getting a Tartan 34C ready for offshore trip
I am planning a transatlantic trip from NY to Gibraltar next year in June, followed by some cruising in the Med, and wanted to get some feedback on getting my boat, a 1977 Tartan 34C, in shape for that. Comments tailored to this specific boat are especially appreciated, as well as general opinion on their seaworthiness, etc.
When I bought the boat 1 1/2 years ago she was only used for coastal sailing. I took her down to the Bahamas over the winter and before that i put in all new bronze seacocks, replaced running and standing rigging. Noteworthy equipment that I added or existed already includes AIS receiver, sat phone, EPRIB, roller furler (140% genoa) and ATN Gale sail (storm jib) and a ridiculously over-sized Manson Supreme anchor on 63' of 3/8 chain and 200' of rode. The engine is a party rebuilt Atomic 4 which has been running very smoothly since I had the boat. I actually like the engine a lot and trust it. Lots of spare parts and tools on board.
2 reefs in the main. Bimini, no dodger. 2 x 80 amp-hour wet cells with a 70 amp alternator and regulator. A Raymarine X5 wheel pilot. 8' Walker Bay sailing dinghy with tubes, 4hp outboard. Whisker pole. New VHF and masthead antenna, handheld GPS, OpenCPN with international charts. No radar. No solar panels and wind generator.
I am thinking about adding a removable forestay and recut the ATN gale sail for it ($$, is this necessary?). To generate power I thought about adding 2x 120 Watt solar panels. Getting a dodger perhaps.
Selfsteering: below-deck unit or a used windvane?
I want to keep the cost down but also have a seaworthy boat fit for the trip. Comments appreciated!
New York City