The spirit of the “Christmas Winds” were upon us during parts of our BVI visit in December. The Christmas Winds are expected in the Caribbean and usually means wind speeds of 20-30 knots. Thus, the sailing can be spritely, to use a Christmassy term, during the holidays.
One particularly gusty day, we were anchored off of Sandy Spit when a fairly ominous looking storm approached:
The sun highlights Sandy Spit like a favored haven.
The usually blue waters took on a more menacing green cast and the waves built out in the channel. Luckily we were a bit protected by the reef that runs between Sandy Spit and Green Cay. Though the storm didn’t last long, the winds and waves remained throughout the night.
We were very happy that we had invested in a heavier Spade anchor at the Annapolis Boat Show and that TMM had already installed it for us:
As a precaution we let out a little more anchor chain, set an anchor alarm, and had a very restful night. We are really glad there weren’t many boats anchored nearby because the boat that was anchored parallel to us on our starboard side? Well, the next morning it was at least three boat lengths behind us!
I’m really thankful for a good anchor, a solid hold and an anchor alarm to let us know if something goes awry.
We had another excellent visit to Annapolis. I think this is the first time we had a whole day that was sunny and beautiful! The weather this year was much better than last year but the show felt less crowded this time.
We successfully gathered information on several systems including water makers, top down furlers and fuel polishing systems. We have not bought any of these pricey little numbers yet, but we have a much better idea of what is on our wish list.
We were impressed by the FilterBOSS fuel polishing system. The owner, who spends about six months a year living on his sailboat, was very patient and thorough in explaining the system and our options. Because LIB has one fuel tank, two engines and a generator, we agreed that the best option for our purposes would be a combination polishing/filter unit to supply fuel to the port engine and genset. This would allow us to clean the fuel and return it to the tank and filter the fuel before it enters those two engines. On the starboard engine we would use the fuel filter system only. By spending a few extra dollars, we can add a water alarm to the polishing/filter unit.
We are very close to buying this system because it would help prevent any fuel problems and assure our charter guests that LIB’s engines run smoothly. Anyone who has been around marine engines knows the troubles bad fuel creates and we would like to prevent those issues for our guests.
One item we did order is a beefier anchor. While no one has reported any trouble with our current anchor, we think this one will improve guest confidence:
Spade anchors routinely come out at the top of Practical Sailor reviews and the physics of this anchor makes sense to us. The current anchor on LIB has worked well, but we wanted to step up our confidence on the hook. For us, Spade was the answer. This upgraded anchor will allow guests to feel more secure at anchor and increase their confidence when sleeping on the hook. Thankfully, Spade is shipping our new anchor as it is surely over the maximum suitcase weight allowed on the airplane.
We have not finalized our thoughts on water makers, but currently RO is at the top of our list. We both like the idea of replacement parts that are easy to find and the people we have spoken with are very happy with their ROs.
Top down furlers were interesting and I was glad to talk with a few dealers and compare the products but we have not decided if we will invest in one. Several times when flying our spinnaker, we have used it as a dead downwind sail and have flown it attached to the windward forepeak instead of to the bow sprit. A furler would remove this option and we are not ready to accept that limitation yet.
Since a water maker and a top-down furler wouldn’t affect charter guests, they are not a priority at the moment.
We did buy a few other things, but I’ll cover those in a separate post.