Instruments down!

What is OPOMe matey Charlie Doane just returned from skippering a New England to Caribbean delivery that included its rightful share of electronics drama. One night, sailing to windward and heeled down hard, he heard the “instruments down!” call from the cockpit. His first reaction — after yelling back “cope!” — was to nose around the power supply system, a whiff of sizzling circuitry leading the way. Low and behold, down in a low locker was a 24v-12v step-down transformer immersed in a puddle of saltwater that had apparently been collecting from a slight deck/hull joint leak that was getting a prolonged dunking. Electronics breakdowns, and other problems, tend to make deliveries challenging, and it’s telling that this was a seasoned 48’ Swan, the Mercedes of production boats. She’s been in service eight years, but apparently the little leak and the low gizmo had never interacted before. Another interesting aspect to this tale is that Charlie’s crew were clients of Offshore Passage Opportunities, delivering the boat to learn offshore seamanship by doing. Not only did they sail on to Bermuda without instruments, but there helped Charlie locate a functional stepper installed elsewhere on the boat and swap it out. There were more invaluable lessons, including some fuel management theater, and I’m hoping Charlie will write up the whole trip for Sail.

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

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