What We Learned From Our Last Shakedown

So, on our last adventure, we were on the boat for a total of 10 days and were at Catalina Island for a total of seven days. We’ve done this before, where we take a week off and connect two weekends, giving us more time to sail and have fun. It also affords us a great opportunity to test all those systems that we will be relying on when you sail out into the Pacific. We learned quite a bit and we have compiled a punch list based on this last adventure.

In putting together a punch down, we will generally sit down and just start writing out all those things that come to mind that we remember missing or being without. Things that are REALLY needed and things that would have made life more pleasant. Once we have things down on paper, we then assign numbers to each item according to their importance. To our way of thinking, as you would expect, the things related to safety are always at the top of the list. We then follow with things that could break or cause problems, then to the convenience items. Our punch down, although in a state of flux, is as follows:

  • Anchor: 65 lb. CQR from Minney’s
  • Rewire DC at batteries to segregate engine start and house batteries
  • Connect both holding tanks and install macerators (rear head first)
  • Mount rear anchor
  • Dodger window covers
  • Mount ladder
  • Replace batteries
  • Redo refrigerator with vertical separation
  • More solar panels
  • Finish bimini
  • Paint cockpit
  • Additional water storage
  • Additional diesel tankage
  • More handholds on the foredeck
  • Properly mount and wire galley lights
  • Finish cushions
  • Sand/varnish guest head
  • Finish vberth
  • Second pantry

So, here we are. The safety items are in red above. The rest are things that we have to do before we leave on June 1, 2019. This list may shift a bit, but these are the main things that are to be completed.

One of the biggies that we noted is not something that needs to be addressed immediately, but before we leave we will have to deal with it, and that is the need for additional water storage. We currently have 50+32+60=142 gallons aboard, and that is a bit light for voyaging. We would be comfortable with an additional 100 gallons. We do have a watermaker, but we want the security of having additional water just in case. We have found two places where we can install flexible tanks and the tanks we are looking at are 52 gallons each. That should take care of that. Additionally, we only have 50 gallons of diesel aboard, so we want an additional tank for that, too. I think we have space under the aft cabin bunk, so perhaps that is an option.

The best part of the shakedown was that the new diesel performed flawlessly. Unfortunately, we had to motor through most of the trip, but mechanically everything worked great!

Please feel free to comment with questions!

About Captain Tom

Over 10 years sailing and over 3500 miles under our keel. Was an engineer (EE) for over 30 years, then after moving into management, decided that the corporate world was no longer for me. Ran my wife's law office for 15 years and recently retired. Now we live aboard and sail the California coast, soon to leave for the Sea of Cortez.