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Old 03-11-2014, 06:16   #1
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Land-lock training & prep options

I'm land-locked in Ohio, and looking for things I can train for over the winter in prep for full time cruising.

Obviously, I'm looking at various on-line courses, and I've already made a post about those. Seems mostly Nav classes are the most helpful online courses available.

Anything else I could be doing? The two things I was thinking about are:
1. Marine Diesel class - although still not widely available in land-locked Ohio.. would a regular automobile-based diesel class help?

2. HAM license. Is this really necessary anymore?

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Old 03-11-2014, 07:01   #2
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

MOST important thing... Rules Of The Road. You MUST have a sound knowledge of the ColRegs as they are also known. Download free or buy hardcopy cheap at any chandlery or nautical book store. You can download the entire question pool for the Rules Of The Road element that is part of every USCG deck officer exam from 6-pack to unlimited master. The Rules test is the same for all classes of license because EVERYONE who operates ANY vessel MUST be on the same page with identifying lights and shapes, sound signals, and collision avoidance. This is why I shudder at the realization that 99% of all vessels I encounter are being operated by someone with no license. You never know what they are gonna do cause you don't know if they will steer in accordance with the Rules, or just go with a feeling.

KNOW the Rules. Even though the next guy might not.

You might also rethink your landlocked status. If you owned a daysailer or light cruising boat that is trailerable, you could always drive down to the Gulf and sail around in all the lakes and bays and sounds where the water is ice free year round. Just watch out for those Northers though. Many of them still pack a potent punch even after they get down here. If you could find any of the McGregor 26 variants in decent used condition that would be okay for long distance trailering with a heavy pickup. The McGregor would give you good shelter from winter weather and reasonable overnight accommodations on the water or parked on the hard. A 20 to 25 foot daysailer would tow behind a smaller truck or mid size car and be better for learning on, but you would lose more sailing time to weather. In the summer, your trailer queen could be used on local lakes.

Google "Power Squadron" for information on basic boating courses. A cheap introduction to boating in general.
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Old 03-11-2014, 20:23   #3
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

I'll definitely go over the ColRegs and learn them. As well as other courses I can do on line.

Just looking for other things I can do, other than on line classes. Actually was looking up Marine Diesel training engines, and couldn't really find anything. Too many google results for mechanics schools.

Thanks
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Old 03-11-2014, 20:53   #4
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

Oh as for a ham license, that is an option that you might or might not find worthwhile. If you intend to install HF SSB radio, it is a good thing to be able to operate on both marine and amateur bands. There are a lot of interesting or useful nets for sailors on the ham bands. But it is not a must have, IMHO.

If you have HF gear you will need a ship station license and also an operator license anyhow. May as well get the ham ticket. Most modern HF rigs can be used on the ham bands, though it can be awkward without knob tuning. Ham rigs cannot be used except in emergencies on marine bands because they generally do not have type acceptance for marine use. You can of course carry a marine HF radio and also a Ham radio, which is definitely the way to go if you have space for both. You could even use the same antenna (often a backstay) and tuner for both. There may be minor compatibility issues, and a seperate manual tuner might be better for the Ham rig.

Most coastal or inshore cruisers don't find that they have a compelling need for HF, and are content with only a modern VHF radio. Just sayin. Marine VHF radios are not compatible with amateur service. There are amateur VHF bands but that calls for an entirely different radio.
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Old 10-11-2014, 22:26   #5
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

I would say, go for the auto diesel class. A lot of what you will learn will cross over. The more you can learn about the systems on a boat the more self sufficient you can be.

I would also say to get your Ham license. Not mandatory these days with all the other options, but still good stuff. You need to get your "General" license to do most of what you will want on a boat.

Another good skill to work on over the winter is marlinspike seamanship. Practice your knots and learn to splice line.



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Old 10-11-2014, 22:33   #6
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

A few years back a guy at our sailing club told us about ice sailing he used to do in the winter. Said it was a blast, literally and figuratively. That may be another option for a landlocked sailor.
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Old 10-11-2014, 23:05   #7
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

I don't know where you are located in Ohio, my suggestion for diesel engines would be to find a school that taught diesel truck mechanics instead of automotive diesel mechanics. To put it simply, those are 2 separate systems and a class specializing in automotive systems will spend a lot of time covering systems that you will never see in the marine environment. Many years ago I visited a school in Cleveland that focused on trucks, don't remember what it was called but it wasn't too far from the Cleveland Museum of Art if that helps.

