Ocean Sailing Podcast: Hi folks, welcome along to this week’s episode of the Ocean Sailing Podcast. We’re back on Impulse catching up with Andy Lamont so hey, thanks for coming back Andy.
Andy Lamont: Oh, it’s a pleasure mate. It’s great to be back.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So I thought it would be great to check in with you, your first interview which was a couple of episodes, has been really, really popular and we’d had lots and lots of interest in your story and with all the images that you supplied. There has been lots of visits in the page and so I thought given a couple of months have gone by now and your trip’s now a whole lot closer than it was, that it would be good to check back with you on the progress you have made in terms of the further changes and upgrades and the extra bits and pieces with the boat.
Then also, what else has been happening? I know you’ve done some stuff sponsorship wise, I know you’ve been doing some stuff world record wise that you’re looking at doing and some other ideas you’ve got around collecting sea samples. So tell us what you’ve been up to?
Andy Lamont: Well, I guess that the biggest news is that just after I spoke to you and we recorded the first episode, I found out about a guy called Bill Hatfield who was going for the world record in the 40 foot class doing a west bound circumnavigation and I thought that record had been broken a long time ago. I knew that Chay Blyth had done it back in the late 60’s.
He did a west bound circumnavigation just after the Golden Globe Race and that was in a 59 foot boat called British Steel and I just assumed that that record had been broken a long, long time ago. When I found out that it hadn’t been broken, and Bill had been going for the record it was an incredible story.
He got around Cape Horn and got hit by a big storm and it was apparently blowing like 60 knots plus for quite a few days. He put out a drag and run before the storm, which basically took him back into Cape Horn again. When the storm abided he was below Diego Ramirez Islands and he was starting to pull his drag back in. For some reason, he wasn’t clipped on and he got knocked flat by a big wave and a breaking wave, thrown out of his boat.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Wow, into the water?
Andy Lamont: Into the water, this was below Cape Horn, and he was in the water and looking at his boat 10 or 15 meters away, picked up by another wave and sort of washed back onto his boat so he was a very lucky man.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Unbelievable. That’s not going to happen twice, is it?
Andy Lamont: His boat was a bit damaged and broken windows and a bit of damage to one of his shrouds and he decided that digression was a better part of him and headed back to the Falkland Islands and sold his boat, which that was around March. Around that time I was listening to his story just after I spoke to you. I went, “Well, that record is still there for the taking.”
So I sort of told my wife and she said, “Absolutely not,” because it was going to take longer but eventually she acquiesced and so I said, “Look, we can go. We can go for this record if we go in October, which was the same time. It’s a good time to go because we get through the southern ocean in the summer time.” Going towards Cape of Good Hope, which was always going to be the worst part of the journey going east bound. So we’ll do that which will be good but then we’re just going to have a really good weather window to get around Cape Horn because that’s going to be around March.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Right and then you’d be coming across the Pacific.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and then once we get around Cape Horn, not that anything is ever going to be plain sailing but hopefully, it will be a pretty plain sailing. We’ll be able to get back home, so I guess that’s the biggest news and the biggest change, whereas before I was just going for my own personal achievement and something of an achievement of a dream that I always had and wanted to do. That’s now changed into, “Well I’m going for a world record attempt,” which brought with it a few extra issues because you have to register with the World Sailing Speed Records Council.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well and it’s quite costly too. I saw the bill and it’s in pound too, right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, it was in pounds.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: What was the cost of that?
Andy Lamont: Well that was 1,600 pounds.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: To register to make it legitimate.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, which seems like a lot of money. If you’re running a Mocha 60, it’s probably…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, or if you live in the UK right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s just your local currency.
Andy Lamont: Yeah but when I looked into it, they do provide a fair bit for that. So they have a local commissioner here in Australia who is going to basically look after all the technical aspects of the record. So he has to be paid and they send down a black box and the black box records the journey.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh right, so they actually measure that you don’t just go out there and sail around in circles in nine months. You actually go around the world.
Andy Lamont: I mean ever since Donald Crowhurst has tried that, they’ve done it that way after that one. So yeah, no I can’t go to the Whitsundays anymore and just sort of hang around there. Yeah, so all of that, I mean obviously all that costs money so you don’t begrudge paying it but it was an unexpected cost. But you know I’m quite happy to do it because I think well, it definitely will be the first and the fastest westbound circumnavigation. I don’t think the record that’s the fastest will stand for very long because it is an S&S 34.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well it stood this long, right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s right.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It hasn’t been established.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and interesting. Westbound circumnavigations are interesting. The record for a westbound circumnavigation is held by a boat called Adrian and the guy’s name is Jean-Luc or something. I can’t pronounce the French name but he set that in an 85-foot mono hull, single-handed.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Wow, that’s a big boat single handed.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, although a lot of them are. It’s the same as Dee Caffari the first woman to do it with a 75 footer because the bigger boats are much better going to…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah and the French are very good in those single handed big and multi’s as well as the mono hulls. They’re very good at that.
Andy Lamont: Yeah but that record, his record was set now it’s probably, I think, 2004 from memory but that’s the record for a still stand. It’s a record for crewed or un-crewed so yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Wow and how many days was it?
