Hey all, just found this thread through a search (and another forum) while we were speaking about George our long lost friend. Yes, I know George, I know of the situation and I also know the boat very well as I helped him with a few projects every now and then, but mostly I pondered his choices on many others projects. Now please don't get me wrong I am not knocking a friend, but in reading this thread I see that learning is (and should be) of utmost importance here.
That said, I am dissapointed in George and I'm sure that he is aware of it. He is a difficult man that wears heavy duty earplugs and extremly narrow blinders, but he none the less is a good man. I am sure that he is very aware of his errors and is trying real hard to accept his mistakes.
So what can we learn from this event:
Loose the pride and listen to truth when it is made apparent by many many many others.
Take action when issues are minor and are managable; you may be the only person who can keep them from becoming unmanagable and at some point it will be just that.
Shake down cruises are not to be taken lightly; I make it a habbit to stress a boat enough until I break three substancial components. This doesn't gaurantee that something else won't go wrong, but by doing so you are some much more savy about your boat and what it can do.
Know your abilities and confine yourself to remaining just beyond those limitations; this could be either or a combination of technical, physical, mental, experience, etc.
Have an alternative plan available, if not feasible, then reach out as soon as you deem it necessary; in this case there was some 900 plus miles of habital coast line to the port where timely repairs could have been made.
Timing is everything especially with weather, don't try and cheat, compress, expand, manipulate, ignore or overmanage time; especially on a sailboat, if you do, you had better be prepaired to pay a price for your efforts.
To those new coastal and/or blue water cruiser out there:
Know your abilities and that of the vessel that you are sailing; make it a goal to push the limits when you can so that you are better prepaired to react when you have to. Because it's not a matter of "if you need be ready" but a case of "when you need be ready". That said I'm not simply speaking about bad wheather off shore on your way to Bermuda in a boat that is having multiple failures.
PS... Hey Melissa, wasss up neighbor, have you tried the Whisker Pole yet?