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Old 22-06-2015, 00:36   #76
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Originally Posted by sparrowhawk1 View Post
Yep I've calibrated a few depth sounders by slowly running the boat aground in a sand bottom with a shallow slope. Then noting the depth read on the sounder before backing up
Don't you think it would be safer to use a lead line to compare depth?

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Old 22-06-2015, 05:56   #77
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Don't you think it would be safer to use a lead line to compare depth?

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That will tell you the difference between the reading and the depth what I want to know is what the meter says when I touch bottom. Not dangerous at all just pick a calm day and go slow. very easy. Best to do it on an incoming tide too
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Old 22-06-2015, 06:29   #78
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

This thread is getting a bit...uhh ridiculous perhaps? I mean, really...make sure your vhf works. Uhhh dunnh..and if it does not work, then what? Don't go? Yike-I must have a radio!! Make sure you have a good anchor and rode? I mean..really..if a person needs this kind of advice, maybe he should stay home, watch golf and drink a beer. What else can we say? make sure there are no leaks where water comes in. This can cause acute loss of watertight integrity. Please! But the whole idea of running aground to calibrate the depth sounder? geeze--it will work but just stay out of shallow water by reading the chart (oh yeah--dont forget a chart..a good one..preferably printed sometime after the Civil War...you don't know how to read a chart? Hmm....) and if you must test the depth--do it at your slip with a boat hook! So, uhh..let's seee..the depth sounder read 6' and my boat draws 4'...so let's put the boat hook down...and oh, it went down 6' so I guess the depth sounder IS calibrated for the actual depth. Perhaps when six pages of comments are required--most of which are redundant and woefully just plain old common sense, one has to wonder--are we making boating safer for all or dumbing it down? Are we encouraging woefully unprepared folks to go sailing or helping them become better sailors? The OP has to start somewhere of course, but where? Perhap the OP needs more advanced courses before he goes cruising. I see thee kinds of threads all the time. A generally competent and smart and coordinated person with some technical and problem solving skills can get by with little boating experience but a person with little common sense or problem solving skills is asking for trouble so are we helping them avert trouble or encouraging them to get in trouble when we say "check your vhf" or "make sure you have a good anchor and rode." Next thing you know the OP Will ask "What's a vhf or why do I need a road?" We need rode scholars...
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Old 22-06-2015, 07:13   #79
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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This thread is getting a bit...uhh ridiculous perhaps? I mean, really...make sure your vhf works. Uhhh dunnh..and if it does not work, then what? Don't go? Yike-I must have a radio!! Make sure you have a good anchor and rode? I mean..really..if a person needs this kind of advice, maybe he should stay home, watch golf and drink a beer. What else can we say? make sure there are no leaks where water comes in. This can cause acute loss of watertight integrity. Please! But the whole idea of running aground to calibrate the depth sounder? geeze--it will work but just stay out of shallow water by reading the chart (oh yeah--dont forget a chart..a good one..preferably printed sometime after the Civil War...you don't know how to read a chart? Hmm....) and if you must test the depth--do it at your slip with a boat hook! So, uhh..let's seee..the depth sounder read 6' and my boat draws 4'...so let's put the boat hook down...and oh, it went down 6' so I guess the depth sounder IS calibrated for the actual depth. Perhaps when six pages of comments are required--most of which are redundant and woefully just plain old common sense, one has to wonder--are we making boating safer for all or dumbing it down? Are we encouraging woefully unprepared folks to go sailing or helping them become better sailors? The OP has to start somewhere of course, but where? Perhap the OP needs more advanced courses before he goes cruising. I see thee kinds of threads all the time. A generally competent and smart and coordinated person with some technical and problem solving skills can get by with little boating experience but a person with little common sense or problem solving skills is asking for trouble so are we helping them avert trouble or encouraging them to get in trouble when we say "check your vhf" or "make sure you have a good anchor and rode." Next thing you know the OP Will ask "What's a vhf or why do I need a road?" We need rode scholars...
I totally get what you're saying, and I tend to agree with you; if I didn't know what a VHF is, I shouldn't be taking this sort of trip. But let me put your mind at ease: I have brand new charts, working navigational tools (parallel rule, dividers, bearing compass, etc.), a fixed VHF with masthead antenna, a handheld VHF with DSC, a new chart plotter/depth sounder, two foghorns, a 22lb. Rocna anchor, 20' of 1/4" chain and 200' 1/2" rode, a copy of Chapman's and the Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual, a bucket, a boat hook, a fly swatter, a 2010 engine diesel engine with a tank of clean fuel, and a healthy sense of adventure. I'm going to be just fine.