Andy Lamont: Ah, now you’ve put me on the spot. If you go to my website, www.andylamont.com.au it’s there. I think it was 135.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Right. Oh yeah, so that’s a pretty good average.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I think it was so don’t quote me on that.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay and so tell me about your website you’ve built.
Andy Lamont: Yeah that was pretty amazing too because I hadn’t really done anything in the way of promoting this trip for sponsors or anything like that because I was pretty low key and then I thought about two weeks ago, I sat down and people keep asking me, “Can you send me this? Can you send me that?” And every time that someone asks me to send them a letter, I’ve got to sit down and write a letter.
It takes me an hour and a half and then I forget everything or another one, so I thought I’ll just to see if I can build a website and I was just amazed because it’s just so easy now and so I sat down and just a few days, I had the barebones of the website there. I had all the photographs of when I was doing the boat up. So I just put those into a blog and when the blog is all done and the photographs were all there.
I was doing this website with my wife and I got really excited. I was doing it late at night and I keep waking up my wife and going, “Hey, look what I did! I put this photo here and I put a caption underneath it,” and as I was really excited to do that. So search the website.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So andylamont.com.au.
Andy Lamont: That’s it, yeah, www.andylamont.com.au, I thought at least it would be pretty easy to remember. I thought I wouldn’t forget it. You can go in there, and then with the website, then came the funding to Go Fund Me campaign where someone said, “Look why don’t you do this Go Fund Me campaign?”
So that was really easy to set up. So I set that up and I already had enough and it really, really humbles me. I’m really appreciative of the people that had made some donations to that, which basically there’s enough donations in there already for me to buy me a Delmore Reach Me tracking device.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Great!
Andy Lamont: So those little things like five or 10 bucks or whatever, it doesn’t sound like a lot but it still adds up.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It all adds up, yeah because there’s so many cost there that just run away with you as you’re preparing to sail the trip. It’s great if you can fund the things that help you keep in touch with people, because they are interested in your story and in your journey and to be able to keep them updated of your location and how you’re tracking with stories and photos from the trip and along the way. If you can afford those extra communication devices and tools and stuff, that’s really, really cool.
Andy Lamont: Yes, I’m really grateful for people for the interest. The money that they donate is really helpful but I guess even more than that, it’s the psychological boost that it gives you that…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Like you’ve got a team?
Andy Lamont: “Ah, wow there’s people interested in me doing this thing,” and it gives you a good boost. I am really happy to see that happen.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah that’s great and then you had some sponsorship come along as well which is promising.
Andy Lamont: Yeah Southport Yacht Club has been really generous and that’s been fantastic. Ray McMahon is the guy who has proven that here at the club and they’ve got quite a few meetings. In my opinion as well, I’ll just see what happens but they’ve been really, really generous in being able to give me a great sponsorship package, which means that a lot of the things I was worried about, like getting the boat out in the water and keeping it out for a month is a big cost because you’ve got to pay your marina fees and you also have to pay your hardstand fees, so having all of that taken care off is just such a load off.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Are they going to the anti-fails for you as well?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, they would.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well make sure you put about five coats on because you’re going to need it right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so they give me a figure, which I can use on club fees, half stand fees, and anti-foul so that would be great. Hopefully we get that, there’s a new anti-foul product out that I might be able to use at that point in time. So hopefully that will happen.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, well that’s good. That’s good, okay and what about the work that you’ve have been doing on board here and as I look around, I can see your wheel’s gone and you’ve got a really, really nice looking utility out there. What else have you been doing?
Andy Lamont: Well, I guess that is the next big job that had to be done. The cockpit floor is made from balsa sandwich and the trouble with the balsa is once it gets damp, it does rot and so we had to replace the side decks and the foredeck and the cockpit floor. I’ve already replaced one third of it and the plan was to replace the rest of it when we pulled out the wheels steering, the wheel and pedestal.
So pulled out the wheel and pedestal, cut out all the floor and I had a bit of fun doing that and made a new floor out of just 20 mil marine ply, fibre glassed on top of that and coved it all in and got the new tiller. I was very lucky with the tiller. I don’t know if I have told you that story before, did I? I will tell you again, it’s a good story.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Is it from WA or something?
Andy Lamont: Oh yes, that’s right. The fitting that goes onto the rudder post, a guy from WA went into the small works yard and picked it up for me out of a bin from when they used to make S&S 34’s and they had a whole lot left so luckily there was one in there and I wanted to make the tiller here out of mahogany and silver ash. Silver ash is an Australian hardwood, which is a very blonde timber and really contrasts with the deep mahogany.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, it kind of matches the Gold Coast theme as well, blonde.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and I was doing some termite work because I’ve got a pest control company, for a guy out in the Ormeau area, which is an area out in sort of the sticks a little bit around here and I noticed that he had a few boats being build. He turned out to be quite a famous boat builder and I said, “Oh, have you got any mahogany and silver ash around which I can make a tiller from?” He said, “Yeah. How are you going to make it?” And I told him how I was going to make it and he said, “Oh that’s silly, I’ve got a jig here for making tillers, you can just use that.”
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh, what are the chances?
