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Old 26-04-2019, 07:50   #1
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leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Hi cruisers,
I have one year old Discovery 55 in Guadeloupe and need to go home for 2 weeks. I want help in deciding if just close it down and go or leave the key at the marina and ask them to open it every 3 days, ventilate, check batteries. It has 2 solar panels and I will shut down the fridge/freezer and all the rest except bilge pumps. It will also be connected to shore power.
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Old 26-04-2019, 08:07   #2
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Send me RT airfare and I'll baby sit the boat.
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:06   #3
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Thumbs up Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

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Send me RT airfare and I'll baby sit the boat.
Great idea. Thanks
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:10   #4
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

seriously, ideas from experienced liveaboards would be appreciated
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:35   #5
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

What are you really worried about? I never had a problem closing our old boat up and taking off. Unless you have known problems surely it could float unattended for a couple of weeks. Dorades for ventilation, stripped off sails and canvas for storms, double dock lines, it should be in exactly same condition when you return.
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Old 26-04-2019, 10:39   #6
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Shut all seacocks, fuel,cowls/vents open and pointed to prevailing winds,(solar fan if you have one), bilge pumps, shore power charging all other circuits off. Refer off and opened. Outside that its only two weeks, it should be fine.
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Old 26-04-2019, 11:35   #7
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

2 weeks is not a big deal. When I've had people check on my boat, it has been twice a month.
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Old 26-04-2019, 12:56   #8
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

I left my boat at a marina while I was away for as long as a couple of months. I was at trusted marinas with an alert staff, but never had any events. It's best to have watchful people around. I've alerted marina staff several times about too frequent bilge pump activity, chafed dock lines, or an overheated shore power fitting. It's a careful choice to decide who to tell that you'll be away and best for some to know that people are not expected aboard.
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Old 26-04-2019, 16:00   #9
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Thank you all. Lots of good advice. Its the 1st time I leave it alone. Other times there was a trusted person looking daily, at a marina dock. But in here it´s different and there is no one I really know. Thank you again.
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Old 27-04-2019, 00:09   #10
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

We have been out 12 years and left the boat many times from 1-4 weeks at a time. In fact just left it for 8 days while we traveled through southern Israel and Jordan. We have left our boat unattended in places from central Panama to Russia for anything from a few days to a month and half.


We make sure the batteries are full of water, we have 550w of solar so disconnect shore power, turn off water and everything except bilge pump and reefer, we turn off the LPG, we may add a line or two depending on where we are, at times we have dropped off a set of keys to the marina and some have insisted on it just in case. We tell our neighbors and the marina that we are leaving and they do keep a watch on it for us such as adjusting fenders or lines if needed.
Only one time have we had a problem when we replaced a bilge pump switch in Russia and I did not get the screws tight enough and it went off and kept running. A couple of folks on the dock heard it and told the marina and they had the keys but called us (marina insisted along with our agent we get a Russian sim card) and we gave them permission to board the boat and fixed it.


Someone above suggested removing sails, bimini ect - nonsense - if we did that all we would be doing is taking off and putting on all our canvas . In Mersin Turkey we left the boat for 15 days while we traveled through se Turkey and while we had a cell phone the marina was good but never saw cruisers so we did not leave keys or anything else and no one was around to check the boat as in a few other locations we have been.
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Old 27-04-2019, 02:29   #11
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amaman View Post
Hi cruisers,
I have one year old Discovery 55 in Guadeloupe and need to go home for 2 weeks. I want help in deciding if just close it down and go or leave the key at the marina and ask them to open it every 3 days, ventilate, check batteries. .
I understand your concerns and it really boils down to your comfort level with the marina staff, especially if they look a bit desperate.

For perspective ....Just remember, many non liveaboard boaters sometimes don't visit their boats for months at a time

For only 2 weeks, dont tell anyone your leaving.

Close all thru hulls, disinfect the walls, mothball the bedding and drawers, top up water tanks and run a small fan thru a duct in and out to keep air circulation.

Turn off all services AC/DC and let your solar run the fan

If your solar has been doing a good job, charging your batteries, no need to monitor for 2 weeks.
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Old 27-04-2019, 02:41   #12
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Do shut off sea cocks (I always do so if off the boat overnight), but be careful NOT to shut off cockpit drain or deck drain valves!! These need to be open!


Isolate the batteries -- otherwise someone kicking out a shore power plug (happens all the time) or a fault in the marina system, can destroy your batteries. Don't ask me how I know about this. So empty the fridge, and shut everything down.



Don't be tempted to leave batteries un-isolated so multiple bilge pumps can be connected (if like most boats only one bilge pump is connected bypassing the battery isolators). Don't ask me how I know about this


One bilge pump is all you need -- with all sea cocks shut, there is almost nothing to leak, and besides, if you get a leak and no one is on board, if the leak is bigger than can be handled by one pump, your boat will sink anyway.


Another thing I do is pull all the mattresses up so that air can circulate around them. Mouldy mattresses are horrible. Some people leave dehumidifiers running, but I know a Moody 54 which burned down from a faulty, unattended dehumidifier. It's also good to pull up a sole plate or two to help air circulate in the bilges.



In cold weather (not applicable to Guadeloupe), tube heaters to keep the mould down, but leaving any AC gear connected is a certain fire risk. Very small risk of fire vs. certainty of mould -- take your choice


And -- don't worry about. Why have a boat at all if you're just going to worry about her all the time? Defeats the purpose. You've got insurance, right? I have never lived even in the same country as my boat, unless I'm living on board, so leave her to her own devices for a month or two at a time, all the time. You'll get used to it
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Old 27-04-2019, 03:28   #13
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Amaman.
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Old 27-04-2019, 06:35   #14
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

Our boat has been unattended for two weeks now with the refrigerator on and no shore power. I’ve taken no heroic steps .

To be honest I wouldn’t trust a boat I couldn’t leave unattended for a month!!
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Old 27-04-2019, 09:27   #15
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Re: leaving the boat for 2 weeks

I like SailMonkey's comment on ensuring your boat it trustworthy.

We keep our boat in a well-sheltered marina in Maine (mooring, not slip). A friend runs the marina tender and we give him a boat key and ask him to call us if the boat is not sitting level on her waterline. Refer and bilge pump on.

We also installed a high bilge alarm.

Good luck

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