In just 3 weeks, we plan to have Tahina on the ground. In preparations for the trip, we have a number of projects installing new equipment, making changes to rigging, and maintenance tasks to make sure everything is ready for the start of our trip. Here’s a brief overview of some of the tasks:
- SSB Radio – we will be installing a high frequency long-range radio system called an SSB (Single Side Band). HF radios have been a primary way for sailors to communicate while at sea for decades. This still remains the case, but that’s a story for a later post. We will install a ground plate through our hull near the keel. This means putting some small holes through the bottom of the boat (hence, it’s important to do this in the boatyard). We’ll also install the wiring, tuner, radio, and antenna. This time we’ll be using a rope antenna (see RopeAntenna.com) rather than cutting one of our shrouds to make an antenna.
- Washer/dryer – to help insure we have clean clothes, we’re installing a washer/dryer unit on the boat. This will require wiring and plumbing changes as well as measures to allow venting of the dryer.
- Computer network – we’re going to install a new computer in the nav station, a wireless router, and connect the network to our nav system and TV system. The nav station computer will also serve as our media server for entertainment. In addition, we’ll be installing a long-range WIFI receiver antenna so we can pick up WIFI in anchorages when possible.
- Rigging changes – we plan to make some alterations to our line rigging to improve the way we control our dinghy lift, put our main halyard at the main powered winch, and improve the options for using our spinnaker halyard.
- Maintenance – nearly every system is about due for basic maintenace (since we’ve now owned the boat for a year). We’ll be making sure everything needing it is in good working order. This process has really been ongoing already. Of note: we’ll be doing maintenance on winches, watermaker, heads (yuck), engines, windlass, and more.
- Fans – we intend to install some 12V fans in some or all the staterooms.
- Wind generator – we plan to install a wind generator to supplement our clean power from our solar panels.
- Fiberglass – we will repair scratches and imperfections on the fiberglass, and then polish and wax the entire boat.
- Anti-fouling – we’ll be adding a fresh coat of bottom paint while we’re out of the water.
- Security system – installing a security system for Tahina.
This is just a partial list, there are many other details, and more projects will most likely crop up when we get there. Wish us luck because we hope to get it all done in less than two weeks if humanly possible!