Andy Lamont: Yeah and so anyway, so I did his termite work and I had all the drawings of how I was going to make the tiller. I rang him up about a week before I was going to come out and make the tiller and I said, “Tony, I am just going to come up and make this tiller at your workshop next week, is that all right?” And he went, “Oh no, I already made it.”
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Really, so he made you a tiller? How cool is that?
Andy Lamont: So he made it for me so I was really, really appreciative of that.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well I hope you got rid of all his termites then.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, well so do I. So yeah, so that’s great. So the tiller is there, which is great for single handed. Of course when we’re doing the crewed twilight races, the crew will be upset now because I am walking the line. I used to be behind the wheel and as anyone knows, an S&S 34. The cockpit is really about the same size as a bathtub really, isn’t it?
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s right. It’s not very big and once you are behind the wheel you’re stuck there right, in the whole race?
Andy Lamont: Yeah and the tiller takes up most of the room. So now all the crew are sort of telling me I’m in the way.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So you’re bashing people’s knees now if you suddenly decide to turn suddenly.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, falling on them, sitting on their laps and all that kind of stuff. Yeah but it’s fun so that’s good. So that was a big thing. That was a big thing for me. That was probably the last major structural job that we had to do was to remove the cockpit floor, remove the pedestal, take the wheel out and replace it with the tiller. The only other thing that’s really major that we’re going to do when we take it out of the heart is we’re going to lift the boat off the keel and check all the keel bolts and take the rudder out. There’s some kind of a bit of a leak in the rudder and so we’ll just dry it out and put a new one.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well the leak will only get big not smaller, right, If you don’t do anything?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so that’s right. It’s not a big job, we’ll just cut it out, cut out half the rudder and dig out all the foam and re-core it and put fibre glass around the outside of it. That will be pretty much all the structural jobs on the boat would have been done by then and then when the boat comes out in August, we’ll take the mast out as well and we’ll just going to go right over the mast with a fine toothed comb. Anything that needs fixing, we’ll fix and that’s pretty much it.
Now the other great news, the other thing too is that I know last time we’re talking, I was talking about these Turtle-Pac buoyancy bags. So two weeks ago, I have made the decision to actually install the Turtle-Pac system in the boat. It’s not cheap but to me, it’s something that’s just worth the peace of mind that it gives me, my family, my wife and everyone else.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s a pretty major plan B. To refresh everybody’s memory, to be able to inflate a really robust inflatable bag inside the boat that means if it gets compromised to some degree it’s going to continue to partially float at least so you can continue to live aboard while you find a solution or catch fish, or catch rain water or what have you. As opposed to having to just have a life raft as your plan B. So it’s a pretty good plan B.
Andy Lamont: Yeah. So the system itself is six 1000 litre bags.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Right, so they’re still compartmentalised as well. So if you damaged one, you still got five that are intact. Is that how that works?
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s all just one big chamber?
Andy Lamont: No, it’s not one big chamber. So there are six, basically cylindrical bags and they fold up quite small. So there will be one each in either of the quarter bunks, which folds up against the hull so they don’t hardly take up any room. There will be another one that folds up just in front of the chart table there.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So you can choose where you locate them within the boat as well.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and there will be another one in the forepeak and two with the quarter burst used to be just folded against the hull and so they will be all controlled by two dive cylinders.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So you’ve got a back up cylinder as well. You’ve got two rather than just one as well.
Andy Lamont: No there’s two we’ll take. So two will just fill all six.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: You need all two to fill the six, all right.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and so what happens is if I need to, yeah and this is one of the things that I’m planning on not to use. If I had to use it I’d just open both those cylinders and those bags will fill up in 45 seconds. But, they only fill up to four pounds pressure.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, so there’s no chance of popping them.
Andy Lamont: No, they won’t pop or they will conform if there’s something on the floor or in the way. They will just go around it. But he did say that when you fill them up make sure that you stand out of the way because if you got your whole leg by one, it can pin you.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh right? Pin yourself inside a sinking boat.
Andy Lamont: Pin yourself, yeah. So there is quite a fair bit of reserve in those 6,000 litres as well and the boat will float quite high.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Wow, because the 6,000 litres of water so six tons. So how much weight can it support? Does it literally transfer that weight?
Andy Lamont: No, it doesn’t. Your transfer is much more than that because this is what the…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh because the boat has got partial floatation built into it anyway.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and even, so for instance you just go also you’ve got the lead. I think it’s in the S&S 34, don’t quote me, but I think there is something like about two and a half thousand kilos of lead but that doesn’t worth two and a half thousand kilos in the water. It doesn’t displace two and a half thousand.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So if it all turns to custard, you just undo your keel bolts, let your keel bolts go. The keel then goes so your boat sits even higher on the water?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, no it that might be upside down in that case.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, good point.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so the 6,000 litres is much more than this six-ton boat.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s great.
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Especially if you’ve got a hull that’s just above the water line or just below the water line literally up enough for it to stay out of the water potentially.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly. So I really did a lot of soul searching about it and of course with every project like this, if something gets spent on one thing it doesn’t get spent on another thing and I thought, “Look, you know to me, that’s probably the best,” about five grand it costs. “That’s about the best five grand that you can spend,” because it just means that, failing fire, we’re pretty indestructible, which is a funny story because the inventor Laszlo (not a funny story), invented this but it was a bit of a tragedy. It was a bad story really, but he had it on his boats and he invented it because he was caught in a cyclone with the boat filling up with water and he was out of the Gold Coast and his boat caught on fire of course.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: They’re not going to help you then are they?
