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Old 04-12-2006, 14:18   #1
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The "Cruising planning book"

Many cruisers plan their cruise using a big three-ring binder (or several of them) to organize all the lists, the research, the tasks and gear - acomplished and waiting to done/purchased.

What are the tools and techniques you have used? Have you tried ones which didn't work out well for you?

My current approach is filling a 3-ring binder with lists of things, broken down very roughly between the primary systems of navigation (including electronics), sails and rig, engine/mechanical. I'm still building an inventory of all the gear I have available to me, in part because I'm trying to figure out what I need/want with on the trip I'm planning for.

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Old 04-12-2006, 18:12   #2
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Niki and I put everything in an electronic file, like excell always backed up with a flash card. As we started I would just print the list out right here on the boat. Now as we finish a project I change the color of print to red for the task completed. It adds another record inaddition to the log or journal that we keep both on a web site and here on the laptop. Almost everything from budget spread sheets to boat specs are kept here. A very nice tool to stay on focus and not get caught up in the little things.
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Old 04-12-2006, 21:22   #3
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::nod:: I've actually been using a wiki for the same thing, but backups are harder so I'm switching to something else.
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Old 01-02-2007, 15:13   #4
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where can i find the book
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Old 01-02-2007, 16:24   #5
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Spiral bound exercise book...

I'm using a spiral bound exercise book, but I only "plan" up to about 3 months ahead. Mostly shopping lists, sketch plans, measurements and any contract amounts that I may have paid.
Most times I'm lucky if tomorrow's jobs are planned.
I dont have enough money and there are not enough skilled people available to point at a job and say "Do it please.".
I've found that if anyone is working on the boat it is a good idea to supervise them closely. This greatly reduces the value of outside labour.
I could not do it on a timetable.
To have a complete plan would be overwhelming.
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Old 01-02-2007, 16:52   #6
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Actually I have a software program I wrote that saves all the data and organizes it. It does logs based on date/time or engine hours. You can create an unlimited set of logs with an unlimited number of entries. Stores contacts, text notes, expenses, and links to documents. Launches programs and opens default applications, does bulk Email, links pictures and just a lot of stuff. Skype support for your contacts, address labels can be printed and import / export with Microsoft Outlook for contacts or anything in a comma delimited format.

Currently it's in beta testing so if any one has an interest send me a private email and I'll pass on the details on how to download your free version. Yes, free! The free version will never expire and it will operate all through the gold version 1.xx too. I use it myself and it's been running a few years now. I write software for a living so I know a little bit about writing good code.

For now it's a free offer so I'm not trying to make money off this just yet. It runs under Microsoft Windows. Also it can be installed on a USB drive so you can lug it to and from the boat. Since it's in beta you can ask for enhancements and they might actually happen/ For now updates are free as is limited support (I have to work to make money too).

I would be pleased to share this with Cruisers Forum members. It would be nice if you were a registered member of Cruisers Forum. I like to speak up for the home team too.
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Old 01-02-2007, 17:07   #7
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Mmm...

"The cruise book" is something like a never-ending list of tasks, or goals, and it's used as a way of breaking the big huge steps of organizing a cruise down into smaller, accomplishable jobs.

I organized mine on a wiki (sorry, its on my network server, which isn't on the internet), and it's broken down by the big "systems" on my boat (Engine, Electrical, Sails & deck, Plumbing) and the cruising tasks of Navigation, Stores, and Legal.

So, under the Sails & deck section I have a list of all the sails (including dimensions, and the hardware like 1/2" slugs on the main,) all the running rigging (dimensions, lengths, blocks, hardware), all the standing rigging, etc. Plus I have a list of tasks I must accomplish before the cruise (new sail cover, replace outhaul block and shackle...), and a list of fantasy gear (electronic masthead windspeed/direction, boom gallows, new fully-battened main.) Each section details the gear I have, tasks to be done, etc.

The navigation section includes a list of all the charts I will want on board, and relevant texts. I don't really have much in way of electronic instruments, but they're here too. I used to list the navigation classes I wanted to take here, and I probably will again as I get closer to the departure date, but I also mark down texts I need to read (again,) as well as jotted notes of what I need to study, cruising guides I've heard about, and websites to visit. Between Navigation and Legal I should get to know all of the ports and countries on my planned course.

Stores used to be something I worried about a lot. Now I just make sure I have enough of my usual collection of backpacking foods, plan to supplement en route, and head out. For the big cruise I've added RO watermaker here, and I hope I have enough money for it. Fuel, rigging spares, and clothing all fall under stores, but engine spares, lightbulbs, and the extra handheld GPS are under the Engine, Electrical, or Navigation sections. Which probably shows how disorganized I really am.

Legal is written down, but I don't have much there. I have collected the boat's documentation, my documentation, and I have a note to go find out everything needed to clear into and out of my ports of call (for my planned big cruise this isn't much, from the USA mainland to USA Hawaii, and back again.) I'm taking this more seriously, however, based on the story out of Australia.

I figure the number of tasks I have written down now will probably keep me busy until I'm 100 years old. And every time I'm on the boat for a while I find a few more things to add to the list. But I know I will start getting more things crossed off than added eventually, and when most things are done, all of the critical ones, I'll just go. I can finish up en route, or figure out how to do without.


(As a note to people who might wonder, no I don't have a section for Galley. I'm going to sail with the one that's on the boat, and the few cooking implements I can squeeze in.)
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