We had a few problems enroute and the boat is still having a few issues, but many things are already fixed; we have a few more to fix before heading over to Kona. My good friend Sean says he sails from place to place in order to fix things on the boat. I’m starting to feel that way. But not much broke, and other than a minor scratch, there were no injuries! Enroute, here’s what we ran into:
- Autopilot failure. After leaving SF and turning south, the autopilot would randomly reset after making a hard turn. Root cause: Some idiot captain forgot to attach the ground wire for the autopilot. Mitigated by leaving an engine running (worked because the increase in voltage lowered current). Fixed after docking in Santa Cruz.
- Watermaker failure. Attempted to make water to fill the tanks before departure, but the system would not fully pressurize. Replaced water pump with spare pump. This caused a delay for us, but we were able to make 100G+ of water at the dock.
- Heavy seas flooded forward port compartment due to siphoning old exhaust system. Tied the unused hoses up against the side to prevent this from happening again.
- Starboard engine whine. Running the starboard engine above a fast idle while in gear caused a high pitched whine. This gradually got worse until we couldn’t really stand the noise from that engine. Root cause: engine alignment was off by a tiny bit. Realigned engine in Hilo harbor and retested.
- Sump pump failure. Our shower sump stopped working so we had to shower on deck. Root cause: it just got stuck; maybe there was some hair or something. Removed the cover and turned by hand to free it.
- Spinnaker sock failure. Although I had the sock serviced before departure, they did a terrible job. We weren’t able to get the spinnaker down outside of Hilo and we hit a heavy rain shower. I am not too disappointed since the spinnaker is probably past it's prime anyway. Dave was kind enough to take it back to San Francisco for repairs. $1000+ damage, repairing in SF and shipping back out here, along with buying a spare.
- The jib halyard came loose at the mast, which caused the jib furler car to get stuck near the top of the mast. The leader dyneema line that connects the top of the car to the masthead got jammed badly between the top of the drum and what I think is a cap up on top. Repairs enroute were not very effective -- it was rolling too much.
- We still have bilge pump problems. Some of the float switches are malfunctioning in various ways. I am strongly considering an idea I've been kicking around to provide some redundancy to the switch.
- At the dock, the water pump finally gave up. I suspected this might happen, which is why I was carrying a spare pump. But we used that pump for the watermaker. I purchased a new pump, which turned out to be a higher pressure "washdown pump", which I used instead of the lower pressure one that was there. This makes the anchor locker hose work much much better!
Happy to be here though. Ed is staying on the boat in Hilo and we’re sailing to Kona this weekend.