My SHTF Locker

June 5, 2015 at 3:22 pm

Preparations continue apace for the Jester Challenge, just 9 days away now.

Duet is a small boat, and I am having a little trouble stowing everything, though to be fair the Hurley 22 does use its space quite well. I have no inboard engine so there’s a massive space under the cockpit even.

But I just wanted to show you the contents of my storm locker. I’ve chosen the first locker to port at the bottom of the companionway. It’s easy to get to, and the cushion on top is small and easy to handle.

So in here I have the stuff I might need in heavy weather, or first response in an emergency if something major broke (like the mast or rigging failed, or the tiller broke, or a sail ripped, or we sprang a leak or hit something): A real ‘SHTF’ situation… It’s not a very big locker, and as well as this stuff I have amassed a fairly respectable tool and spares kit over the past couple of years which is stored in another 2 under bunk lockers.

Storm locker

But in here I have put the following:
Bolt croppers (for cutting away rigging)
Hacksaw (for cutting away rigging if conditions are too bad to be able to use bolt croppers, which need two hands. Will also obviously cut wood and fibreglass)
Sail repair tape (sewing kit elsewhere)
Cable ties
Gaffer tape
A cone drogue
A builder’s bag (for use as a storm drogue as an alternative to the cone)
Wooden bungs (I did change all the seacocks last year though)
Spare winch handle. (I know from experience it’s very easy to lose these over the side…)
Flares (and I have a white handheld flare mounted just inside the companionway)

It does all fit in there nicely, and I’ve put turnbuckles on all the lockers (and the floor) now so it should all stay in there if we get rolled.


Hopefully though this won’t happen, and I won’t need this stuff… But I know it’s there.

All Eyes on the Weather.

June 1, 2015 at 3:40 pm

Weather Report Monday 1st June 2015

So, I’m in Plymouth Yacht Haven sitting out yet more windy weather…  Just under two weeks to go to the Jester Challenge and I’m using the time constructively making final preparations (securing things down mainly, but more on that in another post). The Navik’s had a couple of run outs and is working well. I’ve managed to clock up 75 miles in the last week or so which i thinks a lot for ‘pottering’.

I’m watching the weather closely though, as no doubt are all the Jester Challengers. I have to say things are looking brighter for next week, and Simon Keeling has just forecast a period of fairly settled, albeit thundery high pressure. So that means Easterlies (!)

Im also watching Magic Seaweed, as I like their surf chart which models the expected swell. The free service runs out a week ahead and you can see the chart here. Press play in the top right hand corner and it will roll through the days.

Finally, I have to say has been pretty much spot on lately, though more than a few days ahead does seem quite changeable.

As for me, I’ll be here in the marina til after my final dentists appointment on Wednesday… Then I need a good week of mile building and some night hours to test everything’s ok properly. I really need to do some longer runs. I’m thinking Plymouth to Dartmouth to Helford (making the run up to 100 miles with a few big tacks) back to Plymouth for mid-end next week, ready to refuel and rest up ahead of the Challenge.

Just need it not to be blowing a gale with a 3m swell “ideally”…

Spot the deliberate mistake.

May 8, 2015 at 2:42 pm


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