“Ideally, once a project schedule has been determined, it should be adhered to rigidly.

Unfortunately, this will never happen, there will always be changes required, so the important thing is to ensure that these are managed correctly. The ability to manage and control changes to a project schedule is a key factor in project success.

In fact, for many projects, changes are expected and may even be encouraged. The big problem is uncontrolled change. A change in any of the critical success factors affects the other factors, which will then affect project performance, which will in turn affect stakeholder perceptions and satisfaction levels, eg: an expansion in project scope will increase the work of the project, which will affect both the project costs and the project schedule.

Any time a change occurs, the project manager needs to recognise the change, evaluate the impact of the change, communicate the change to the members of the project team and the stakeholders and make the appropriate adjustments if the change is accepted. This mechanism is commonly referred to as a project change control system”.

Text from: SQA International 

That´s what has happened in our project. A change has occurred (More than one, as I will explain below), I have recognized it, I have evaluated the impactf of this change, I have communicated the change to our technological partners and collaborators, and I have made the appropriate adjustements. Let me explain everything.

The changes that have occurred have been technical problems and problems with the crew we were going to cross the Atlantic.

When we were moored at Marina Rubicón (Lanzarote) I inspected the motor because I was worry about an excess vibration problem. The motor is a Volvo Penta D1-30, bought and installed in June 2016 by a Volvo Penta official technical servive.

The motor has been checked every 200 hours (always by official technical services) and the answer to my questions was: “That´s because it is a 3 cilinder engine”.

We realized at Marina Rubicon, with the help of a mechanical technician, that one of the silent-blocks was broken. We replaced it and checked the alingment of the motor with the shaft and also checked the engine fixing to its bed. All these works were done at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, also by official Volvo Penta Service Center.

The initial plan was to cross the Atlantic in February 2018 with 3 crew members: 2 boys and 1 girl. One of the boys and the girlr are experienced sailors, the second boy is a rookie.

The girl told us that she finally could not come for changes in her work schedule, and the experienced boy told us he could not come because of problems with his ex-wife.

So the crew was reduced to the skipper (me) and the rookie sailor, Rodrigo. He is not experienced but he had a positive attitude and wanted to learn.

We went shopping at the supermarket, stoved the food on the boat and set sail on March 10.

Publié par Diego De Miguel sur samedi 10 février 2018

Few mails after leaving Las Palmas sudenly the autopilot stop working! The electronics were working, also the electrical motor of the EMA (Electro Mecanic Actuator) but any force applied to the rudder. I checked the mecanical connection of the EMA with the rudder and it was OK, so proabaly the problem was the clutch.

We decided to go to Puerto de Mogán http://www.puertomogan.es/es/inicio/ (SW coast of Gran Canaria) for fixing this problem.

It was not an esay and pleasant navigation, becase of the high waves and strong wind at Punta de Gando (E coast of Gran Canaria), but fortunately it was a downwind sailing!

Once at Mogán we were lucky becase we met Michel. A french salilor who is actually jubilee but he has a noble heart and he helped us. He was electronics technician with more that 50 years of experience. He was agree with me about the problem, the clutch.

I dismantled the wole EMA, under his orders and supervision, we tested the clutch and corroborated that there was the problem. We also checked: gearbox, belt and brushes.

Michel got me spare parts and helped me to assemble and calibrate the autopilot. Thanks so much Michel!

We set sails again on February 13, lets go to the Caribbean!

But our joy did not last long. 45 miles SE of El Hierro island sudenly rhe rudder blocked and it was not possible to turn to starboard, it was only possible to turn to port board. Damm!

We lowered the sails as soon as we can and I checked were was the problem. There is an special part for connecting the EMA of the autopilot with the steering mechanism. This part moved and got stuck in a bulkhead of the ship. I made a quick emergency repair and decided to go to the nearest port to make a definitive and reliable repair. Heading to La Restinga (El Hierro Island).

Once in La Restinga I solved the problem, forever I hope!

A new change has come. My crewman tells me that he has decided not to cross the Atlantic with me, so we change the sailing plans. The new plan is to sail with him between the Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Palma, La Gomera, Tenerife and Gran Canaria) when we arrive to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria he will leave the boat and I will decide if I look for a new crew and cross the Atlantic or if I delay it until November.

The first stage of this canarian trip was from El Hierro to La Palma. It was hard because we had to sail upwing against the 25-30 kts Trade Winds and 3 m. waves. When we arrived to Puerto de Tazacorte we had to climb to the mast to solve a problem with the genoa halyard and to make some sewing works in the mainsail.

We sailed from La Palma to la Gomera, then to Tenerife and finally we arrived to Gran Canaria.

At present we are at Muelle Deportivo de las Palmas de Gran Canaria and had decided to delay the Atlantic Crossing until next November 2018.

“He have lost one battle, but not the war”

We are planing activities of the project into a “Canarian Tour”. We will start first week of April from Lanzarote. From that island we will go to: Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, La Gomera, La Palma and El Hierro.

We will start our activities focused in education at Instituto de F.P. Marítimo Pesquero de Canarias (Arrecife, Lanzarote) on first week of April.

http://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/agricultura/pesca/temas/formacion/institutos/instituto_fp_maritimo_pesquero_lz.html

Habitually our activities have consisted in talks about the project and open days to visit our boat.

But we want to take a step forward now. We are going to organize monographic activities of some technologies.

In Lanzarote we want to focus in:

We are working into the new schedule, but we can anticipate that we will be present at Las Palmas Boat Show FIMAR (18-20 may 2018)

We will keep you informed,

Thank so much for following us!