zig zag pattern to minimize the number of individual bits of string we would need.
Not long till the crossing now.
At the time of writing this its 6th of May 2023, and we plan on setting off on the 8th May.