Andy Lamont: They’re not going to help you then.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Then irony! You’ve got a solution for sinking and then you catch fire.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so you know? I’m taking the metho stove and that’s it so pretty much the chances of us having a fire of course…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, which is good because that’s ugly if you do have a fire.
Andy Lamont: Oh, you know there’s not much that you can do is it there?
Ocean Sailing Podcast: No, that right and it happens very quickly.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so that was really great. That was a real sort of point of importance for me anyway to get that. It was one of those things that I have been playing with, equivocating about for about a year and a half.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Has that helped your wife and your family get their heads around the risks a little bit more knowing that that’s part of your plan?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, absolutely. Because they know, they’re not silly. They know that while it’s not risky in the same sense as a lot of other activities are, there's still a certain element of risk.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, the isolation is the biggest risk, right? It’s not what goes wrong; it’s the fact that you’re so isolated that no one can help you.
Andy Lamont: No one can help you. So it just this does give you that level of self-reliance that if something does happen, the boat is not going to sink. You’ve got days to solve it, not minutes and so that’s the…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well and with what you’re planning on carrying. Whatever happens you might be able to repair it anyway by then if you’ve got enough time, right?
Andy Lamont: You would be surprised if you couldn’t.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: A little bit of epoxy and a bit of wood and a few tools.
Andy Lamont: Yeah that’s right. Eventually you would be able to go, “Okay, here’s the problem and how to fix it.” It won’t be a big issue because the problem is going to be water is getting into the boat and somehow stop it, you know?
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, absolutely that’s interesting.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so I am excited about that. What else am I excited about? Yeah and the wind vane is finished so the vane’s not on there at the moment.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: The accessory that it goes on, is it ready to go?
Andy Lamont: Yeah and it’s all there but because my stern sits out into the marina channel a little bit, I’m very nervous about someone coming behind and wiping it out.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah even in twilight racing, right? When somebody crosses the stand, on port starboard.
Andy Lamont: So it’s all there but I’ve just got it basically all the flimsy bits are, well they’re not flimsy but the fit’s a bit…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: They’re not designed to be collision proof.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, not with a 40 foot cruiser or something like that. So yeah, they’re all off it but it’s there. So that’s great. It’s ready to go and that’s another big thing, another big expense but that ability then to carry on the journey without power is just of paramount importance to it.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s a big tick of the box there in term of not forcing you to end your trip early.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly. So that’s good. I’ve been looking more into the Jordan Series Drogue. I’m going to put some chain plates when the boat’s out of the water down by the stern so that I will be able to attach a harness onto those chain plates. So basically if I do put out a drogue, they will just pull straight off the chain plates rather than off a winch or some kind of other thing, which is just bolted onto the deck.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s good because when you’re reading about the engineering kind of rules and the loading that goes onto your boat. You try to slow it to 1 to 2 knots in it and 70 knots of breeze, and a sea that’s trying to drive along at 12 knots, the loading is quite amazing that you’ve got to work at those points where you attach it.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so I was doing that research and I thought and they’re saying don’t attach it. I was going to basically say, “Well I’ve got this nice winches,” but the load on the winch is no good. It’s the wrong way and all that so I will run them off some chain plates of about 300 mil’s long or 250 mil’s long with about six bolts along the side of the hull just before the transom and they’re just poking out in the transom a bit and they will distribute the load into the hull.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah but that good and like all things, you hope you don’t have to use it but if you do, it’s good to know that they won’t rub the back off your boat.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, or tear a winch out or something like that.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well because technically if you’re in the line of fire as it got torn out, it will go with a bang.
Andy Lamont: Yeah it would, yeah exactly and also then, it is actually pulling from it directly off the stern.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay and in terms of your list of all of the must haves and nice to haves, how are you getting along with deciding what’s really a must have and what you are going to be able to do and what you probably can’t do. Where are the trade offs or compromises sort of coming in now?
Andy Lamont: Well Musto has come on as a sponsor, which was fantastic because Musto is the gear I wanted. It’s basically every piece of sailing equipment I’ve got is Musto. So the only company I approached for sailing here and luckily they were quite good about it and so they’ve come along. So all the, you know, I am getting basically all the HPX gear, the dry suit and all the mid layer stuff and everything from Musto basically. So that’s a lot of the must have stuff that as you know is really…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s a big chunk of cost but value for money; it’s priceless, right? But you can’t not have it, but it’s not…
Andy Lamont: Yeah you can’t not have it. Yeah and so I’m just really grateful to Musto that they’re willing to support me on that and like truly if they said, “Look, we’ll give you a 10% discount,” I would been happy with that of course, but they are really generous and so that was great.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s good. It’s good the support.
Andy Lamont: I shouldn’t say that, they might…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s too late now it’s in the bank, right? The bank is dry.
Andy Lamont: Yeah. So I am really happy with Musto and that’s great. So that’s one big ticket that is out of the way. I am talking with someone else about supplying radar and a radar screen so hopefully they will come through.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s good.
