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Old 03-12-2011, 08:08   #1
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Hello, Brand New Here

Hello all,

I have passed from the lurking stage to registering as I just completed my first purchase of a cruiser, 290 Sea Ray

I am familiar with speed boats and spending time on them in a lake environment. I completed a boater safety course about 8 years ago, but now I plan on doing some limited off shore cruising in the Gulf of Mexico.

I do plan on taking some advance Coast Guard boaters courses but I would welcome any suggestions from experienced boaters for this type boat and use.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:11   #2
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Re: Hello, brand new here.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Boeing.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:29   #3
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Re: Hello, brand new here.

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Originally Posted by Boeing View Post
Hello all,

I have passed from the lurking stage to registering as I just completed my first purchase of a cruiser, 290 Sea Ray

I am familiar with speed boats and spending time on them in a lake environment. I completed a boater safety course about 8 years ago, but now I plan on doing some limited off shore cruising in the Gulf of Mexico.

I do plan on taking some advance Coast Guard boaters courses but I would welcome any suggestions from experienced boaters for this type boat and use.
Welcome aboard,the best advice one could give to you at this time is get a sailboat.....good luck ..DVC
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Old 03-12-2011, 13:35   #4
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

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Originally Posted by Boeing View Post
Hello all,

I have passed from the lurking stage to registering as I just completed my first purchase of a cruiser, 290 Sea Ray

I am familiar with speed boats and spending time on them in a lake environment. I completed a boater safety course about 8 years ago, but now I plan on doing some limited off shore cruising in the Gulf of Mexico.

I do plan on taking some advance Coast Guard boaters courses but I would welcome any suggestions from experienced boaters for this type boat and use.
Welcome!

My main advice would be: Prepare for the worst. File a float plan with someone who will be responsible for calling the Coast Guard if you don't check in at a specified time. Make sure that time has plenty of leeway built in to cut down on false alarms.

Calculate your range by measuring yourself. Absolute best way is to have a fuel flow meter installed. Barring that, on a lake, fill up your tank, then pick a comfortable speed, note the RPMs, and keep it at that speed for several miles. An hour would be good. You can do shorter times, but your accuracy drops. Go back and fill up and calculate for consumption. Now, do it again for another speed. What you want is a chart with RPM vs. fuel consumption curve. You also have to know that rough seas or head winds can affect the speed you are able to make at a particular RPM.

Once you know your fuel burn rate, for planning purposes, only plan on 2/3rds of that distance. If you find you have a 150 mile range, only plan on 100 miles. That's for emergency.

Must have equipment:
  • VHF radio with a tall folding antenna
  • GPS or 2 or 3
  • Paper charts
  • Compass
  • Hand operated bilge pump
  • A good boarding ladder
  • Life vests that are comfortable to wear at all times
  • Good, comprehensive first aid kit, and a good first aid book
  • Plenty of extra drinking water
  • Extra food

CHECK THE WEATHER BEFORE YOU LEAVE! Be a chicken. If in the least doubt, don't go.

First run, just go out for an hour to get the feel of what "1-2 foot seas" is actually like. Depending on wind direction, etc. 1-2 foot seas can actually be very uncomfortable unless you drastically alter your speed.

Also, it's good to have a set of rules for everyone to follow, like you can't go from the cockpit out onto the front of the boat without telling the captain first. (Or maybe: no one on the bow while underway at all.) Use the buddy system, each person is responsible for knowing exactly what the other person is doing at all times.

This is not meant to be a complete list. I'm just rattling off a few things to get the conversation started.

-dan
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Old 03-12-2011, 13:43   #5
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

Dan, thanks....I never even thought of a hand operated bilge pump, going to get that taken care of asap. I already have most of the rest on the to do list. I also just ordered 2 gps emergency locator beacons.

I posted on another thread, but will ask here...I have been researching life rafts and such. For close in shore sailing in your opinion would an inflatable dinghy be a good alternative? What concerns me is the problems it seems people have with rafts and the tendency to use them to quickly in an emergency or the potential for failure. However, the dinghy takes time to prepare if it is not towed.

Great idea about the fuel....I kind of had a loose plan in my mind for calculating burn rate but your notes is a better guide. Is there any safe way to carry small canisters of fuel aboard?

I have a lot to learn and I am the first to admit it...but I want to do this right and safe.
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Old 03-12-2011, 13:45   #6
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Re: Hello, brand new here.

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Welcome aboard,the best advice one could give to you at this time is get a sailboat.....good luck ..DVC
I have already crossed over to the dark side!
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Old 03-12-2011, 13:46   #7
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Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Boeing.
Thanks! A lot of good information on this forum.
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Old 03-12-2011, 13:57   #8
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

dacust had many great recommendations however i think one VERY important requirement if you're going offshore and out of vhf/phone range is that you have spare filters (fuel), plugs (it is a gas boat,right?) and some knowlege of simple mechanics. nothing worse than having the engine quit far offshore and having no ability to fix the problem. barring this, get an epirb. have fun and be safe...
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Old 03-12-2011, 14:00   #9
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

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dacust had many great recommendations however i think one VERY important requirement if you're going offshore and out of vhf/phone range is that you have spare filters (fuel), plugs (it is a gas boat,right?) and some knowlege of simple mechanics. nothing worse than having the engine quit far offshore and having no ability to fix the problem. barring this, get an epirb. have fun and be safe...
Yes it is gas. I am pretty handy mechanically so that wouldn't be a problem. I did want the twin for this very issue though of losing an engine. I definitely am going to have a good tool kit on board but what other spare parts do people bring for open water sailing? I never thought about spare filters....damn...learning a lot here.

What is an epirb?
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Old 03-12-2011, 19:37   #10
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

I would recommend "SEA TOW" for anyone. I have had coverage for many years and have the 'pleasure' to use it.
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Old 04-12-2011, 06:04   #11
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

Welcome aboard, Boeing.
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:07   #12
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

EPIRB = Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:15   #13
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Re: Hello, Brand New Here

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Dan, thanks....I never even thought of a hand operated bilge pump, going to get that taken care of asap. I already have most of the rest on the to do list. I also just ordered 2 gps emergency locator beacons.

I posted on another thread, but will ask here...I have been researching life rafts and such. For close in shore sailing in your opinion would an inflatable dinghy be a good alternative? What concerns me is the problems it seems people have with rafts and the tendency to use them to quickly in an emergency or the potential for failure. However, the dinghy takes time to prepare if it is not towed.

Great idea about the fuel....I kind of had a loose plan in my mind for calculating burn rate but your notes is a better guide. Is there any safe way to carry small canisters of fuel aboard?

I have a lot to learn and I am the first to admit it...but I want to do this right and safe.
How small....I hope you're not planning to have extra fuel, because "small" cannisters will not do much more than start your engine. A boat of you size will go through about 6 gal/hour at 2500 RPM and much, much more at higher rpm's.

Oh yea....Never, ever put any fuel below deck!!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:25   #14
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I have already crossed over to the dark side!
Don't worry. the sun shines on both sides. You get to have just as much fun as everyone else.
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