If you can't find a truck school that will let you audit an appropriate class, check out your local community colleges. I'd call up the department head and explain what your goals are and ask him if he had any recommendations for any of their classes.

If you cannot find any diesel engine classes a basic automotive engine class would also be a good start to the foundations of what makes engines run and they all pretty much work the same except for the ignition systems.


Ham Radio, well my suggestion is to take a class (or just self study and take the exams) and then see if you find it interesting or not. If nothing else, you'll definitely learn enough to save money doing your own installation and antenna troubleshooting. An added benefit is if you get a radio and antenna hooked up at home you can really work on your communication skills in the comfort of your home and not have to deal with that issue when you are having to learn everything else about running a boat. There is a great maritime mobile net on 14.300 that you can monitor and possibly participate in.
Couple of links:
Maritime Mobile Service Network
14300.net

Regarding radios, the only 2 models that I have ever used are the SGC 2020 that is lower powered but small and sells for around $500 ish used,
and the SGC2000 that is higher powered and usually sells used for about $100 more. Both of those radios are certified for marine and amateur radio bands. They are also a little dated and I am sure there are newer models that do both as well, but I'd be comfortable with either of those on a boat.

Other things to learn while on the hard would be any classes taught locally by the US power squadrons. The more exposure you get to all things boating is never harmful.

And of course, don't forget to have a good time while doing it!
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Old 10-11-2014, 23:25   #8
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

What about tractor diesel classes? Especially considering that many small marine diesels are marinized tractor or gen motors.
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Old 10-11-2014, 23:50   #9
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

That would be the best possible situation, unfortunately agricultural mechanics is only taught in High Schools any more, and nobody teaches diesels in them.
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Old 11-11-2014, 00:54   #10
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

Quote:
Originally Posted by MBWhite View Post
That would be the best possible situation, unfortunately agricultural mechanics is only taught in High Schools any more, and nobody teaches diesels in them.
May be one can some continued ed course in diesels from a local high school or community college, especially in the middle of OH. Or get together a few fellow boaters and hire a local shop teacher knowledgeable in agri diesels to give a course to them for few weekends. I periodically run into ads in boat magazines for such seminars. Hey, I think I just stumbled upon a great business idea for the long winter months.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:13   #11
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

Take an advanced or wilderness first aid course. Basics don't change land vs water.

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Old 15-11-2014, 12:04   #12
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

Good ideas guys.

Thanks for the ideas, this will give me some things to do, as well as prep the house for sale (projects projects projects), and save/invest.

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Old 10-12-2014, 12:33   #13
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

thanks for the ideas by the way, very usefull,
im land locked as well in madrid..
cheers



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Old 16-12-2014, 12:15   #14
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Re: Land-lock training & prep options

Quick updates on us, after the advice given here:

1. Taking the Amateur Radio license test on 12/31. I'm a Electrical Engineer, so not alot of studying for that one.

2. Looking at first aid classes, but none selected yet. Initially just general ones, before upgrading to survival grade.

3. Many more house projects than I thought, when actually starting to look. Amazing. Heck, things like "re-stain the garage stairs" which you never think of unless you are going to sell....

4. Trying to make plans for warmer weather training - either Annapolis Cruiser's Academy, or a Caribbean trip with a possible sailing component.

5. Working on knots, including fishing knots. Alot different than fresh water fishing rigs. Some knots actually help with storing extension cords... who knew...

6. Not really training, but selling off stuff and putting proceeds in Cruising Kitty. Seems a bit childish, and possibly more work than it is worth, but also important mentally. Some stuff should probably go to donation, but it's the principle. Sold some old roller skates for $10... in to the kitty... I have funds all over labeled 401(k) and IRA and such, but this is the only one labeled Cruising Kitty. The amount of money going in to this kitty is nothing so far, < $400. We know the majority of funds will be from selling real estate, AND getting the kids self-sufficient. But having a jar in the bedroom for this specific purpose is just mentally refreshing.

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