Helping hands in Las Palmas

24 October 2017

As months of preparations become just a couple of weeks before the Atlantic ocean beckons, crews in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria will be busy tinkering away to deplete the jobs list before ARC 2017 programme gets underway. Thankfully, one of the major benefits of the ARC is the wealth of knowledge and helping hands around the docks, from fellow participants, local specialists and the nearly twenty companies who send out technical staff to provide advice, service and support for participants. Working in conjunction with local agents, company technicians visit their customers sorting warranty problems, offering training advice and support. Here we introduce some of the companies who will be on the docks in 2017 to provide support. 


Marine communications specialists MailaSail are amongst the most sort-after people on the dock; their expertise in Iridium set-up and connections is appreciated by cruisers struggling to get at-sea email working. 

There are two SSB specialist companies that work with the ARC - and SailCom. Both offer installation services as well as advice, and come to Las Palmas before the start of the ARC, helping boats get their SSB functioning. German radio company, are specialists in modern marine radio technology, combining traditional SSB radio with newest digital data communication technologies offered for HF radio via Pactor equipment and also offer a live SSB radio check for participants. Meanwhile Bob and Clare Smith from SailCom sell a wide range of communications and safety equipment, including iCom SSB, Pactor modems, EPIRBS and SARTs. They also have a specialist training company, YachtCom and will be onsite to support their customers before ARC+ and the ARC.  


With around 80% of the ARC fleet with some item of Raymarine equipment aboard, the regatta support engineers from Raymarine have a busy time visiting all the boats. Top priority for the engineers is to ensure autopilots are in tip-top condition and correctly set-up for the 2,700 nautical mile Atlantic crossing. 

Onboard Equipment

Having taken part in the ARC themselves, Jim and Ann MacDonald from Watermaker supplier Mactra are well placed to assist with any customer queries. Customers can request free checks by Schenker factory technicians, and also support Katadyn/PUR watermaker customers.

Both Watt&Sea hydrogenerators and Hydrovane self-steering have become items of choice for ARC sailors, growing significantly in popularity in recent years. Technicians including Tom Logisch visit participants in the days before the start to ensure these items are functioning for the trip. 


Admiral Marine Insurance provide a free rig check for all their clients, and ARC rigger, “Jerry-the-Rigger”, has a busy two weeks inspecting rigs and offering practical advice around the fleet, passing any repairs onto local rigging companies. He also hosts the popular Rigging seminar, and you can check out his top tips for rig checks.

After the Caribbean

Many boat owners are also faced with the question of what to do at the end of the Caribbean season. Logistics experts Peters and May provide bespoke shipping quotes for each boat sailing with the fleet for their return to Europe, and the team at Professional Yacht Deliveries also talk through providing boat delivery services or additional crew with skippers.

Manufacturers and Brokers

Yacht manufacturers typically represented include CNB/Lagoon, Discovery Yachts, Hallberg Rassy, Jeanneau, and Oyster. As well as visiting owners to discuss any queries, they also hold special functions for their owners. Specialist bluewater yacht brokers, Berthon will also be on site to wish participants a special Bon Voyage! 

With so many industry technicians on hand, ARC yacht can rest assured that they will be departing Gran Canaria in the best possible shape for their transatlantic voyage.