Andy Lamont: Yeah. But we’re just talking at the moment and some of the other big must have tickets, so pretty much pulling the mast down and doing the mast is something I’ve arranged for anyway. A satellite phone is, that’s one thing that hasn’t been bought yet, HF radio is a sort of thing that, again, really expensive.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah especially with the limitations it has.
Andy Lamont: Yeah but then it does things that only an HF radio can do. So it’s not really a must have for me personally but then a lot of people I speak say, “Oh no, an HF radio is a must have because you can broadcast.” A satellite phone is great but you can’t broadcast with a satellite phone.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah of course.
Andy Lamont: so it would be really good to get an HF radio. Some of the other things, one of the musts was to just lift the boat off the keel and check the keel bolts and Southport Yacht Club obviously will come to the party with the hard stand and the travel lift, which means that it’s going to be nice and easy to just lift the boat up and check the keel box.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Which is great, Another big chunk of cost that you don’t have to incur.
Andy Lamont: Yeah exactly. So most of my must haves now are, like they’re getting close to being covered. There’s a lot of things in the list that they sort of, they are must have but the boat is a good boat and if I had to go tomorrow, I’ve got it basically but will probably want a HF radio and a satellite phone but apart from that it’s a good little boat. So we’re pretty ready in that sense. I’ve got some Go Pros to take some footage so hopefully there will be some interesting footage of it. Yeah, we’ll see how that goes.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Have you thought about finding a media sponsor who would pay data for you so that you can access data for uploading content and videos and updating your blog so that they could benefit from the published story updates, but you benefit from not having to pay for the big thing, they put on the back of your boat and the cost of the data itself?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so yeah I’ve looked at just basically having a satellite hub and the data is still pretty expensive. So yeah I haven’t really looked.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Because Jessica Watson had that data sponsor, which is what allowed her to do the blog updates and the video uploads. She had a media sponsor because of course, they can get her to write stories every so often and you know of news limited only to the Gold Coast Bulletin and you kind of wonder if that would be a possibility, right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, well I got to speak to Jess the other day through you actually, which was great and then I sent her another e-mail and so that might be something that I’ll talk to her about.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah because you could get steered into the right direction. I don’t want to cost it out now but I’m sure it runs into the tens of thousands for data still.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I mean the funning thing is voice is cheap.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, well it is that’s right. As soon as you start uploading gigabytes of bloody video, or hundreds of megabytes, that’s where it chews through it, right? And probably photos to some degree as well. But you probably could publish content quite cheaply.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s probably one of the next things I’ll look at is if I can get someone, a supplier of data.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, well now that it’s a world record attempt.
Andy Lamont: Yes, that’s right. It’s gathering it’s own momentum.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s right and then you can put that kind of stake in the ground, that might make that a little bit different.
Andy Lamont: Well that’s right. I mean it wasn’t my original intention but I’m quite excited about it now because there are people that have sailed around the world and you can’t take anything away from them because what they’ve done is amazing by itself but to go down as the first person to do the official world record around the world west bound circumnavigation, there is only ever one first.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s right. That exactly right so you should leverage it for all you can.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so, we’ll we will try. We are doing it right now.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s right. Exactly right. So if anybody knows of anybody or has an interest in sponsorship, then don’t hesitate to contact Andy directly. And your contact details will be at your website, at Andylamont.com.au.
Andy Lamont: That’s right. That’s it, Andylamont.com.au.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So don’t hesitate to pass any suggestions onto Andy or anybody you might know that would be interested in sponsorship wise or support wise, contact Andy directly because he’d certainly love to hear from you.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s right and I really would because the thing has really changed in the last three months or two months from our little personal sort of goal for me and thinking, “Well I’m not going to be the first of anything or anything,” so I didn’t think there’d that much interest to be in the first west bound. So it hasn’t changed it a lot.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s great and now so you got the chance to have a little bit of a chat to Jessica Watson a couple of weeks ago?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, she is great. It was really interesting to talk to her.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: What sort of takeaways did you have out of that in terms of some of the questions? Some of the technical questions you had that around your preparations.
Andy Lamont: Well I guess probably one of the things that I immediately got out of that was that while I was thinking about getting one brand of wind generator, which was the most expensive and then talking to her realising that even she had that and that didn’t even last the whole distance anyway. So a couple of days later, I went to the boat shop here and I picked up two really good wind generators, but for the same price as one over the other ones.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh, so you’ve got a plan A and a plan B.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so knowing that look, if one makes it half way around the world and dies, then that’s to be expected and I’ve got the other one and even if you get the most expensive one, you’re not going to expect to make it all the way with that. So yeah, that saved me to get two of those. That’s three and a half grand each, that’s seven grand and I’ve got two of the other brand which I could say is Rutland, so I got a Rutland 1200 and Rutland 914 and they did me a deal to get two together so that was three grand so that saved me like four grand.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, right. So would you run two at the same time?
Andy Lamont: No, I’ll run one and then I’ll just keep one boxed up and if something happens to the Rutland 1200, I have another pole. So I’m getting Phil George from Fleming Marine who made Jessica’s targa and mast for the wind generators and I’m getting him to make those for me as well because he’s actually got an S&S 34 down there that he’s doing up at the moment.
