Submitted by jono on 05 Nov 2017.

Staying with good friends Ian, Solenne and Lily-Rose at La Rochelle and taking the opportunity to inspect / reinforce / repair / replace gear that has worn, which is basically everything!

Very necessary to do this as only 1/3 distance completed means 2/3 still to go, and the gear needs TLC to keep it going. While I try to be gentle on kit, sometimes conditions means that the going is quite brutal. And the number of hours sailed accounts for premature ageing of all gear (and probably myself too - but hey, no point saving yourself for a tomorrow that is never guaranteed...).

Still, am intent on making it round Europe so looking after things and myself as much as I can.

Below are some pictures of work done:

  • chine and vee reinforcement/sacraficial layer
  • paving blocks to help with slot flusher sticking
  • Severne Turbo GT 9.2 - still going strong with a bit of TLC to the more UV susceptible x-ply films
  • kevlar mast reinforcement where cambers rub
  • replacement rollers on cams (old rollers flat-spotted)
  • 'ramp' to prevent sail catching on mast extension ring
  • Daggerboard needed some attention
  • Simplified foam block boom support system (for paddling mode)
  • New drysuit seals
  • Worn out adjustable outhaul clamps - replaced!
  • Broken one piece paddle now a two piece adjustable (this repair made during break at Gulf of Morbihan)
  • Paddle selfie stick modification...
  • ...and test

And for a bit more detail a list of jobs done:

  • Glass fibred the forward chines (and central vee), where wear from launching and landing is inevitable. Should have done this before departure.
  • Cleaned and filled (what I hope is) superficial cracking on daggerboard. Leading edge of dagger was quite beaten up from sailing into floating debris, so have filled and faired foil all over.
  • Glassed the dagger plates. These were very worn and introducing excessive play into dagger system.
  • Refit of troublesome slot flusher. This time using rubberised superglue which I know from experience to hold very well. Fingers crossed...
  • Kevlar patches added to mast where camber inducers sit and cause wear to mast
  • Camber inducers: rollers replaced (these had become flat-spotted and were not rolling, aggravating the mast wear issue). Thanks to French RS:X sailors for the donor cams!
  • Reinforcement of X-ply sail material with big transparent stickers! This just extends the life of the monofilm, which is naturally degraded by exposure to UV. It is a good idea to do this when the films are still brand new (which I did, but could have covered more of the panels...).
  • Mast extension: addition of 'ramp' so that luff glides over adjustment ring more easily.
  • Paddle: one piece paddle snapped as a result of damage from a stowage error. This is now fixed as a two piece paddle. Also made a simple 'selfie stick' adaption...
  • Drysuit: broken neck and nearly broken wrist seals replaced with new neoprene seals, which will hopefully last longer than the latex seals being using up to now.
  • Adjustable outhaul boom clamp cleats were slipping (had been using a used set that had also got me round Britain). Now replaced. Thanks to Clamcleat for these.
  • A few other tweaks and adjustments, which although seemingly very minor, make me happy!
  • Eating lots
  • Beard gone

Not done, should/would like to do:

  • Mast track needs to be swimming in silicone spray to be operable. Replacement wheels on truck may restore smoother operation?
  • Drysuit: change worn out (and consequently leaking) integrated socks to neoprene ankle seals
  • Replace harness lines
Tagged with: France Gear