Good to see you Doug.
You are the resident expert on certain things. The forum is better for you being here.
Thank you Brad! If there is anything I can share, any specific highlights from my experience(s), which could be best used by others, they would be:
1. Really try to have your boat READY to do whatever long cruise you might be planning, such that you won't be worn down by daily / hourly "issues". Or else don't leave the dock until you really have addressed the various weak links in your systems.
Before we left Boston, we had already burnt ourselves out addressing larger issues, for instance I rebuilt about 7 feet of the deck, by removing the soggy wood, replacing it, then re-fiberglassing / gel coating that whole area. And I only finished that about 1 day before we left.
Yes, we had spent years addressing zillions of other big and small issues, but there still were some things left - all of which reared their ugly heads while out to sea. And a small issue, at the dock, is a big issue out to sea.
The biggest "cost" is that addressing even the smallest of these things while out to sea, stresses the crew 10 X as much.
The ocean / weather will already provide plenty of surprises requiring actions and efforts to adjust to, you sure don't also need to be fixing something while a storm is bearing down on you.
2. Tune your rig. :-) What I had no knowledge of was that it HAS to be "dynamically tuned". When we stepped our main mast about 10 months before we headed East, without having dynamically tuned it after that, in effect, I did a lot more damage to our boat than if I hadn't stepped it at all.
We had 2 completely different rigger "companies" providing our out and in needs, but neither one mentioned the need to dynamically tune the rig.
One rigger was from West Marine, and the other was the best one in Fort Lauderdale: Nance & Underwood. Both had / have decades of experience and seemed to know their stuff. Which I still don't question; but, perhaps I didn't ask the right question, or something, but now I know, and am therefore sharing the mantra: Dynamically tune your rig.
Now I seriously doubt any of this is really new or unique info to many of you sailors, but what might make me the "resident expert" here, is what happens when you don't do these things, and whatever else was discussed on the original S/V Triumph thread.
If nothing else, I am the luckiest bastard here, who did so many things wrong, and yet by a very slim last minute chance, ended up alive.
For that, I will accept the "resident expert" moniker. :-)