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John Torelli of Riverside, CA, asks:

The daily reports on weather, progress and performance are great, keep them up. What was your basis for determining which systems would have back-ups for this journey? How would your decision process differ for coastal crusing?

Jim Leishman responds:

The need for backups is based upon common sense and past experience. We have the back-ups which are essential to safety and operation, such as back-up GPS and a back-up computer with software pre-loaded and tested for navigation. We have a back up inverter to insure that if our primary fails we can get another on line to run refrigeration and the computer -- without having to rely on the generator. We have extra alternators (alternator failures are fairly common) to insure we can produce DC current to keep the batteries up and drive the inverter. Then we have essential engine spares such as an extra starter motor, engine belts, a water pump rebuild kit and extra coupling bolts. We have an extra steering ram, a steering pump and high pressure hydraulic hoses in case of a hose failure. For coastal cruising - like Alaska, Mexico, Panama, Caribbean and East Coast - I would not feel compelled to bring as many spare parts. Part of our needs are unique as we are trying minimize delays on the ATW. If we have a part failure it could mean a lost week sitting somewhere waiting for a replacement.


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