30 years after her first journey across the Atlantic with the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers in 1987, s/y Mateńka is going to participate in ARC’17! Our dad, Nikodem Jasiński, Mateńka’s co-designer and life long owner, already conquered the Atlantic, when Mateńka participated in ARC’87 from Gran Canaria to Barbados and finished as one of the 200 boats with the honorary trophy for “Hardest Effort”. Back then not many Polish sailors took on such a journey as crossing the Atlantic. 30 years later, we are working on getting Mateńka Atlantic ready again, for ARC’17 – keeping the dream alive!
We already started the preparations, repairs and improvements. Mateńka came back to Poland in 2015 (for the first time in 23 years) and we started working on constructional repairs in the winter of 2015. In 2016 we left for a short summer season to Norway and now we have one last winter at home to get everything ready!
During the 2017 summer season we will sail from Poland to the Canary Islands (check out the schedule and join us!). There, ARC’17 will start on Gran Canaria in November 2017 and we should be in the Caribbean by December 2017. In 2018 we will do trips around the Caribbean, where you will be able to come visit and explore the shores with Mateńka!
Getting Mateńka Ready
We carry out most additions and improvements by ourselves, but for such a trip we needed to work on a few bigger items we couldn’t do without specialist equipment and expertise. We handed over Mateńka to a shipyard in Gdańsk last winter, who fixed up the deck, refurbished the hull frames and carried out a full rudder inspection. We’ve been keeping up with our safety inspections, so things on that front are looking pretty good.
This winter, we still need to overhaul our sails and modernize some of Mateńka’s equipment, add a wind generator, an autopilot, and there like. This is going to get expensive! Here are the items we need to work on to be ready for ARC 2017:
- Storm Jib – our old storm Jib probably a good 30 years old and it has reached its end of life. We are waiting on a quote for a new one and need to decide if we can fix it or need to replace it.
- Storm Trysail – Since we have plenty of reefing in our main sail, we are still uncertain if a Trysail is a must have. We’ve requested a quote to evaluate this further.
- Solar panels – We decommissioned Mateńka’s old solar panels last year, granted they were old, but even for their condition they were not providing us with a reasonable power influx. We do however have the means to connect some new solar panels up if we were to come across some, that kind of bimini mounted flexible thing would be great, but that’ll require adjustment to the bimini.
- Wind generator – We’ve been looking at adding a Rutland 1200 or D400 wind generator as an additional power source. Those are pricey, suggestions welcome!
- ARC participation – We are not certain if we have enough funds for all the needed additions, let alone register for ARC, which is a pretty pricey event. We’ll contact the organizer to seek support, maybe we can get a discount for “participant returning after the longest break”, 30 years in our case?
- High Powered Flood Light – 12V and battery operated. We should have had one of those for a while now, on the shopping list
- Drouge / Sea Anchor – We might have an old sea anchor somewhere? Needs further investigation
- Sextant – If anyone can lend us one for the way, would be fun to learn how to use it!
- The Gas Bottle Situation – We need to figure out how to add an additional big gas bottle safely, to make sure we have enough for on the way and over in the Caribbean
- First Aid Kit & Manual – We need to re-equip our first aid kit
- Grab Bag – Prepare a grab bag for underway with essentials
- Flares – Replace outdated flares: need 6 red parachute (we’ve got 9 dated until Nov 2018), 4 red handheld flares (don’t have those), 2 orange smoke flares (expired), additionally maybe: white parachute flares and four white handheld anti-collision flares
- Spare Navigational Lights -most of them are LED by now, we might want to carry some spares
- Lifejackets – replace a few of our life jackets with ARC compliant inflatable ones, like some of those here. We will decommission some of the current foam ones to save space and (the ones we’ll keep need their light battery replaced).
