Monday, 22 April 2013

Battening down hatches

 This information is really for women but it might apply to men who may be required to do the work involved!  Larry is our Technical Advisor so he did the work but I made sure that a high level of artistry was maintained throughout.

Sailing magazines and books only seem to be published if there are knockdowns or incursions of sea into boat involved. Women often first experience heavy weather during day trips before they've ever had the chance to go offshore and cruise the Caribbean. It's no wonder we meet so many solo male sailors. Women have good imaginations - we worry about us inside the boat if the worst happened.

 Of course, everyone who goes out to sea should be worried about keeping safe. Humans should be secured in lee-cloths when asleep offwatch, but it's equally important to keep the boat's heavy contents in place. These could prove hazardous to human health if airborne.

We were able to have Traversay III built specifically for us and so she far exceeds the safety provisions of Trav II (which was the boat we could afford at the time). The bad news is that fittings intended for marine use are second in cost only to equine bandages (if running racehorses happens to be your hobby). The good news is that some of these ideas are inexpensive and you can make them yourselves.
Push-button fastener
A secured galley
Firstly, if you can possibly afford the push-button cupboard fasteners pictured (with metal - NOT plastic seatings behind them) - they will not open no matter how much force is thrown against them. Also important are the twist-and-turn fittings which keep floor boards in position. If you imagine being inverted, heavy objects in the bilges could come out and crash around. These have also worked well on the 'fridge and freezer. You wouldn't want to be knocked down by a frozen leg of lamb. Larry installed a heavy stainless U-fitting under the galley kickboard. When we have really rough weather, we secure the two appliances with a rope we keep handy.
Tin locker seatbelt
Tin locker
Larry bought bolts and installed them under the piano bench seat (I wouldn't want my music trashed) and the chart table seat. Bolts also secure my very heavy piano (but we haven't yet met anyone else with one of those!) For all lockers under the saloon seating and berths, Larry cut openings and installed seat-belts so our tins won't assail us in the middle of external turbulence.
Meanwhile we are quite far from any thought of rough seas.We've been anchored on the peaceful River Fal for two very calm nights.

Anchored on the River Fal

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