Boating NZ : FREE TO READ February 2014
new. And the new radar – which went over with the mast – had been used once. We’d done so much work on the boat to make it as strong and safe as we could. All the standing rigging had just been replaced and the day before we left Neiafu, everything had looked perfect. It took us another eight days to reach New Zealand, running one engine at a time. I lost count of how many times every day Damian calculated and re-calculated our fuel consumption and our likelihood of reaching New Zealand under our own steam. We’d aimed for Opua as the closest port of entry to New Zealand, but around 300 miles out, Damian determined we’d have enough fuel, with a bit to spare, to reach Whangarei, and altered our course accordingly. Saturday morning dawned still and sunny. We cruised into Marsden Point Marina, Whangarei, cleared Customs and Quarantine and friends met us on the dock with flowers, fresh food and a bottle of Bombay Sapphire. It felt pretty good to be home. Lessons learned Have a plan: decide how you’re going to free your rigging in the event of a dismasting. Some cruisers carry a battery- operated angle grinder. Wielding a tool like that in big seas has its own risks. We chose to have the right punch and mallet to drive out the clevis pins, with a hacksaw back-up should the shrouds be under load. Have the right tools for the job – especially cable cutters and spanners man enough to undo your gooseneck or other large fittings. You want as much leverage help as you can get: long handles and two spanners to work together. Keep a powerful torch – and a spare – handy, as well as a head torch and a strong, sharp knife. Know how and where to isolate the power to the instruments on your mast or rigging, and understand the implications for your navigation and other systems. Carry enough fuel to get you beyond your halfway mark and have a sound idea of your fuel consumption efficiencies. Don’t just think about it, make that plan: as we discovered, even when you do everything right, it really can happen to you. 021456 subscribe online at www.mags4gifts.co.nz/boating-nz 41 Feature_Sel Citrion_dismasting_Feb14.indd 41 17/01/2014 2:07:30 p.m.
FREE TO READ March 2014