Preparing Slick for her big adventure was not such an easy task as just getting ready to go for an afternoon sail or even a season of racing. In fact I feel like in the last three months, we have completed 20 or so projects that would be most owner’s only annual boat, and at least two or three that are once a decade or once in a boat’s life, upgrades. Without Nathan’s arrival and assistance I am pretty sure I would be enduring another Boston winter. Furthermore, and luckily, I had access a couple of machine shops at my former employer and some great people and scraps to help out in the construction and installation of so many things.

A brief list of what Nathan and I have installed on Slick or otherwise added: Raymarine type 2 autopilot, a full instrument package, electric windlass and new ground tackle, digital radar, a wind turbine and mount, hydro-generator, AIS transceiver, charging system, 2 4d AGM batteries, 2 group 34 batteries for starting and windlass operation, inner forestay chain plate, staysail tracks, try sail track, running backs, mast head steps, led tricolor light, led lighting throughout the boat, tank monitors for fresh and holding tanks, 1200 watt inverter, cook top, bbq, propane system, lee cloths, numerous rigging enhancements, tie downs for everything, man over board detector, outboard mount, weather fax radio, new VHF, new roller-reefing jib, staysail, and trysail to fit on the tracks, bimini frame with the fabric to come later, video camera, and so much more that doesn’t even come to mind. We don’t really have time to test out most of the components, so we fast cruised on the wind turbine and figure we would try the rest out on the way down to Charleston.

The hardest pieces of equipment to install were the wind vain, the windlass and inner forestay and the autopilot, as each required a significant amount of machining and boat modification. This was accomplished by copious amounts of marine plywood, fiber glass, G-10 and making custom mounting out of aluminum. I am sure this is pretty boring for everyone but someone installing stuff, and if you are interested in the little details, email me for more info. The only interesting thing was that it took me almost 20 hours at the top of the mast to get the Raymarine ST-60 mast head sensor installed. We were screwed by someone previous to us who last had the mast head top off. Turns out they pinched the last masthead sensor wire in the mast head plate. Which was by this point covered in all the masthead gizmos, and I wasn’t interested in removing it while I was on it. In the end, Nathan had a brilliant idea so we ended up running the wire on the outside of the mast. Before you judge us as stupid though, the Isomat Mast has a built in track that runs up the entire front, so we were easily able to tuck the wire into that, and fill it in with life-caulk. Works perfectly and no one can tell it’s there. In order to still use the spinnaker pole (primarily as a hammock holder since we only brought asymmetrical kites) we tucked the wire in with the radar cable.

Provisioning consisted of getting all of the medical supplies in order, bringing the boats safety gear up to cat-I safety specs, and then a great big Costco shopping spree of one case of every non-perishable item they have.
In addition I had a few parties and attended a few more and said good bye to as many people as I could. It is weird how so many of you think that Nathan and I are going to die or kill each other. Thanks for that little vote of confidence.