- Fire Extinguishers – need update prior to departure
- Fire Blankets – should add that while packing
- Hacksaw / Bolt Croppers – to be able to cut the rigging away if necessary, need to be able to cut 16mm wire
- Fishing equipment – maybe even a pole this time? and maybe a book on what we find out there in the atlantic – I still don’t really like fish
- GoPro – every once in a while people with cameras come visit and that how we’ve been making our previous videos, however it might be time for our own device.
- NMEA2000 cables – with the addition of some new equipment we will create an NMEA2000 network on board, which has pretty pricey components… cables and lengths TDB
- Sensors onto NMEA2000 – SOG and depth sensors are currently directly connected to our chart plotter, we need to put that onto the NMEA2000 network by using converters like this one or that one or maybe that one?
- Check rigging – have the rigging checked before leaving Poland
- For the Geek – check out this Engine Stats Gateway!!
- The Other “Small” Things – There are about 42 other small things that we need to work on next all the big items, broken clutches, blocks or shackles, you name it. We will be adding to this list as we go along and evaluate what needs to replaced.
- Liferaft & Servicing – handed in for servicing, to be picked up prior to departure.
- EPIRB – battery replaced last year and good until 06/2021, next test prior to departure.
- Autopilot – An Autopilot would be really nice to have! We have an old drive unit that needs to be tested. We identified that a drive unit like this will work withthe following components, hunting for eBay deals in progress:
- Raymarine E70100 ACU-400 Autopilot Actuator Control Unit
- Raymarine p70s Autopilot Controller
- Raymarine EV-1 Sensor Core Ray-E70096
- Electricity Cleanup – Our on-board electricity is not the greatest, but also not terrible. We’ve acquired many useful things along the way, however assembly on top of 30-yo wiring designed for completely different equipment and technology does not make for a good system.
- Install new Electronics – in progress
- Satellite Phone/Data – Ability to retrieve weather data on the passage. Update: identified equipment we can borrow for the trip. Need to test the setup along with a low data retrieval solution to fetch grib files during the crossing.
- Main Sail Fixes – Our main sail has stretched a bit over the years and needs some fitting adjustments. Handed over to sail maker, to be picked up soon.
- Handheld VHF with DSC – got one for xmas!!
- Guides – I’ve ordered some of Doyle’s Guides to help in planning out the Caribbean routes, we should have everything we need for our passage back thru Portugal, we need to order something for the Canary Islands
- Caribbean Routes – We need to plan out some routes through the Caribbean so you can all book flights to come visit! Update: routes are figured out
- NMEA2000 Wifi Router – we mostly use laptop or iPad for navigation, in addition to the Garmin chart plotter in the cockpit. This router will enable us to see all of you instrument, as well as AIS data on the navigation iPad / laptop. Pre-ordered one as they produce them in batches.
- Maps and Flags – We need to prepare maps and flags for the countries along our routes (this is mainly for the Caribbean part, we should have everything we need for the European side). We’ve got a list of things we need and are trying to assemble them.
- Spare fuel pump – we’ve got multiple talks the fuel is pumped between.
- Inverter – 40A3
- Electrical Panel – Philippi with 20 power circuits, 4 * 1-0-2 switches and PSM
- AIS transponder – An AIS receiver is a de facto a must have even on pleasure vessels these days. We want to add an AIS receiver at the minimum, if possible even a transponder, preferably with NMEA2000 output, something like this.
- Wind Instrument – We have an old Raymarine Wind Vane instrument, which is currently not connected to anything. It is questionable if it actually works at all, we need to get this going and connect it with a converter to the NMEA2000 network – or replace it.
If you are interested in sponsoring any of the items above, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please spread the word, like our Facebook page, give us media support, donate money, join our trips, flattr us, or help with materials and equipment. Here are all the fantastic people who have contributed to this effort in one way or another:
- BigWave IT – the network automation shop
- pmacct.net – the network accounting software
- Third Circle Ltd. – network consultancy
If you are interested in helping out, please drop us a note at email@example.com.