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Old 24-03-2012, 14:22   #1
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Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Hello all,

My wife and I will be taking the first leg of our circumnavigation starting on May 3rd. I have spent two years retrofitting the boat and remain confident that she will sail well. However, I am curious about what each of you would do to prepare for such a cruise. So here is my question for you all:

What is your Top 10 list of things to do to your boat to prepare for cruising

Rene "the Witchdoctor" Steinhauer

PS. Yes, I know we all have about 250 items that need to be done, but what are your top 10?
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Old 24-03-2012, 14:34   #2
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

That's a really good question, I guess those jobs that you really don't want to have to do whilst away from home. So;

a. Replace the heads waste pipe.

b. Visit the top of the mast and sort the lights and VHF.

c. Sort out good sleeping mattresses.

d. Sort shade for cockpit area if going to sunny climes.

Pete
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Old 24-03-2012, 14:48   #3
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

I think the most important is to cruse locally first. This will give you lots of time to fix problems where you know how to locate the best resources to fix problems and make modifications, that will arrise, despite the best preparation.
Other than that just do it- it's a wonderfull life.
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Old 24-03-2012, 14:57   #4
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

1. Don't make plans...other than the departure.

2. Live in the moment.

3. Take some yummy food and beverages.

4. That's about all.
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Old 24-03-2012, 15:19   #5
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Hello all,

That's a great start! FYI, our first leg of the circumnavigation will be the shake down cruise from San Francisco to San diego. I have been up and down the California coast before and we have done local cruising on this boat in San Francisco Bay.

Despite the fact that we have been working on the boat regularly, some of our top items are:

1. Engine Maintance: change belts, oil and filters
2. Install the new watermaker


These are pretty obvious, I am just wondering what others do. My hope is that perhaps I have missed the obvious and find it on this post. On the other hand, perhaps we are on the right track.

The Witchdoctor
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Old 24-03-2012, 15:27   #6
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Install,practice and understand windvane steering,ssb radio,reefing system.

Install and understand changing impellers, raw water pumps.

Install and understand and use whatever weather info source you have decided on,ie weatherfax,radio etc.

Acquire emergency repair items for sails, hull, rigging,steering.

Above all take it slowly, enjoy every moment and don't be tempted to rush from place to place tooo quickly! Have fun!
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Old 24-03-2012, 15:31   #7
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

The watermaker install might be complex. Best to do that in SF or SD where there are parts handy.

The engine maintenance you'd better learn to to underway, at sea, in odd locations.

Sail out the Golden Gate 10 miles on a blustery day to see what breaks, what spills, what leaks, what doesn't work as expected, etc. Test the reefing, the furling, see if the fuel is clean after a good day of bouncing around.
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Old 24-03-2012, 15:45   #8
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

You are on the right trak. Try and do everything yourself, generally you will do the job better and gain an understanding of the systems.
There are many parts of the world where you will have to do repairs without outside assistance. Water makers are easy to install, and it's vital to learn rountene engine maintance.
Do a full service on the engine,impeller , oil water, filter change etc. if you have any problems it is helpfully to find this out where there is a mechanic that speaks English to help if you have any problems.
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Old 24-03-2012, 19:15   #9
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

1. Unplug the dock power and live on the boat for 4 days. Use the heads, stove, interior lighting. See how your batteries and charging system work.

2. Shake down cruise--leave the dock and daysail the bay--let the autopilot steer, practice reefing, tacking, going wing-on wing, use radar and AIS, chartplotter or other navigation systems. Run the engine at full throttle for 20 minutes and make sure it doesn't overheat.

3. Shake down cruise--go out the Gate and beat up to Drakes Bay for a weekend if NW winds, or down to Half Moon Bay if S winds. Check for leaks, seasickness, autopilot in waves, nav lights, dump holding tank at sea. Use the anchor and spend the night. Practice getting offshore comms and weather.

4. Shake down cruise--sail down to San Diego. Practice overnight sailing, watch systems, anchoring, launching and retrieiving the dinghy, offshore navigation and ship identification/avoidance. Spend at least two consecutive nights at sea and get a feel for crew fatigue.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.
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Old 24-03-2012, 19:36   #10
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
1. Unplug the dock power and live on the boat for 4 days. Use the heads, stove, interior lighting. See how your batteries and charging system work.

