Atlantic Follow up – A few more points


Sorry for the lack of photos opn this post.  I have been asked a few questions by readers about certain items I carried on board and certain experiences we had.  I hope you find the below useful and your comments are always welcome.

  • We did catch water on the way.  Although we had enough for drinking for 30 days we did not have enough for cleaning.  In squalls we could catch about 20 liters using cannisters set just below the boom to catch rain water falling off the sail.  This worked well but you could easily make it a far better system than we did.
  • Our spreaders were covered in foam to stop the main sail from rubbing when sailing downwind.  Now, you can either use pipe insulation foam or the cheaper alternative is the foam used for bouyancy in swimming pools (long tubing).  I used the latter and tied them with wire cable ties.  I would not use gaffer tape as the UV light degraded these rapidy and they also attract dirt.  Cable ties were ideal as long as make sure you cut off the sharp edges and keep them well away from the sail.
  • For the main sail I used extra sail repair tape where the main touches the shrouds, this worked well although a bit of damage noticed today has occured.
  • Our sails were made by Crusader Sails and wqere heavy duty cruising sails with UV protection.
  • We experienced two occasions where Troskala fell off a 6 meter wave. The swell would some times push the quarter stern off balance allowing the boat to slide sideways down the trough of the wave before coming back on course. There was an immence amount of water on deck but the cockpit drained within minutes and no damage occured.
  • I believe that the reason why we did not suffer much damage was due to taking things slowly and more comfortably than other boats.  We were not racing therefore it seemed pointless to push Troskala hard in the first two weeks.
  • Were we scared? Yes, there were points I was fearful for our situation but only because we had not experienced these situations previously.  The two gybes we suffered were horrendous but little damage was caused but I believe this was down to luck as we could have easily lost the boom or the rig should we have repeated the gyb or had more sail up.
  • When there is no wind it is good to put a reef in the main as this stops the banging of the sail with the swell.  I only learnt this is Madeira but it makes such a difference.
  • We ran the engine at least one hour a day to charge lap tops and phones.  Due to swell and having some sludge in our diesel tank our primary filter was pretty blocked.  I carried 4 of the following: Oil Filters, Primary and secondary filters, air filters 1 spare belt 5 fueses and two spare ignition keys.  There were no issues with the engine throughout the trip.  The engine is a Beta 3o, which was installed new in 2011.
  •  I did not run with navigation lights all the time due to power.  I believe that if someone is on watch and actually watching then having them on all the time is not as imperative.  If I had an LED Tricolour I would have had it on all the time but it was not worth risking loosing my starter battery to the light and a light is great if you are also keeping a lookout.
  • Keep cooking simple.  If you have a fridge try and prepare meals before you leave and freeze them.  We heard of people using the Wayfarer vacume packed foods which taste great and take little time to prepare
  • We used one 4.5 Kg gas canister throughout the trip but also carried a spare 3.5 Kg cannister


5 thoughts on “Atlantic Follow up – A few more points

  1. hi, could the gybes, which sound horrendous, been avoided by a preventer?
    and do you think I am mad to be considering a crossing in my 26ft long keel gaff rigged cutter, a modern variation of a colin archer. a good seaboat but a pretty small working platform ??
    all the best and enjoy lazy days in lovely anchorages !!

    1. Hello Nick.

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, we have a preventer and I always use it when sailing downwind. We have a block that is fitted on the Pulpit but this exploded due to the sheer force exerted on it hense the gybe. I have now installed a more substantial block but in a way I am glad the block broke and nothing more expensive.

      Do I think you are mad to cross in a 26 foot yacht? Not at all. I ourwebsite we have a link on ‘people we have met’ If you click on the ‘Limbo’ link you will see a guy who is also doing it in a similar sized boat. Also I was inspired by Shane Acton who sailed around the world in an 18 foot Caprice. I have looked at the Colin Archer designs and they are serious boats so you will have no problems and I wish you the best of luck on planning your adventure.

      All the best Nick.

      1. Thanks, I had just found Limbo’s blog and am following them on the way down now to Cape Verdes. I am sure my little Colin Archer would be fine I guess it’s her skipper that needs to be checked out thoroughly !!!

      2. Hello Nick. Thanks for coming back to me. Yes, Limbo are on their way. Tim is a great guy with a lot of courage and a great partner not to mention a great boat. Yes, you are right, your boat is up to it. The challenges I have faced on the way have made me a better skipper but I still have a lot to learn but do not underestimate what you can achieve as soon as you let yours lines go and sail into the sunset. Nick, it is a great way of life and I wish you the best in achieving your goals.

        Have a great weekend and stay in touch.


  2. Hi Oliver.

    I followed your position as you crossed the pond.
    I was keeping an eye on a few boats and in particular, my friends who were sailing on “Ceilidh of Lorne” – Hanse 470. They completed the trip in ~16 days, but had to hand steer the whole way due to autopilot failure.

    Anyway, you did very well and arrived safe and sound in Rodney Bay.

    I am sure that you are enjoying the sunshine and heat and getting into the way of a more relaxed life-style.
    I was glad to see that the R32 looked after you well.

    Happy new Year and kind regards,

    Portrush, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland.

    Charles Grossie | Service Architect | Design Services Ireland | BT |
    Mobile: +44 (0)7734-716067 | Email:
    Please contact the MS architecture team regarding pre-sales via or for transition queries email

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