Autopilot problems force teenager into port

British teenager Mike Perham has been forced to put his round-the-world plans briefly on hold after his generator and autopilot developed faults.

He plans to make a quick stop in Cascais before restarting his circumnavigation.

Mike writes: “At around 18:00 yesterday I switched on the generator within a few minutes it switched itself off and came up with an alarm saying “exhaust overheat” . Incredible how these days your generator will actually tell you what’s up. A shame they don’t tell you how to fix it though.”
He eventually mended the generator, but the autopilot then started to malfunction.

“For the last two days it’s been resetting itself more and more. Twice today. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve been wide awake and ready to jump straight to the helm before she goes into a nasty gybe.

I wasn’t quite so lucky last night though! I was asleep when I heard the reset alarm and thought “Not good!” I scrambled up but was too late. The boat had swung itself into a crash gybe and was now being pinned down pretty hard by the main on the runner. I wound on the other back stay, eased the now leeward runner off and the boat came back more upright. After the jib was sorted and everything cleared away I gybed the boat back round onto its original course and off she flew again.”

Spokesman Kizzi Nkwocha said: “Unforeseen complications like this are bound to arise on a project of this scope. However, it’s a minor hitch and Michael remains confident in his boat,, and eager to get under way. His world record bid will not be affected by the delay as it will mean that he will be travelling around the world from Portugal to Portugal.”

Read more on Mike’s blog