So he can actually build the whole thing on his boat and then just post it up to me or send it up to me and that’ll have two masts so they’ll both be wired up but one will be just in a box and if the first one ends up dying for some reason, I will just leave it up there if I have to and put the next one of the spare mast.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: On the opposite side or something?
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah right. That’s good and are you going to take your extra blades as well?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I’ll take extra blades.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Because they can snap.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so there’re only plastic boats, they’re not carbon blades these ones so the blade is not a big expense.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, what do you pay for a set of blades, do you know?
Andy Lamont: I don’t know, I do know the guy told, “Oh yeah, you’ve got to get your blades.”
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, because the reason I ask is because I’ve got an Aerogen 6 I think it is and I chipped some blades and I found the Australian distributor and it was going to be like $630 for six plastic blades and then so I thought, “They’re only plastic.” So I Googled it and I found this UK website, they were selling them for 118 pounds for a set and so I could land them in Australia where the currency conversion and with freight for I don’t know? $240 or something.
Which is still going to be less than half so just the reason that I ask is it’s amazing the loading that goes into some of the spare parts if they’re offshore, northern hemisphere type products. Don’t be afraid to use Google.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I know. That’s right but Rutland is a nice well-known brand. They’ve got plenty of parts in there.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well, that’s good.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so that’s right. So we’ll take spare blades for that, takes spare vanes for the self-steering gear, all of that is taken care of. But yeah, so that is one thing that was really good to get from Jessica. It saved me $4,000.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh that’s great.
Andy Lamont: In a five minute conversation and she said she’s welcome to talk to me, or willing to talk to me about some other things as well, food and things like that which we will be setting up soon.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh that’s great and all that advice from somebody who has done it already, just it probably simplifies a whole bunch of stuff too that sometimes you overcomplicate in your planning that for whatever reason they don’t use or didn’t need.
Andy Lamont: It’s amazing how sometimes you can just talk to someone. For instance with wind vanes, I’ve been thinking about wind vanes for more than 18 months but I had that conversation with her and just went, “Right. Okay, that’s what I’m going to do.” So it crystallised my thoughts so it was great.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah because there is lots of contradictory advice out there and everyone has different experiences but yeah, being able to get advice with somebody who’s done a similar trip with a similar boat that doesn’t get any more crystal clear than that.
Andy Lamont: Yeah exactly so that was good.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s good and I’m glad that you could hook up and that she’s happy to provide ongoing feedback and advice because it all helps especially if it’s money that you don’t have to spend that you would have spent just in case and then you find out that you just don’t need to spend it at all.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly and that’s a lot of money you know and it is. It’s $4,000 I saved there that really basically I went $4,000 saved on that, $5,000 for the buoyancy bags, done. That’s how it all worked so yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s good. Well that’s right even if the advice doesn’t raise sponsorship, if it cuts your costs down, it’s the same outcome right? Because a dollar you don’t have to speed, is a dollar you don’t have to raise somewhere.
Andy Lamont: Yeah exactly, that’s so true. Yeah, that’s good.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And have you settle on sail configuration or sail plans?
Andy Lamont: Yes. I haven’t actually ordered a code zero yet and that’s not a must have, that’s a “would love to have”.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s a “I’ll get home sooner” type item.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and that’s one of the things Jessica said. She said that if she were doing it again, she would have used the code zero more.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well, you are more likely to fend your world record for longer too if you used the code zero right? You could just get it a few days earlier.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that’s right. I haven’t ordered it yet but it is just sort of one of those things that I’d love to have. I’d love to have that more than an HF radio.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well maybe you might be able to find a sail sponsor. That would be good.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that would be good too and Neil Pryde was really good to me, he helped me out with the sails that I’ve got now but of course, the Australian dollar’s tanked since then.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, that’s right and substantially.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so it’s sort of getting sails out of Hong Kong is not as good as it used to be. So Mike Sabin from Gold Coast Sails may be a nice little 100% jib. So I am looking now and we’ll see. Like I said, I’d much rather have a code zero than an HF radio but I think I have to buy the HF radio before the code zero.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, right.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so anyway that’s about it and what else has been happening? I’m just about drawing a blank here now.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And so you’re still settled on October? That’s all fairing out? You’ve got a specific date yet?
Andy Lamont: October the 2nd.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: October 2nd, great.
Andy Lamont: Which hopefully, my daughter, Sophie, is due on the 14th of September.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, well she won’t run more than two weeks overdue.
Andy Lamont: But they said she can run two weeks early or two weeks overdue.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: But at two weeks, she’ll be induce, right? So two and a half weeks you should be good to go right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly. So that’s right. I would say, “Look, you know, 15th of October, come on let’s do it.” So yeah, that will be great. So as soon as, you know, I can’t leave before the baby is born but you’re right, they will induce it if it’s more than two weeks overdue, I think.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah.
Andy Lamont: So the second of October, which will be a Sunday, I’ll head out of here on a Sunday about 1 o’clock. I got a little widget on my website. I think there’s 115 days to go. That will be on a Sunday so that’d be good. I can’t wait really. It’s getting really close now.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well, it’s like less than three months now, right?
