Re: Offshore Checklist
My trysail is made from 9 oz., triple stitched nylon with huge corner patches. I sewed it up from a kit from Sailrite. The idea, to me, is to get the center of effort way below that of any of the other sails. I've used it to test it out but never had to use it in a storm yet. With my "tender" hull design, keeping it from heeling too far and getting the resultant weather helm is most important for maintaining good control when the wind pipes up. Just by chance, my liferaft fits snugly down in front of the pedestal where it gets tied in. It significantly displaces a lot of potential water weight and is accessible at a moment's notice. I don't have a dedicated storm jib but use a 100% working jib right on the furler that is 8-9oz. and can be rolled up very small. Agree that ATN type sails seem to be a bad idea. One of the things on my to-do list is to put a mast hound on with running backstays and build a small jib with integral Dyneema halyard that can be hoisted right from the cockpit.
Keeping a lot of stuff on deck IS a PITA but singlehanded, it really is impossible to go looking for stuff sometimes. Looking at that PBJ sitting down there just out of reach when you need to keep both hands on the wheel in a following sea is a real TRAGEDY:-) I have one of those milkbox-type containers that keeps it in one place.
For normal anchor-anchor day sailing, I have a list of stuff to get up on deck pasted right next to the companionway. Things like charts, binoculars, compasses, etc. are on that.
A little off topic but one thing that might be helpful to other singlehanders is a little gimballed propane stove. I have a mount right on the pedestal so I can make hot coffee without having to get below. It works pretty well as long as the wind is not too strong. Thermos bottles just don't keep coffee hot for very long.
For offshore, a good idea is a watermaker. I got a surplus manual unit that is one of the things that goes in the ditch bag along with a small jug of water. One thing I've also thought about is filling up some soda bottles with water and putting them right in the main tank. I don't have a split tank and worry about losing all the water from the main tank. I also keep three 5 gallon drinking water containers, lashed down. Running out of water is one of the scariest things to me.
Killarney, that's interesting about your SSB. What kind of counterpoise do you have? Have heard that the counterpoise is the key. I ran 4" copper through the hull, picking up every metal part I could. It seems to work well. I can pick up stations 1500 miles away and use them to transmit/receive over Sailmail. I don't have a Ham license to use Winlink but the Sailmail seems to work well. If I get to head across the Pacific, will be depending on it.
Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.