19May 2015, Haulout Complete, Virgin Gorda

I finished my week haulout in Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, boatyard, and launched yesterday afternoon. Boatyards suck, but this was better than average. Not too busy so not too toxic-dusty. Nice breeze most of the time and hot, but not hot and humid like Trinidad. For comfort I did wear shorts and short sleeves (rather than Tyvek coveralls) for sanding and painting. Fortunately, I’m past my child-bearing years and any toxic, brain-damaging influence is not likely to be noticed. :}

Work mainly was drilling and epoxying a hole in the rudder for use as secondary emergency steering should the rudder post break. With a full keel and heavy bronze shoe at the bottom the chance of the rudder falling off is near nil, but the wheel, autopilot and emergency tiller all need a full-length rudder post. If that were to break I can rig lines directly to the rudder and, with great difficulty, keep sailing. I hope I never have to use it, but it’s such a simple backup system, why not.

Other than that, it’s checking over the hull, thru-hulls and applying new bottom paint. She was in great need of that and she moves more easily through the water now.

Tuesday I motored back to USVI. Winds were so light it would have taken all day even with a spinnaker, and I had to pick up my new dinghy and EPIRB, so no time to waste. Lovely downwind motor with the autopilot taking care of steering. Only problem was 3 kts of apparent wind from the stern meant I was smelling diesel exhaust most of the trip. I like sailing better.

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