The prospect of racing a boat 2,000 miles from California to Hawaii can take an owner’s list of desired boat upgrades and make it considerably longer. That was the case for Mark Jordan’s Hanse 342 Twelve-Winded Sky, which is slated to start the Pacific Cup on July 4 (Ocean Navigator is a cosponsor of the 2022 PacCup). Jordan and his race partner, Randy Leasure, who will race together on Twelve-Winded Sky in the double-handed division, launched into an extensive series of refits and improvements to get Twelve-Winded Sky ready for the race.
Jordan, who has been sailing for nearly 40 years and who has cruised and raced on friends’ boats, decided in 2018 to purchase his own boat. He chose a Hanse 342 since it ticked the boxes of what he was looking for: fin keel; spade rudder; end-boom sheeting; a decent-sized cockpit that was still conducive to short handing, and had good drainage in case of taking any green water; a manageable sail plan with options.
In an email, Jordan writes that he liked some the Hanse’s other attributes, as well. “I wanted some comfort too… more than six feet of standing headroom, a full galley with fridge and propane stove, a head with shower and wet locker, and good-sized V-berth and salon, and a nice Espar heater for the colder days and nights.”
He also liked the flexibility of the sailplan. “Most of the time daysailing around SF Bay I use the genoa tracks with my 125percent no. 2. It’s big enough to help the boat get moving in light air, small enough that it’s not too difficult to drag across the foredeck when tacking, and, since that sail is designed with padding in the luff, it keeps a pretty decent shape when the blustery afternoons on San Francisco Bay dictate that it’s time to shorten sail. It makes a good general purpose sail. As for the self-tacking arrangement, it’s a traveler mounted forward of the mast that is great for flying a jib. The boat has two cabin top winches and two sets of primaries, one forward of the helm station for when I have crew aboard, and one thoughtfully added by the previous owner aft of the wheel, which is great for when I singlehand or shorthand. It also comes in very handy when flying the asymmetrical spinnaker.”
Jordan has done several passages along the California coast and up the Sacramento /San Joaquin delta as well as races put on by the Singlehanded Sailing Society of San Francisco Bay, including the Drake’s Bay race (doublehanded), the ‘Round the Rocks (doublehanded, with his father as crew), the Corinthian, and the locally infamous Three-Bridge Fiasco, which in 2021 was Jordan’s first ever singlehanded race.
After Jordan entered Twelve-Winded Sky in the PacCup, he launched into a nearly year-long complete refit, with Jordan doing much of the work, assisted by Leasure. They inspected, improved or modified nearly every onboard system.
Jordan did a complete servicing of the steering setup, including dropping the rudder, removing and inspecting the bearings and servicing the binnacle rack-and-pinion steering system.
They replaced the boats 500-amp-hour AGM house batteries with a new set of AGMs, as Jordan didn’t have time to transition to lithium units with the added changes to the electrical system those batteries would require. They inspected the existing Balmar 110-amp alternator and ARS-5 external regulator and improved some of the aspects of the installation including wire sizes and routing, and settings of the ARS-5. They also fixed the boat’s battery monitor installation. Jordan explains: “The boat came with a NewMar battery monitor, but during our inspection I found it to be incorrectly installed with the shunt too far downstream, such that it wasn’t seeing all of the current flow since there were unswitched loads upstream of it — we corrected that, calibrated, and verified proper function so that we can be more sure of our battery state as we go through the race.”
They installed a Vesper XB-8000 WatchMate AIS unit and took advantage of its networking capabilities. “In addition to AIS transponder functions, it is NMEA 2000 and 0183 enabled, and I was able to interface it to my existing Raymarine SeatalkNG instrument network through a simple SeatalkNG to DeviceNet cable. And because the XB-8000 has a built-in Wi-Fi hot spot, all of that NMEA data will now be easily available to laptops and/or mobile devices. We will use that data with Expedition and other software for navigation and other race critical data.”
For communications they added an Iridium GO! with an external antenna. For emergencies, they’ll carry an Iridium 9505 in their ditch bag as a backup, along with two EPIRBs. They will also wear RescueME MOB AIS beacons and PLBs for additional safety.
GC Rigging & Composites of Richmond, Calif. installed all new standing rigging as well as new halyards and running rigging. “I worked with Gilles Combrisson to switch the stock single line reefing to a slab reefing system with a dyneema strop attached to mast padeyes and a Tylaska T8 shackle for the reef tack attachment.”
The boat has a new Quantum mainsail and A2 spinnaker, which will be flown from a spinnaker pole so that Jordan and Leasure can carry it on deeper points of sail. Other sails include a no. 3, a no. 4, a storm jib, and a jib top for the expected reaching at the beginning of the race, and an A4 kite.
The doublehanders also worked on the boat’s engine. “We’ve done a complete engine service including fuel polishing and tank cleaning. I serviced the saildrive, including renewing the oil and water seals at the output shaft. I added a new Varifold 16×12 two-blade folding prop. We serviced the approximately 90 gallon freshwater system including replacing the old electric and foot pumps. The boat has one electric bilge pump and two Whale Gusher hand pumps installed, and we will carry a portable backup pump mounted on a board.”
Jordan and Leasure have done extensive work on the boat themselves and are excited for their double-handed race to Hawaii. “We feel like the more we get our hands dirty crawling around in lockers, pulling wires, and turning wrenches, the more we will know the boat and the better equipped we will be to deal with any problems that may arise,” Jordan wrote. “It has required a lot of perseverance and dedication, going to the boat day after day, and pressing on even in the face of some pretty big difficulties. Just getting the boat to the starting line has been, and continues to be, a race in and of itself. A great factor for getting the boat in top shape for whatever adventures are next for Twelve-Winded Sky!”