"IF IT AIN'T BROKE...DON'T FIX IT!"
Dag Blidback, 54, sailed for Sweden in the Olympic Games of 1968 and 1972.
He was mainsail trimmer on 'Intrepid' twice when she competed for the America's Cup and was at the top of Star class racing for fifteen
'Hotel California', with Dag as skipper, won all her races at the Bequia Easter Regatta '99.
Then he went on to win the single-handed race with 'Stardust' and became the first person ever to win every single race in the
Dag purchased 'Stardust', an Arcona 36, six years ago and re-fitted her as a
racer/cruiser, combining high performance with creature comfort. Elsewhere
in this edition you may have read how 'Stardust' sank, ablaze, off Trinidad last
We asked Dag what equipment aboard 'Stardust' he most regretted losing when she went
"The Autohelm 6000 was installed in Sweden in 1988, when 'Stardust' was
built. When I was getting the boat ready to cross the Atlantic, six years ago, I contacted the Autohelm representative and told him I was going on a long
voyage. I asked whether I should get the auto-pilot serviced.
"Is it broken?" he asked. When I told him that it was not, he said
"If it ain't broken, don't fix it." Well, he should know, so I left well
A couple of years later I asked again whether, by
now, it shouldn't be serviced.
Again I was asked whether the unit was broken. "No", I said, "it works fine."
Once again the representative said "If it ain't broken, don't fix it."
He had been right the last time so, once again, I took his advice and left well
Last year, in Trinidad, thousands of sea miles
later, I asked the local agent whether I should get my Autohelm 6000 serviced.
"Is it broken?" he asked. "Well, no" I said, "it
"If it ain't broken" he said...
The steering system was linear-drive,
It had an electrically operated motor with an arm which pushed the steering
Right up to the moment I realised the fire was beyond control and I had to make the decision to abandon
'Stardust', that Autohelm 6000 never missed a beat."
" I had a great windlass aboard 'Stardust'. It was a Lewmar 'Concept' vertical capstan with rope and chain
facilities. Light, low to the deck and very powerful.
I was really impressed with Lewmar's after-sales service, too. When I had a minor problem with
it, last year, they sent me the part to fix it, at no charge..."
"The SureFlow Freshwater System was installed when my Arcona 36,
'Stardust' was first built.
The only time it ever failed was when, after twelve problem-free years, it melted down in the fire that sank
"I had three spare impellers on board but, after 4000 hours running, the Jabsco
impeller on my engine was still working perfectly when 'Stardust', my Arcona 36, went
"In the five years after I had a Shipmate 5800 G.P.S. installed on board
'Stardust' , my Arcona 36 racer/cruiser, I never switched it off.
It was superb. It had excellent graphics and all the functions I could ever need or