I started this thread in order to see if there was anything that I should add to my already comprehensive listóI wasn't asking for someone to write that list for me. Thankfully, everyone has been super nice and encouraging, and I actually found out about something potentially quite useful that I'd never heard of (shout-out to Cuttyhunk for bringing Wag Bags to my attention, they have been acquired!). Most of the replies just confirmed what I already knew: I am properly outfitted and prepared for this trip. Even as someone already confident enough in his abilities to buy a 30' sailboat without any formal instruction on keelboat sailing, that confirmation was welcome.

So thanks everyone!
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Old 22-06-2015, 12:15   #80
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Paul I don't usually respond to trolls but your advice to stay out of shallow water is ridiculous. In Florida I've gone through sections of water that my depth meter read 4 feet and I knew I would touch at 3.8. Just because you're boats specs are four feet doesn't mean your boats drawing 4 feet. Driving your boat very slowly till it touches bottom is not exactly running aground
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Old 22-06-2015, 19:57   #81
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Sparrowhawk--Don't worry--you did not respond to a "troll" but calling my comment "ridiculous" is certainly more "troll-like" than anything I wrote. This is what I wrote "But the whole idea of running aground to calibrate the depth sounder? geeze--it will work but just stay out of shallow water by reading the chart..." As I said IT WILL WORK, but why not ust use my suggested boat hook method--or does that make me a "troll"? If you actually read my detailed comments and did so in the context of the rest of this thread, you might have responded with less stridency. But that just seems to be a pretty high expectation sometimes.
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Old 23-06-2015, 05:06   #82
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Please! But the whole idea of running aground to calibrate the depth sounder? geeze--it will work but just stay out of shallow water by reading the chart

A civil reply... my response was because you called a bunch of good advice ridiculous. Your advice of telling people to stay out of shallow water??? And I explained to you why using a boat hook is not as accurate but I'll say it again in a different way. you don't know precisely when your boat will touch the bottom without touching the bottom. I've done it on every boat I've had and I will continue to do so because it works. If other people find it too dangerous that's their prerogative but to me this forum is for sharing knowledge. Even if it's for newbies. Or maybe more importantly if it's for nbs.
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Old 23-06-2015, 05:59   #83
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Hi everyone,

I just bought my first sailboat, and my girlfriend and I are about to take it from Stamford, CT to its new home in Nantucket Harbor. I grew up cruising in the waters off Cape Cod with my dad, but I was never really in charge, and I've never taken such a long trip. My gf sailed dinghies in college, but has no experience with keelboats.

We plan to leave next weekend, and Iím going to start acquiring supplies and equipment for the boat this week. What are the things that I absolutely need to have on board? Radio, GPS, and charts are all there already, as well as all the mandatory safety equipment (foghorn, flares, lifejackets, etc.). I also have spare impellers and belts for the engine, and a basic tool kit. In addition to general stuff, is there anything that Iíll need that's specific to the area? Anything to look out for?

Thanks in advance!

-Josh
Hi RadioZ - wow - Stanford in Cape Town - we have property there!

Anyway, have not read through all the replies so forgive me if I double up on some stuff - I would suggest if you have the money to obtain a decent PLB that stays on your person whenever you are outside especially at night. Make sure to understand it battery life functionality in differing water temperatures.

Your boat should / MUST have AIS and go for the transceiver type - don't follow 'shallow advice' - BUY THIS ITEM and have it installed and working!

Radar is a good tool and understand setting up targets and alarms - I assume you are sailing with crew (if your girlfriend likes the boat) and will have someone at watch all the time - if not then definitely understand radar and AIS alarm monitoring and setup - you can contact Robert Galley in Cape Town to help if you need some instruction.

