We area about 1/3 of the way there. Pretty good news considering the trade winds have forsaken us. Last few days have been 8-10 knots. Finally today - we are headed downwind with some good wind on our tail. It's nice for a change.
Some things that we have discovered that we wish we could change that we want to share:
1. We put new non-skid on the decks last year and thought we were so smart using sand. We regret that choice. It is too abrasive. Jim's and my soles are raw, it hurts to crawl or crab walk when conditions are a little gnarly – and we don't care for the look of it even after we painted over it. Only upside is that you could dump a load of motor oil on deck and it is guaranteed that you won't slip.
2. Reefing system for the main was just not to our liking. Jim re-rigged it underway and now we are much happier. Before, we would just lower the main altogether. Now we can put 2 reefs in the main easily and without turning upwind. This is great prep for when the squalls sneak up on you! We had very little experience with that... until now.
3. If your mainsail has slides that run inside a track, I recommend seizing a stainless or brass slide on the luff of the main on the first slide at the headboard where the halyard raises the sail. In just 5 days, my brand new Delrin (sp?) plastic slide broke. There is so much torque there. Since the webbing is still in excellent condition, I located the ONLY stainless slide we have on board. They are pricey, but the upside is that I don't have to re-seize it to the sail... I can slide the pin through the webbing that is already there and slip the metal ringlet through the hole to hold it. Easy peasy! I wish I had several more of those.
4. Auto pilot controller – we really wish we had a new controller because ours reacts too slowly and doesn't seem to be efficient. But the cost was a huge deterrent. Still – now we wish we had spent the money as our auto pilot is giving us a hard time. She's working, but she yaws too much. And she is a tremendous power pig... guzzling our charged batteries as quick as she can.
5. If we decide to get a new mainsail, we will buy (or make) one with 2 full battens at the top and 2 partial battens below. A full battened main is a booger to work with... even with Tony Morrelli's lazy bag system.