Singlehanded Transpac Prep

Singlehanded Transpac Prep

Postby mike cunningham » Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:00 pm

I was reading my old posts about getting ready for the Transpac and am feeling guilty about not following up with some information about what I did to get ready for the race. Some of my upgrades were useless, or worse, but a few worked out pretty well. So I thought I would start relating my findings. Some folks were after me to do this a long tome ago so apologies for the lateness of this report. I did a lot of stuff so I am going to use this thread to try to cover it all over a number of posts. Here goes the first item.

Securing stuff at sea.

I tried hard to imagine what would happen if the boat wound up upside down during the race. I started imagining and then didn't want to think about it any more. It was going to be a disaster!! However, there were a few things I could do to mitigate the chaos.

Note, Amazon was an absolute goldmine of prep material. I have linked to various parts - buy them wherever but Amazon provides photos and such so that is why I am using their link.

Tie downs:

These were fantastic!! For the race I removed all cushions from fore and aft cabins. I installed (through bolted to boards) 8 of these tie downs in the forward cabin and eight more in the aft cabin. I used ratchet straps to actually secure things to the boards using the tie downs. The emergency rudder blade, drogue, anchor and anchor rode, empty fuel jugs (way out) storm sails etc etc. Worked extremely well. The beauty of this particular tie down is it lies flat when not in use so I'll be able to re-install the cushions right over these tie downs which are low enough profile you won't even know they are there. By the way, you might think ratchet straps would be a corrosion disaster but I was extremely surprised and pleased with their performance over 5000 miles of passage. I did not dunk them in salt water but they certainly were exposed to a lot of wet and continued to function throughout the trip.

https://www.amazon.com/Stainless-Steel- ... +tie+downs

Cam lock Straps:

I used these to tie bundles together and to secure the port settee seat boards which cover the storage locker under the seat. They did not serve as well as the tight cinching ratchet strap but were extremely useful for bundling things together for subsequent ratchet strap tie down and had the flatness I needed to work under the settee cushion.
I really struggled with how to tie down those the plywood lids on the settee bottom storage. On my boat that just lay on top of the seat frame and will pop right off of the boat were to experience a knockdown, especially with some of the heavy spares I have stored down there. So I cut a small hole in the boards at the forward and aft ends of the settee. I cut the cam lock strap in half and bolted one end to the bulkhead below the aftermost board, same on the forward most board. Then ran the cam end across the top of the boards to mate with the strap end. (hope this makes sense). I then cinch up the straps a voila, the boards are locked down. It is not perfect but easily tight enough to prevent anything from getting past the boards.

https://www.amazon.com/VAMO-Kayak-Surfb ... lock+strap

I use a combo of cam lock and ratchet straps to secure the three 60 pound AGM batteries on my boat. The cams lock the batteries down and the ratchet straps lock them atwartships to prevent them shifting port or starboard. Both straps prevent fore and aft movement. The hooks on the ratchet straps are secured to pre existing holes in the bulkheads fore and aft of the battery compartment. The batteries are not going anywhere.

The lids I did not secure are the aft cabin under berth storage which was held down by the emergency rudder security, the chart table lid which I could secure temporarily with a hooked ratchet strap and the forward cabin basement hatch which was secured by empty fuel container lash downs on top of it. I did not secure the icebox lid but after day six there wasn't much in the icebox anyway.

Out in the cockpit I locked down the lazarette lid with small SS spring carabiner. I used a board and wedges to secure the propane tanks and locked the lid down with a bungee strap secured to a hook on the Yanmar control panel.

I am happy to say I never came close to being upside down but I did get a bad knockdown to about 80 degrees or so. Far enough to scare the crap out of me. I had not secured my weather laptop and it went flying across the cabin. To Asus great credit, the only damage was the bezel which popped off and was easily re-attached.
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mike cunningham
 
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Re: Singlehanded Transpac Prep

Postby markh77 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 7:37 am

No matter how many things you secure, there is always something that will come adrift in a knockdown. I have read accounts of other solo sailors who took a knockdown and fared much worse. Sounds like you did a great job. I am unclear how the camlock straps worked. Would velcro straps or bungee straps also work?
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Re: Singlehanded Transpac Prep

Postby mike cunningham » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:35 pm

I think velcro would have worked fine. I used a cam strap because I had purchased a batch of them for various strap down duties aboard the boat. I am not so sure about a bungee, at least in the way I implemented. I think there would be to much stretch. I will take some pictures and post them so it's a bit clearer how this worked.

Also, I am sure there are more ingenious ways to deal with the settee boards. I just could not come up with any that were simple and cheap.

You are right about a knockdown. No matter what you do, things are going to fly around. My objective was to try to minimize the number of flying objects and to do my best to ensure none of them were high mass like batteries or anchor and rode, etc.
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