Have great DOUBLE TETHER type tethers and a decent harness you wont slip out of. The double clip tether allows you to unclip one whilst being clipped in by the next as you move along the boat in severe conditions.

For comfort (since otherwise you will not wear your lifejacket) get the inflatable type life jackets as they are comfortable to wear topside.

Look at a a personal MOB epirb devise such as the ones we use McMurdo smartfind SRS - these devices carried in your life jacket can be used in a MOB situation to alert your crew member or any other vessel that may be in range of your position and drift in the water by displaying you as an AIS target on the chart plotter. Trust me - if you went overboard for any reason what so ever you will want to be equipped with all this stuff. I have heard many times of ships passing folks in life rafts and so on without knowing people were there in trouble.

Buy a great flashing strobe light to attach to your life jacket too. Green would be the best if you can get them. Seaport Supplies in Cape Town is great for all this stuff.

Fresh water is an obvious one - make sure you have enough of it and be sure you can get to it in an emergency - you OBVIOUSLY HAVE a LIFERAFT and a vessel Epirb that has positive GPS continuous feed!

Get hold of great flashlights - including the ones you wear on your forehead and if you can get the one that has a red light for night shifts also great ... and have a pair of small goggles. If you have an emergency repair at the bow in howling winds such as I have had - you will want to be able to keep the salt water out of your eyes.

You have no doubt seen your doctor and assembled a great medical kit?

Make sure to have all the safety gear recommended by the SA maritime authority - it could save your life (Deon at Seaport can give you the list) and have a good waterproof emergency grab bag if you need to ditch the boat - it should have your waterpoof VHF handheld, mirror and other essentials in there.

Ropes - have spare rope to replace halyards and so on - have also some short lengths of thinner rope for lashing things down - you will be amazed how handy these can be. You have fenders? they float - I love things that float

How are you communicating at sea? How are you getting weather feeds?

I assume you have autopilot? What is the backup if that fails? Hand steering is tough on 2 people.

Tools - have tools enough to repair all sorts of things especially Vice grips and shifting spanners and have a lever (crowbar) too.

What is the situation with bilge pumps on your boat? If you dont have then head for Seaport Supplies and get their great 12v high volume pumps (I assume you have good battery power at least when ticking the engine over) and buy those 'quick coupler type' creepy crawly blue pipes that float on the water in swimming pools. fix one onto the outlet of the pump and stow the other pieces ... if in an emergency you can quickly interlock the pieces and throw them out through a port hole, aft or anywhere to eject water ... and make sure you have long leads to the battery terminals with good crocodile clamps. We just rescued a boat that hit a reef behind us about 2 weeks ago - they were taking on water and only had manual bilge pumps which were not coping with the water flow. They called us in distress and we dropped the spinnaker and I had to get our portable pumps to them - it saved their boat and as we were in a remote location we sailed with them for a day and night whilst the pumps drained their bilge - no way of doing a repair out there as the damage also came through the floor where the saildrive took a punch.

Have warps to trial behind the boat if the winds and sea state become unbearable - roll knots down the length, attach end to horn cleats at the rear of the boat and throw them overboard.

Well - hopefully that gets some essentials listed - remember to keep your selves protected from the sun and keep hydrated.

I don't allow folks to take a pee overboard either - most people found dead and afloat at sea have their zips down! If you need to - make sure to be tethered in!

In the end none of this stuff may be needed by you - you will have felt to have gone overboard in protecting yourself, but trust me, should something go wrong, your respect for the sea and these items may be what saves your lives.

