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Kiwi Spirit Ready to Re-Launch

September 9, 2013

For the sailors amongst you, the following is what has been done at Lyman Morse prior to re-launch and final preparations for the solo circumnavigation.  Very little of the following would have been done were it not for what I expect ahead:

  • Mast has been pulled and all fittings checked. Several pieces replaced and modifications made where we saw some wear and tear.

  • Lines that control the sails have been upgraded and more ordered to act as spares. Keel raised and lowered so it could be sandblasted and repainted as there was an issue with the paint continuing to peel off. Extra hand holds and rail structures placed in key areas for rough-weather safety and to enable me to go forward when stormy. New VHF radios. The radios we had were not sufficiently intuitive and one has to have items that are high tech but also simplistic. When tired or in an emergency is not a time to read instructions or make mistakes.

  • Solar panels replaced as they simply did not generate power but short circuited and actually "burned" on deck. The manufacturer had similar problems on other boats and so have taken responsibility and now replaced them at their cost.  The solars are the only source of power that I will have when winds are light. So it is important they work if I am to be the first to complete a green voyage.

  • Sails have had some minor repairs completed and some straps applied to the luff of the main to help hauling it down during reefing.

  • A third autopilot has been installed, this is a more traditional mechanical type, totally different from the two NKE’s that I have. Autopilots fail.

  • An escape hatch at the stern of the boat in case I lose my keel and go upside down. I have a second grab bag there as well as a second life raft.

  • Finally most if the furniture, toilets and fittings that will not be required have been removed and placed in a container for my return.

A policy of mine is not to speak negatively of any equipment, as I am well aware that even the best can fail, and I could through misuse be the responsible party. However, I do expect at the end I will be complimentary to any of the gear that survived, if I found it to be reliable and useful. Do remember I am taking no sponsors. All money that is raised will go to the non-profit Foundation for Physical Therapy, so I am not beholden to any company.

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