Andy Lamont: Yeah. Well it’s 115 days.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: You’ll be pleased to know that you haven’t chosen a weekend where there’s offshore sailing so we’ll be able to see you off because we won’t be out there offshore. And it’s actually the revised Queen’s birthday weekend this year.
Andy Lamont: Oh is it?
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Perfect for people visiting you because there’s an extra day off.
Andy Lamont: Oh okay, well that’s fantastic.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Because, you know, they moved it from June to October.
Andy Lamont: Right. Just in Queensland, or?
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Just in Queensland, just to do something crazy they just moved the Queen’s birthday back to confuse everybody for three months back. I always jot it down and I’ve got the sailing calendar in there for the next 12 months. So that day is clear.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, it’s good.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Oh, it’s good.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so that will be good. So hopefully we will have good breezes then around October, have a nice northerly and we’ll just head down and have a nice summer time breezes all through Bass Strait.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, well that’s right. It’s a much warmer time of the year right? The way you are planning it it’s actually a nice time of the year to go through there.
Andy Lamont: Yeah. It’s much nicer at the start and really hopefully, the only part that’s really sort of playing on my nerves a bit is finding a window to get around Cape Horn because the big difference of west bound compared to east bound is that you can get to Cape Horn on the east bound circumnavigation and say it’s really bad. Well, you could just throw that Jordan Series Drogue out the back and just blow through really. Like I mean it wouldn’t be pleasant but eventually…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: You will get swept around there with the current kind of thing.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, you will get swept around there with the current and the wind and everything like that whereas if you have to turn around and float a drogue, which is what happened to Bill, you just go back into it.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Backwards really fast and then you’ve got to start all over again.
Andy Lamont: Then you start all over again because sometimes systems come through one, two, three, four straight after each other; you might go back in and actually get hit by another system.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: So you could realistically have to have two or three or four goes at it in the worst case scenario, which is pretty daunting.
Andy Lamont: Yes, so the thing is really is to pick a weather window and just go for it.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And then gun it with that code zero.
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It might come in handy.
Andy Lamont: It might, and even if it does get like even if it does get a bit dirty, you just keep trying to punch through because…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah because the alternative is going to mean you’ve just got to punch through all over again which there’s nothing worse.
Andy Lamont: Yeah so this is a good little boat to do it in, so it goes to wind well and it’s nice and soft and a light sail. That’s what I am saying anyway.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s good Andy. And I see you’ve still got those lovely bolts coming through your cabin top there. You haven’t quite figured out all the final uses for those before your…
Andy Lamont: Yeah. No, I’m pretty sanguine about those; we’ll cut them off. It’ll take me like five minutes with the grinder but I haven’t made the netting yet. So when I get the netting made then I’ll know what the attachment points are for them.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah then it will become logical.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I mean I could just leave every third one which would still probably be all right but I’ll just leave it for a little while longer.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s where the world is going because I read some changes to Cat 1 Regulations for these alum boats. You’ve got to be able to roll the boat upside down and have nothing fall out, nothing come loose, no floor boards, no nothing. So I’m not sure if that’s the direction for Australian Cat 1, but that’s the regulations this year coming so you will be ahead of the curve if you have got netting that covers all the stuff.
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It makes sense, right?
Andy Lamont: You just don’t want anything…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Hitting you on the head and cutting your eye open.
Andy Lamont: Yeah. So that’s right. So that’s what we’re going to do before we go. It’s basically turning the boat upside down mentally. I mean what they do, turn them upside — they don’t do that.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: No. I don’t know, but I doubt it. But all your bed boards, all your floor boards like everything has to be able to stay intact and contained if you tilt the boat 180, which makes sense. It’s just if your boat’s not fitted that way, it’s quite a bit of work and costs in doing that but it makes sense.
Andy Lamont: I know and I mean if you’ve got to pull up a floor board quickly, it is a bit of a pain if you…
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s where you need the right sort of latches right because you don’t want to have to screw them down because you won’t be able to gather a screwdriver, knee deep in water trying to the boards up.
Andy Lamont: No, that’s right, yeah. I mean it won’t be hard. This boat has only got one floor board so it’s nice and easy to put that down.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That helps.
Andy Lamont: But that’s the whole, the exercise on what you're going to go through and have been going through and that’s why I haven’t cut those bolts is because I just want it to be basically everything bolted down and what’s not bolted down, contained. You do see pictures of boats that have been knocked down and stuff everywhere.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And injuries to people.
Andy Lamont: And injuries to people.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: A can of something hits you in the head it’s going to hurt.
Andy Lamont: Knock you out.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, or a floor board will break your ribs. So that makes a lot of sense.
Andy Lamont: And like I know it’s going to happen.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, it’s just a matter of if.
Andy Lamont: It’s just I know and so I just want to make sure that if I get knocked down, there might be a little bit of water that come in but it’ll just a matter of like pumping it out and keeping on going.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well if you pad your ceiling it’d just be like a kid’s playground won’t it? You will just be rolling around inside and it will be soft.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, I know and I am thinking about doing it with that foam. It’s probably not a bad idea. That’s kind of like I’d like to have.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Then you’re bullet proof then really.
