Other than the sails, there is a small 5 HP 4-cycle Mercury outboard, which will be used only to get out of the way of approaching ships that do not see me, to enter or exit marinas, or to make passages through reefs as I enter or leave a port. Chubby Girl will carry only about three gallons of fuel, so once I have left port the entire passage will be made by sailing.
The photo to the left isthe original Chubby Girl immediately after her second launching and before fitting the original mast.
There is a small 5 HP outboard, which will be used only to get out of the way of approaching ships that do not see me, to enter or exit marinas, or to make passages through reefs as I enter or leave a port. Chubby Girl will carry a very limited amount of gasoline, so once I have left port the passage will be made by only sailing. I am still debating whether to take this outboard or to try sculling the boat with a long oar and eliminate the weight of the outboard and fuel. This section will be updated right before I leave.
A 100-watt solar panel will be used to charge one small deep cycle battery — to be able to run the LED lights at night, and to periodically check my position with a GPS. It will also be used to periodically use the VHF radio when needed to contact passing ships, though my radio range is only a few miles.
Since there is not sufficient power to run an autopilot, “sheet to tiller” steering will be used. In this system I will run lines from the sail control lines (sheets) to the opposite side of the steering tiller and a piece of surgical tubing will be used to balance the tension to the tiller. Periodic adjustments will be needed when sea or wind conditions change. This system, if it works properly, should allow me to get some sleep, cook my meals, and continue sailing. If I make 50 miles (about 80 km) in 24 hours, I will be happy.
During bad sea conditions or times when there is sea spray or breaking waves, the entrance hatch will be closed and I will be able to look out through a hatch-mounted plexiglass dome.
There is barely any room to lay down, and during the first couple of weeks I will actually be sleeping on top of my food — until I eat down to the floor boards, under which I also have food storage compartments. Most of the food and water is stored in these lockable storage compartment, which need to be locked in case the boat is rolled over by waves. This will keep the food from flying around in the boat, and since the food weight is part of the calculated ballast, it needs to remain low in the boat. As food is consumed, the weight is replaced by filling empty plastic bottles with sea water. The boat is designed to be self-righting when rolled over by big waves. Although the original mast was an A-frame mast, as opposed to a single mast of most sailboats, the current mast is a single keel stepped carbon fiber mast. which is lighter even though it is taller.
Although I will be trolling for fish during the entire passage, it is unlikely I will catch much at this slow speed. I will carry a spear gun in case any food-size fish takes up short-term residency around the boat.