Take care!
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Old 23-06-2015, 06:30   #84
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Be sure to take a lot of money! So are going to need it to get all the stuff that some people feel you need to just go Buzzard Bay cruising
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Old 23-06-2015, 07:10   #85
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Be sure to take a lot of money! So are going to need it to get all the stuff that some people feel you need to just go Buzzard Bay cruising
Is he not crossing the Atlantic here?
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Old 23-06-2015, 09:22   #86
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Please God make it stop. He is is doing a summer sail from Connecticut to Nantucket and already gotten dozens of responses--most of them repeating the same information because commenters don't read previous responses...really an AIS transceiver????? Sailorboy tells you to take lots of money! Good advice except if you follow all the other advice you will have aleady spent it. Let me know if you are buying everything at West Marine so I can buy their stock.
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Old 23-06-2015, 15:12   #87
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Please God make it stop. He is is doing a summer sail from Connecticut to Nantucket and already gotten dozens of responses--most of them repeating the same information because commenters don't read previous responses...really an AIS transceiver????? Sailorboy tells you to take lots of money! Good advice except if you follow all the other advice you will have already spent it. Let me know if you are buying everything at West Marine so I can buy their stock.
Paul - cool down buddy - the initial post spoke of a purchase in Cape Town South Africa I thought - there is a spot there called Stanford. On such a crossing - YES - AIS absolutely, but of course with a sail down from Connecticut to Nantucket my 'thoughts' can be ignored altogether ...
Still, if you have the money better be safe than sorry - we have been involved in assisting 2 vessels which struck reefs in Fijian waters in just 2 weeks - AIS definitely helped the guy last night when he was too disoriented to give me his co-ordinates - I simply asked him then if he had an ais to which he replied yes ... I got those from his AIS TRANSCEIVER unit and was able to report his emergency on his behalf to the Latoka Coast Guard.
Because you have perhaps been lucky with safety in the past - don't let your luck be the reason for poor advice to the future - safety gadgets cost money and will not be used for 90% of sailors, but trust me, comes the day you will wish you had this stuff when the proverbial s*&t hits the fan
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Old 23-06-2015, 15:30   #88
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

impi--cool down buddy! This is why it is important to read posts and previous comments and not get Stamford CT mixed up with Stanford University or South Africa. The initial post did not speak of Capetown but of Cape Cod---wrong hemisphere but right ocean buddy! I have not been "lucky" with safety. I don't believe in "luck" and don't know what it is. If I've been safe on tens of thousands of miles it's because I try to be safe and no gadget, no matter how nice or fancy guarantees safety thought it certainly can enhance the likelihood of avoiding danger. AIS is great but again---read the posts! And I am in the habit of giving good advice not poor advice. As you said safety gadgets will not be used for 90% of sailor so on a summer cruise from Connecticut to Nantucket I think an AIS transceiver is a bit much. Again,this is why it is important to read posts and previous comments and not get Stamford CT mixed up with Stanford University or South Africa...or reefs in Fiji or Cape Cod with Cape Town or the Coast Guard in Lakota or on a Kubota in South Dakota for that matter..which somewhat ironically makes me wonder--how careful are you with "gadgets" or gear or communication equipment if you don't pay attention to the OP in the first place? No gadget, inculding AIS is of use if you do not read the information properly, but trust me, comes the day you will wish you had read this stuff properly when the proverbial s*&t hits the fa, as you put it.
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Old 23-06-2015, 19:29   #89
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

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Please God make it stop. He is is doing a summer sail from Connecticut to Nantucket and already gotten dozens of responses--most of them repeating the same information because commenters don't read previous responses...really an AIS transceiver????? Sailorboy tells you to take lots of money! Good advice except if you follow all the other advice you will have aleady spent it. Let me know if you are buying everything at West Marine so I can buy their stock.
LMAO, I can't take it either. This is why I don't buy half of the sail mags I used to. I mean some of the articles have gotten ridiculous. How to check your engine oil, or crap like locate your thru hulls. I mean really did they just run out of intelligent subjects to talk about. Lets tell this guy to bring an anchor again or better yet remind him he has to tie it to a cleat. lol Oh wait that's right he's going to Nantucket New Zealand. Paul it wouldn't matter if John Glenn posted (how to land a lunar space module on the moon.) Some one on here would tell him how to do it better.
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Old 23-06-2015, 20:41   #90
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Re: First time cruising, what should I have on board?

Yeah, kind of like the guys who tell him not to make that trip without AIS even though they have been doing it for the past thirty years.
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