One of the big boat sailors in the '96 SSS TransPac, Chuck is in a minority when it comes to steering. While other competitors will likely hand steer little if at all, Beazell is planning to steer Joe most of the time himself.
"On a boat of this size, once you get above 10 or 15 knots of wind with the spinnaker up, the autopilot has a tough time," says Chuck. "I can also carry more sail longer if I'm at the helm. So I'll steer as much as I can downwind."
Chuck's strategy for the fastest possible journey also includes keeping close tabs on the weather and "to start reaching as soon as possible." Like many of his peers, he plans to sleep during the day, waking every 15 minutes (via egg timer) to look around. Chuck's personal wrinkle on this common regimen is that he'll snooze under the boat's dodger, so those look-arounds will be quick and easy.
Joe - named for a feisty mutt Chuck grew up with - was getting a new coat of bottom paint as this was written. Beazell hasn't added all that much to the boat, which came with most of the amenities when he purchased her in 1989. Among gear he did add is a second spinnaker pole, a high output alternator and a CD player. The latter will help pass the miles with music ranging from Handel to Jimmy Buffett to Nirvana.
Another unique aspect of Beazell's program is that he'll have the boat delivered home by a professional skipper. Reason? "I have to go back to work!"
Chuck's thanks go out to John Sisler, for help with the radio equipment, Joseph Mandrucchia for help with provisioning, and J.P. and Paula for helping out in a variety of ways.
Navigation: Garmin GPSs (fixed and hand-held), sextant backup; Steering: Navico autopilots; Food: "Low priority."
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