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Preparation List before Crossing the North Atlantic With a 26 Feet sailboat


Nala has been sailing for 4 years now and she is in need for a major refit. With her I learnt how to sail and she safely took me half around the earth in this amazing 4 years voyage.

The last events have forced Nala to return to Europe, Being in Europe will make finding the funds and the materials for the refit easier (we don’t need a work permit), and will give us a nice start point for our next Adventure.

Is a small boat like Nala able to cross the North Atlantic ?

Multiple small boats have done it before so I really don’t see why not. She has the best Chain-plates design I have seen and a well supported hull. Of course the ruder is not up to the standard of a keel attached rudder but it is well supported by the internal grid, and her keel which only weights 600 kilos is enough to keep her stable through 40-45 knots of wind so I believe she will manage the trip just fine.

On the next days I will try to document all the preparations we do before I attempt the crossing. The project list includes:

  1. Center the weight of the boat by moving the batteries and heavy staff to the center and a bit to the aft (currently Nala is heeling 5 degrees on the right);
  2. Redesign the autopilot position so it can handle bad weather;
  3. Add a second solar panel, to make sure there will be enough energy even when the weather is cloudy for multiple days;
  4. Construct hard spray hood to help keeping me dry during watches;
  5. Replace the aft keel bolt which been corroded;
  6. Reseal windows and deck gear ( last reseal was 4 years ago so now is time to redo it);
  7. Inspect and repair the rigging;
  8. Design second rudder alternatives in case of failure;
  9. Improve ventilation in the cabin to dry humidity.
  10. Find or buy an EPIRB;
  11. Install AIS;
  12. Buy or Find an offshore Life raft (Nala’s life raft its too old to be trusted);
  13. Design Water Tight companion way;
  14. Provision Water and food ( we will make an article about food storage in a small boat!);

We do have only 20 days to complete all these projects before it’s time to hit the ocean so maybe few of them will have to be postponed for when we arrive in Europe.

Is it possible to do the crossing even without all the projects completed ?

Yes, not having proper safety gear makes the trip more risky, and maybe reckless but to fulfill my dreams I have to make compromises and if that means losing my life persuading my dreams then I am fine with it, though I plan to prepare good enough to not have as a result that future 😉

Will You post videos ?

Yes, but videos take time to be edited and by the time they will be live on youtube I will be probably already midway to Azores, this is why I am trying to keep you updated in real time through the blog.

What’s next, after the refit?

The last year i have been thinking about Patagonia,but the plan is not settled yet.

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