sea trial · golden gate · starter · bilge · furler · watermaker

Sea trial lessons learned

Okay trip out the gate Sunday. We needed more crew. Gerry brought one of his students, Harsha, who hasn’t been sailing before, and it was hard with only two of us that knew anything with 20+ knots of wind, lots of traffic and some tricky tacking, and even a chicken jibe. We sailed out to the Baker Beach area and anchored. I learned a few things about anchoring Jane’O in moderate seas -- it’s quite a ride up there! We almost needed a jack line and a tether, or I’d need to plan to place the stern into the wind and anchor backwards or something. Harsha wasn’t loving the rolling and pitching (it’s not exactly a good anchorage) so we headed back earlier than expected.

We had a great sail back once we got back in the bay, though, chasing a boat named Never Follow, who was kind enough to take a few photos of Jane’O on the water. We were doing 9-10 knots under a reefed main and had trouble catching this 42’ monohull (but I think we caught them). Jane’O isn’t exactly a speed daemon, she’s clearly meant for cruising.

I’m really loving the whole solar panel thing, and the battery monitor is working great. The battery stayed pretty much at 100% the entire trip, between running the engine a little and having lots of sun.

A few items brought my critical list back:

  • Bilge Just when I thought I had a dry bilge, I find I was wrong. The starboard engine is still taking on water, probably a hose or clamp past the raw water strainer. Fortunately, there was no oil or fuel or anything else in there, so it was just a matter of running the bilge pump. But I’m not comfortable leaving port unless I understand the source of that water, though. I guess it wasn’t just the missing pump gasket. The port engine had a tiny bit of water, but not enough to complain about at all -- well within limits of acceptable, but I will still look carefully at that as well.
  • Starboard Starter There’s still something amiss with the starboard starter. It just doesn’t start reliably enough. Perhaps it’s the switch and the wiring. I’m going to look at adding a remote relay and see if that solves my issue.
  • Furler My roller furler still isn’t awesome. It’s really hard to furl still. I’m thinking I am going to need to drop the jib again and inspect the halyard and pendant for wrapping again. Lets hope it’s not stuck up there again. I think I need a new furling line as well -- the old one is about 4 feet too short, so I can’t get it started on the winch when it’s fully extended.
  • Watermaker Still seeing problems with air in the watermaker. I remounted everything in the place I want it, and it’s filling with air still. The good news is that the generator has no trouble starting the watermaker, and it works fine when I’m back in port and bleed the filters. It’s hard when I’m getting tossed around at sea.

I spent some after-hours work replacing the port side jib sheet. The one I purchased off ebay was just too slippery and too narrow. The old jib halyard was perfect, though, and just cutting it to the right length seems to be enough to replace both sheets.

With 4 weeks to go, I’m pretty confident I can still get these things done. I’m just bummed that it’s going to mean that fewer luxury items will get finished.

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