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  #1  
Old 02-05-2008
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Smile Recently crossed the Pacific

May 26th at 0600 we left Honolulu for the 7th annual VEGA 27 Rendezvous at Fisherman's Bay, WA that was held June 29th/30th.

We didn't make it. Our crossing took 55 days. 1300 Miles West of Cape Flattery, after weathering the third of a series of small gales, we noticed that the headstay on our Vega, Lealea, was coming unraveled. About eight or nine feet above the deck, an eighteen inch strand of wire was sticking out at right angles to the stay. After that I wouldn't put up a headsail and our progress slowed to 30 to 40 miles per day.

We arrived in due course at Tatoosh island and were led through the fog by one of the local fishing boats, "Norn" Captain Roland Gagnon, to a slip in the commercial fishing harbor at Neah Bay. After a few good nights sleep, hot showers and dry clothes we limped up to Port Angeles for a cold beer (Neah Bay is on a dry indian reservaton ), then to Port Townsend where I took the mast down and examined the wire. I discovered the strands broken at six points on the headstay and five points in the backstay. The riggers at PT Rigging and Brion Toss told us that the wire we had rigged the boat with in Honolulu was defective.

With help from PT Rigging and the PT Shipwrights Co-op, I re-rigged and rebuilt the interior of the boat over five months. Then we crossed the strait to Friday Harbor.

There is a lot more in our cruising pages on the American Vega Assn. website but I am not allowed to post a link until I make three more posts to the forum
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Old 02-05-2008
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Glad you're back safely. Sounds like an adventure. Looking forward to more info.
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Old 02-05-2008
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Here ya go:

http://americanvega.org/
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Old 02-05-2008
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Good read and good advise on the planning, thank you for sharing!
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Old 02-06-2008
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Very cool, thanks for sharing. I'm a big Vega fan (and fan of most small bluewater cruisers).
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Old 02-06-2008
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Awesome. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 02-06-2008
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If you found Chuck and Laura's Cruising Pages on the American Vega Assn. website, you found a lot of information about the trip and the aftermath. Since I'm retired now, I'll be putting a lot more on that site and possibly starting another. After all, there is more to the AVA than Chuck and Laura.

Like a lot of people, I suspect, on this forum, we dreamed about crossing the Pacific for twenty years or more. Gradually we turned that dream into reality and in the process we learned a tremendous amount about our boat, our selves, each other and what really matters in life. By sharing the mistakes we made, the solutions we found and the things we think we did right I hope to smooth the path for those who follow, encourage those who dream of one day sailing into the sunset and entertain those who have already been there.

The First Mate has a full time job ashore and I have a wireless internet connection on the boat so I'll be a frequent visitor here until we cast off to head South.

Malie ke kai,
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Old 02-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
then to Port Townsend where I took the mast down and examined the wire. I discovered the strands broken at six points on the headstay and five points in the backstay. The riggers at PT Rigging and Brion Toss told us that the wire we had rigged the boat with in Honolulu was defective.
Vega,

Great story. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more.

A question regarding the problem with your rigging: Your account suggests that you had recently re-rigged your boat prior to setting out. After arrival, Brian Toss apparently inspected the wire and found it "defective". Could you tell us the source, type, etc of the wire and in what way Brian felt it was defective?

I find it disturbing that any new S.S. wire could experience these problems.
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Old 02-06-2008
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Thanks Vega

That was a good start....type away...

I will read the other site before asking questions
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Old 02-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Vega,

Great story. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to hearing more.

A question regarding the problem with your rigging: Your account suggests that you had recently re-rigged your boat prior to setting out. After arrival, Brian Toss apparently inspected the wire and found it "defective". Could you tell us the source, type, etc of the wire and in what way Brian felt it was defective?

I find it disturbing that any new S.S. wire could experience these problems.
We had re-rigged the boat diring our last major re-fit in 1998 so the wire was nine years old at the time of our departure. At the time, the rigger at Ala Wai Marine made a point of showing me the new spool of 316 stainless wire to assure me that I was getting what I was paying (A lot) for. Unfortunately, I did not note the manufacturer in my log.

To clarify: Brion Toss was in Hawaii with his entire crew rigging the schooner "Sugartime" when we arrived in Port Townsend. We first went to Dan and Lisa at Port Townsend rigging. Not because I wanted to have them re-rig the boat, but because I wanted to know the cause of the failure. After I took the mast down, Dan looked at the wire with me. We found broken strands at six points along the headstay and five points along the upper backstay. Later, when his crew returned from Hawaii, one of Brion's riggers asked us for a sample of the wire so I gave him the headstay to take back to their shop where the whole crew examined it very carefully. I am told that as a result, Brion Toss Riggers have changed their procedures and now examine new wire before using it. I gave the backstay to Port Townsend rigging as they requested for the same reasons. Both rigging shops told me that it was a bad run of wire and that the failure could not have been foreseen without close examination, under a microscope, of the wire. They also told me that so-called domestic wire rope is made from imported wire strands and that it matters not who the supplier is.

I bought new wire from PT Rigging and assembled the shrouds and stays with the same Sta-Lok fittings, toggles and turnbuckles I had used in 1998 after cleaning and polishing and examining with a magnifying glass. After I had the mast back up, the PT Rigging crew came and checked the tensioning as a courtesy.

Brion Toss is of course the more well known, having written several books on rigging. But Brion's crew was out of town and, we were hauled out a the PT Boat Haven yard. PT Rigging is right there and Toss' shop is on the other end of town. Dan and Lisa at PT Rigging went out of their way to help us even though I merely bought the wire and wedges from them and did all the work myself.

I find I am now allowed to post links so here is a link to our cruising page. I'm still adding to it but there is plenty there already.

Malie ke kai
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