2. Shake down cruise--leave the dock and daysail the bay--let the autopilot steer, practice reefing, tacking, going wing-on wing, use radar and AIS, chartplotter or other navigation systems. Run the engine at full throttle for 20 minutes and make sure it doesn't overheat.

3. Shake down cruise--go out the Gate and beat up to Drakes Bay for a weekend if NW winds, or down to Half Moon Bay if S winds. Check for leaks, seasickness, autopilot in waves, nav lights, dump holding tank at sea. Use the anchor and spend the night. Practice getting offshore comms and weather.

4. Shake down cruise--sail down to San Diego. Practice overnight sailing, watch systems, anchoring, launching and retrieiving the dinghy, offshore navigation and ship identification/avoidance. Spend at least two consecutive nights at sea and get a feel for crew fatigue.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.
Probably some of the best advise I have seen....shakedown cruises are essential, from dinghies to carriers.
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Old 24-03-2012, 20:03   #11
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

All wonderful Ideas for prepareing to cruise, Connie and I have One thing we do for each other, she finds new and GOOD Treats for me for those night watchs ! and I do the same for her ! after 5 or 6 days at sea we gift the other with the goodies we kept hidden untill then !! sorta takes away those night time watch blues a little and reminds us how much we enjoy each others company ! Sorta juvinile I guess but it works for us !! just a thought
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Old 24-03-2012, 20:29   #12
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
1. Unplug the dock power and live on the boat for 4 days. Use the heads, stove, interior lighting. See how your batteries and charging system work.

2. Shake down cruise--leave the dock and daysail the bay--let the autopilot steer, practice reefing, tacking, going wing-on wing, use radar and AIS, chartplotter or other navigation systems. Run the engine at full throttle for 20 minutes and make sure it doesn't overheat.

3. Shake down cruise--go out the Gate and beat up to Drakes Bay for a weekend if NW winds, or down to Half Moon Bay if S winds. Check for leaks, seasickness, autopilot in waves, nav lights, dump holding tank at sea. Use the anchor and spend the night. Practice getting offshore comms and weather.

4. Shake down cruise--sail down to San Diego. Practice overnight sailing, watch systems, anchoring, launching and retrieiving the dinghy, offshore navigation and ship identification/avoidance. Spend at least two consecutive nights at sea and get a feel for crew fatigue.

Good luck and enjoy yourself.
I second this post! Incredible gifted insight to what lays ahead...
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Old 24-03-2012, 21:03   #13
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Really good question.

Off the top of my head, my top 10 would be along the lines of:

1. Go through each and every point in ISAF Special Offshore Regulations CAT 1 Offshore. Understand each and every regulationin the context of your boat. If you don't comply to a particular recommendation, understand what that particular regulation is trying to achieve and be comfortable with the fact that your boat does not meet that requirement. Link here: ISAF : Category 1 Monohull

2. Check, check and recheck your steering system (including dropping the rudder). Fabricate spare cables (if wheel steering)

3. Check, check and recheck your rig (mast out). Replace if even slightly concerned about the integrity or the antiquity of the rigging. (that slight concern will tend to grow exponentially with the wind speed)

4. Clean, clean and re-clean your fuel system and make sure it can handle dirty fuel (inspection covers on tanks, multiple filters, water separators etc) and that these features are accessible.

5. Give your engine some TLC

6. Give your sails and running rigging some TLC

7. Give thought to your passive (solar, wind) and active (alt.) charging and energy use balance and storage capacity.

8. Give thought to chain, anchors, bridles, snubbers etc

9. Give thought to what you will carry, spares, tools, sail repair, medical etc.

10. make sure you have a good autopilot and/or windvane

Test and commission the lot....aka shakedown cruise.
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Old 24-03-2012, 23:47   #14
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

Do all the boaty things and stock up the alcohol......lots of alcohol.
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Old 25-03-2012, 00:22   #15
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Re: Top 10 Items to Prepare for Cruising

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a. Replace the heads waste pipe.

Pete
SUCH A MAN!!!

I would second Noelex'x post - cruising locally first will give you an idea of what you are missing, while it's still easy enough to return to get that stuff!!
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