Preparing a 22-footer for Ocean Crossing

Small Craft Advisor|May - June 2020

Preparing a 22-footer for Ocean Crossing
We bought this boat in 1980 as a deluxe model built by Hurley Marine in 1970.
John Simpson

I set off on my first of two solo Atlantic crossings in mid-October ’83 from Plymouth, returning to the UK in September ’84. The second trans-Atlantic crossing was in November ’86, from Falmouth to the Canary Islands, then farther south from the Caribbean to South America, where I sold her in Antigua.

After buying the Hurley, we sailed her across the Channel quite a few times in strongish winds to determine if she was a good sea-boat. We then worked out what would be needed for longer trips across the Atlantic and made the following improvements:

• Removed old anti-fouling paint

• Removed her small sea-toilet.

• Blocked off the head’s two seacocks.

• Fitted larger hoses and seacocks; both crossed for better cockpit drainage.

• Hinged both aft-cockpit locker lids and made them watertight.

• Fitted a small Hasler windvane, fitted small wooden bumkins and new running blocks in the cockpit.

• Replaced the gas cooker with a second-hand Taylors twin stove.

• Rerigged twin inline forestays and twin backstays; fitted a triangular plywood pad in the bow to support my forestays.

• Made storm boards for the fore-hatch and side-hatches out of 1-inch plywood with 2 x 2 softwood lengths of wood with bolts and wing nuts to hold them in place. Made top main hatch washboard out of Perspex and washboards able to lockdown in case of a 360-degree rollover.

• Fitted a second bilge pump next to original in the starboard aft cockpit locker.

• Fitted two larger batteries in the bilge (both sealed leadacid of 88 and 120 amp-hours). Bought a Kawasaki generator to fit where the head was, charging A/C as well as DC. (Used the battery charger on A/C, which charged the batteries faster.)

• Bought two light rowing sweeps and practiced using them.

• Fitted a paddle-wheel electronic Seafarer log; the boat already had a Seafarer echo sounder.

• Made a new spare tiller; had spare top fitting for rudder/ tiller.


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May - June 2020