Repairs At Sea

Repairs At Sea

We’ve had a message from Keith this morning to say he’s had a couple of problems to deal with. He’s had to do some repairs to one of the running checkstays, and the wind monitor autopilot.

The running checkstay applies tension to the mast on the windward side to add strength and to prevent the mast from bending too much.

The wind vane is Keith’s preferred autopilot because it doesn’t take any energy from the batteries to operate it. It controls it’s own rudder with the use of a wind vane. (You can clearly see the wind vane in the photo of Keith leaving Cowes. The rudder is in the up position.). It works by setting the angle of the wind vane to control the direction of the boat.

If you were watching the tracker throughout the night and early this morning, and noticed that Keith hadn’t progressed much, this is because he was fixing the wind vane which took about 4 hours.

These are all important pieces of kit but as always, Keith is more than capable to make repairs. He’s also carrying a lot of spares. For instance he has a hydraulic autopilot which he can engage quickly with the press of a button, and he even has a spare one of these.

Hopefully Keith will have a nice run into the trade winds without any more problems. Remember you can watch his progress on the Tracker Page.

By | 2017-04-13T08:56:30+00:00 October 27th, 2015|World Challenge|8 Comments

About the Author:

Keith lives on the Isle of Wight and is an accomplished solo offshore Yachtsman. He lost the use of his left arm in a motorway accident in 1991, so he really is your genuine single handed yachtsman. What is incredible is that not only has his disability not prevented him from living his dreams, it’s spurred him on to better things. In 2015 he takes on the pinnacle of solo sailing by sailing single-handed and non stop around the world in his World Challenge.


  1. Reg White October 27, 2015 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    just checked the net for weather and the met office shipping forecast is giving a Severe Weather warning for the area Keith is heading into.
    Hopefully he made his repairs and the boat is ok.
    Saw he hadn’t moved far last night and assumed he was hove to getting a good kip!

    • Julian October 27, 2015 at 8:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Reg, I’ve kept him up to date on the weather but keep it coming, the more people looking out the better.

      • Tim October 27, 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

        Is there any chance of an option to overlay weather on (eg) the tracker page sometimes? As an armchair sailor who would never dare undertake such a trip I would find the extra information fascinating.

        • Julian October 29, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

          Great idea Tim. I will do that.

  2. James Sawle October 28, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

    Just think that its nice to get these little niggles out of the way early on, just hope that you are managing OK, not to easy when its off the back of the boat like that! Just take care, there are lots of people watching your Tracker and also following the comments, chin up and stay positive, these little problems early on are to just make sure you are not having too much fun, after all its not fair you enjoying yourself whilst we are all sat at home reading about it. Take Care and keep sailing, wishing I was there, James

  3. Paul Smith October 28, 2015 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Well done Keith, you’re doing well my friend and we’re proud of you!

  4. Tim October 29, 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Julian, as Keith left Dartmouth the tracker checked in broadly hourly. That gave the world an excellent picture of his progress. Currently it seems to check in with arbitrary gaps. Is this because Keith is saving battery power?

    Being purely selfish I check in often and hope to see that he is both OK and heading forwards. Gaps in the tracker make me worry about his safety. I may only have met him briefly, but he made a great impression on me, so, almost certainly needlessly, I worry 🙂

    • Julian October 29, 2015 at 10:16 pm - Reply

      Hi Tim, we’ve set the tracker to transmit at 6 hourly intervals for now to keep the cost down. So not to worry.

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