Sailing to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean 1500

Preparing For The Voyage

Two views of the bilge area below the saloon floor where the engine used to be. This is the view that greeted me when I first visited Night Heron: the patient in the middle of a heart transplant. The right-hand picture shows the cleaned-up and painted bilge ready to receive the new engine.

Outfitting and Refitting

When you think about preparing for a voyage, maybe you think about loading up with food and supplies, tossing in a few charts and cruising guides, then casting off the dock lines. Well, dream on! Preparing for this voyage required a huge amount of effort and expense, mostly for Jeff.

There were a few reasons for the extra effort and expense. First of all, Night Heron had suffered serious damage to the engine, electrical system, and bilge area during a fire on the trip down from Rhode Island. All that damage had to be repaired, plus the systems had to be improved enough so the problems wouldn't recur. Also, Night Heron is a "new" boat for Jeff, and he had come up with an ambitious refitting plan to turn the boat into a comfortable home and a safe and efficient ocean passagemaker. All the work would have to get done in less than two months to leave on schedule in the Caribbean 1500. Given the huge amount of work, Jeff hired out a lot of the work, but he stayed continuously busy himself right up to the moment we left.

Here are a few lists of the preparation work that took place (from what I remember):

Most of the above work was done before arriving at Portsmouth; most of the items below were done after arriving at Portsmouth:

On the next page, I have some pictures of Night Heron getting a new engine.

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