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Old 03-04-2009, 05:07   #16
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This is a good topic and there is no one answer because it depends and so many variables, the main one being the size of boat and how many are aboard.

Bigger boat = more maintanence and higher cost. If the comfort etc is worth that then you will look at the more complex systems associated with larger yachts.

But in a more general sense if you chose a large ENOUGH yacht to be comfortable what might that be like for a couple?


This is crucial because you spend most of your time at anchor. If you move around that means you need to be able to easily set and up anchor. This must not be a chore! It must be secure! For me this mean all chain, a good snubber system and a vertical windlass with a rope gypsy. This allows me to use a second anchor with rope and use it to go aloft! Anchoring for me is so stressfree that I think nothing about moving the boat to a new spot or motoring to the dock for fuel etc. Anchoring is very high on the list of sensible crusing.


This is part of safety, knowing where you are. I find that GPS and chartplotters are supper for this. I carry paper charts, and charting tools and know how to do it "old style" (back up). If you want the KISS approach use "old style) but I think sensible cruising would be to have a chart plotter with a back up and carry paper charts. You should also have a good cruising guide for your area. Incredible information alll laid out for you including local knowledge for entering harbors. A must.


Here you need a reliable motor, which will make electricity of course, but helpful in anchoring and necessary with an electric windlass (highy recommended). You need some form of self steering. It could be a wind vane (don't work when you motor in no wind) or a basic pilot. Smaller boat can do with a wheel of tiller pilot. Bigger, heavier boats benefit from a below decks one. You don't want to be at the helm all the time. That's insane. Self steering a must, Spares and knowlegde of basic repair. If it fails you gotta steer, learn how to rig the boat to steer without a pilot or helmsman. Good sails and rigging go without saying with a good reefing system.


Absolutely essentiual for cruing because you will be at anchor 99% of the time. You can go simple and row. Good for your heath, but slow and usually small and tippy. Your dink is your life line to shore, provisioning, interacting with other boats and shore side activities. Inflatables have many advantages. get one with large tubes - drier. You don't need a large OB unless you anchor miles off. But you need to consider the fuel issue and stowing or towing. Towing offshore is ill advised. Think this through and get the right dink. You'll use it every day several times and a good one is required for sensible cruising.


Commication is also key here, VHF at the very min. SSB will allow you access to weather info and long distance communucations. This is a safety feature.


Make sure you have all the safety features such as harnesses, life jackets, MOB gear, flares etc. and know how to use them. A sea anchor or drogue is something you might consider as well in addition to the items mentioned above. And don't forget a well equipped ditch bag.


A sensible crusier has spares, tools and the knowledge to maintain the boat and do repairs. This may include line, hardware, rigging wire, norsemen or stalocs, fileter, oil, pumps and assorted engine parts. If youy don't use the spares, fine. When you need them they are invaluable and often hard to find out there and much more expensive. If your alternator goes south or a engine pump you could be stuck for weeks.

Creature comforts

Whatever you feel you need to be comfortable at sea and at anchor is sensible. I like hot showers and if you do consider a large enough tanks and a heat exhanger from your engine. Entertainment means electricity and powering comm gear, nav gear, auto pilots, pumps, lights require power. A sensible cruiser will have adaquate battery storage and charging regimen for them which may include wind or solar or just an high output alternator and a system monitor. In this category I would include a sensible accommodation plan and a decent galley and nav station and berths which can work for at anchor or underway and a large enough cockpit which is reasonably protected. At anchor you'll be in it a lot so it should be comfy and functional. You'll want good ventilation and probably some sort of awning or sun protection. This will keep the boat cooler by 10.

Reasonable expectations and a good attitude

There is lots to see so take your time and be humble when you visit other countries as you are a guest in their nation. Live by the clean wake philosophy and you will be welcomed and bnuild good will for the other cruisers out there.

What did I miss?

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Old 03-04-2009, 05:54   #17
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djef I think you did an excellent description of "sensible cruising" thank you

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Old 03-04-2009, 07:30   #18
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Originally Posted by captain58sailin View Post
While refrigeration is not strictly a necessity, it is really nice to have a cold drink on a hot day, and for extended cruising, I think it really adds to the quality of life aboard. I also like fresh meat, but I haven't figured out where to put the pig, cow and chickens.

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:03   #19
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I didn't include a refer in list, but I do have one which is has an engine driven compressor and can be taken down to freezer temps.

When I planned by cruising, I decided that I WOULD run my engine for charging and hotwater daily and then throw in the refer. When doing passages what I do is get prepared frozen meals and pack the refer, which I cool down to freezer temps. I work my way down to the bottom and can do a 2 week passage with two aboard and enjoy some tasty meals. In port I revert to using it as a refer.

We run it in the am to shower, replenishing our hot water, vacuum, charge the batts and cool the refer. When we run to the fuel dock to top off we also run the refer. I don't use it for cooling beer usually but use it for already cold items, such as milk or meat or juice. Putting a case of warm beer in will really take a lot of BTUs to cool it down. I enjoy beer at a local pub as a treat.
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Old 04-04-2009, 01:14   #20
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Originally Posted by Squeaks View Post
while daydreaming at the office all week, it's easy to want or feel the need for more stuff. But when actually using the stuff (when it eventually gets installed) often doesn't improve the "quality" of the cruise that much.
Squeaks is absolutly correct!
Often people say wait a year before you buy it because then you know if you really need it.
We have a rule that everything must have a multiple use.

It really makes us think when we are about to buy it: What else can we use it for? If nothing, then leave it on the shelves for some sucker to buy.

Other rules we have: If its not on the shopping list we don't buy it! i.e. no IMPULSE buying!

Leave vanity at the shop door, leave personal comfort there too. When we have a 'budget surplus' then we divi up the spoils and go BESERK!!!!!!!! (Going beserk on $10 ain't much fun, but its more fun that $5! )

PS Dinner guest last night said he spent $3,000 on wet weather geer for him and his wife.
We spent $200 at chandlers sales and have Gill and Musto HPX!!!!!!!!

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