Hope Is Not A Plan
So we all know that hope is not a plan. Hope, optimism, positivity are all great in many aspects of life but not when in comes to sailboat preventative maintenance. In the 9-months leading up to our first passage, we researched and read about all sorts of things that could go wrong. And where possible, we took action either to prevent that “thing” from happening or to make sure we were prepared if it did happen. Well, most everything.
One thing that can go wrong on a sailboat like ours, with a 2:1 halyard, is that chafe can occur at the top of the mast. Enough chafe and the halyard drops to the deck. I read about various owners strategies, on boats just like ours, for preventing this occurrence through preventative maintenance or protection. But it is at the top of the mast, 67ft off the water, I really wanted to avoid going up there. So that inspection and maintenance fell to the bottom of the list while everything at deck level was thoroughly gone through. And then it was time to leave. I’m sure it will be fine…..1700 miles into our journey, on a calm morning approaching Nantucket, motor sailing in a gentle roll, I looked at the boom. Huh, our reefing lines were loose. That’s odd…. What a second! Our main sail has dropped into the lazy jacks. Yep. There it was. The bitter end of the halyard, dancing in the gentle breeze and roll, a small 12” piece, tied to the masthead. And the rest of the halyard… stacked up inside the base of the mast.
Fortunately, we had quiet conditions, a good plan for a primary halyard to hoist me to the top of the mast, as well as a second halyard, just in case our friend “chafe” visited again. We planned to re-feed the halyard back up the inside of the mast down to the 2:1 Karver block and back up where it belongs. Unfortunately, the trip up the mast did not yield the results we were hoping for. Still no mail sail but we will keep you posted! And I can assure you of this…. Before we start our journey South this fall, I’ll be heading back up the mast to inspect that attachment point. And add some chafe protection! That is a much better plan than hope.