Andy Lamont: Yeah and it will give a bit of insulation as well.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah which will help in winter if you don’t have to wear so much gear all the time.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Especially going to the toilet and stuff, to take that gear on and off all the time. So tell me how’s everything unfolding at home? How’s your wife feeling about the trip now that time’s marching on and she probably realises you are totally serious and committed?
Andy Lamont: Yeah, it’s kind of funny because we’re doing things now and they’re things in preparation for me not to actually get ready to leave but to actually leave, so it’s becoming a lot more real for all my family. So that’s a bit of a process we’re going through but in a lot of ways because we haven’t been spent more than two weeks apart in 25 years.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s quite staggering when you think about what lies ahead there.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, so I’m sure like I said before, I’ll probably miss her more than she misses me but in lead up to it, she’s the one that’s more vocal about missing me and so we’ve got a good satellite. The satellite plans are great so I will be able to talk to her on the phone nearly every day.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: They’re pretty cost effective aren’t they?
Andy Lamont: Yeah I think it’s 40 cents a minute.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s good. Wow, that’s really good.
Andy Lamont: You pay $100 plan and you get 40 cents a minute.
OSP: Yeah, right with bulk. Because I pay a lower level plan just for the odd Cat 2 race which is I think we sit at 99 cents a minute but yeah, if you can go, especially if you’re going to buy a year’s worth or something.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, you go on $100 plan and it’s 40 cents a minute.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Cool.
Andy Lamont: It seems if you can get voice that cheap it just seems amazing that data is so expensive but that might just change it.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, I think that’s just the lack of supply, it means prices can stay high, unlimited supply is a whole lot better. It will change right? It’s just a matter of time because that’s right, because once that changes, you could just live at sea, work at sea, couldn’t you? If your business is online and then you can do it online.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, you could. Anyways, so they’re going along. Each time it’s getting closer everyone is getting used to it. Doing that website was kind of a big “aha” wake up moment for all the family.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s like you’ve told the world now and they can all see it.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, exactly.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well if you are pregnant, you’d be the last trimester, right? The last three months but your baby is not arriving, it’s leaving?
Andy Lamont: But I’ve got a big bump.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: That’s right, the bump in your wall is getting smaller.
Andy Lamont: That’s right, yeah so that’s good.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Well that’s great. It was good to catch up, good to check on how things are tracking along. It sounds like you’re well advanced now in the final three months.
Andy Lamont: Yep, that’s it and so as the boat comes down in August, it will be out of the water for a month and then it’ll be back in the water and basically we’ll be off after that.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Which is great.
Andy Lamont: Yeah.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And today we’re down at the Southport Yacht Club and we’re onboard Impulse and we’re officially nine days into winter. It’s 28 degrees outside so for our American listeners, that’s 80 something degrees Fahrenheit, which is kind of crazy thinking it’s winter and then we’re about to go twilight sailing.
Andy Lamont: In a sea breeze.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: In a sea breeze, yeah.
Andy Lamont: Yeah which is a summer time breeze for over here.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Yeah, it’s bizarre but it’s good.
Andy Lamont: So that should be good.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: It’s great. Well thanks Andy for getting together again for a catch up and we’ll try check in with you again maybe in six weeks’ time as you get to about six weeks out and see how you’re tracking with this along the home straight for departure.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, that would be great.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: And I’ll make sure in the show notes that we put the links to your website as well and any updated photos I’ll put as well, any updates and bits and pieces but you gave me heaps last time. So, we went to the original ones too for those that haven’t looked at them yet. In the show notes folks from the episode with Andy in episode two and three, there’s lots and lots of photos of impulse and all the work that he has done to date. So don’t hesitate to check out those show notes as well as the ones with this episode.
Andy Lamont: Yeah, fantastic and anyone that wants to contact me and give me some advice or tell me an idiot, you’re welcome.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Any advice, any feedback, any support, any suggestions of people or companies that might want to support Andy go to Andylamont.com.au and he will appreciate any bit of help, advice, or contact at all.
Andy Lamont: Great. All right, well thanks a lot David.
Ocean Sailing Podcast: Okay, thanks Andy. Let’s go racing.
Andy Lamont: Let’s go sailing.
Interviewer: David Hows
- 3 Feb 2019 Episode 68: Vernon Deck
- 18 Jan 2019 Episode 66: Dennis Webster
- December 2018
- 18 Nov 2018 Episode 62: Nick Moloney
- 16 Sep 2018 Episode 57: David Young
- 23 Jun 2018 Episode 52: David Smyth email
- May 2018
- December 2016
- 28 Sep 2016 Episode 23: Lisa Blair Show Notes
- 28 Sep 2016 Episode 22: Hamilton Island Race Week Show Notes
- 28 Sep 2016 Episode 21: Ian MacKenzie Show Notes
- 18 Sep 2016 Episode 20: Roger "Clouds" Badham Show Notes
- 18 Sep 2016 Episode 19: Ocean Gem Crew Show Notes
- 17 Sep 2016 Episode 18: Elise Currey Show Notes
- 5 Aug 2016 Episode 17: Gerry Fitzgerald Show Notes
- July 2016
- June 2016
- May 2016
- April 2016
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