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Old 01-04-2018, 15:00   #1
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Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Good News! We're much closer to reaching our #liveaboard2018 goals. Currently we're scheduled for a shake-down cruise from the "on the hard" yard to our slip we'll be in until we get our sea legs and untie the lines for off-shore.

As of today we have 13 days until when we have tentatively hired a captain to help us sail the 70 nm from yard to slip, for which we've budgeted two days; but...(there's always a but isn't there?)

But, there's many things, mostly comfort items, that aren't ready. There's no where to bunk save the saloon (because both available berths are without mattresses and we're still contemplating the best way to go there); the propane stove is inoperable until a leak is repaired; and we're likely going to be motoring the whole way. Also, the dodger and Bimini are not functional yet, as half the pieces the old owner threw away because they were "done" (their language not ours...oh, how I'd like to have them to do a pattern by...). We don't have a dinghy either. Oh, and the life raft hasn't been re-certified...yet (not sure they will get it done quickly enough). We do have the life sling, but, yeah...

We can "camp" through some of these comfort items, but not sure if it's smart or not.

Pushing at the edge of this timeline is that we have a certification class in mid-May that we want to be ready for in the new area where she will be moored.

Hubby is stressed because right now we only get one day (seven measly hours) a week to work on her because, day job, and our yard is closed on Sundays.

So is that too long of a voyage to not have some of these things ready, or?

We seriously don't want to be that couple that bought the boat and then sinks it the first splash/shake down cruise.

How spartan can we sail her without being foolish?

Thanks for sharing your experience, guidance, etc.

/for/ Proteus Rising
~Casz
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Old 01-04-2018, 16:01   #2
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Is the passage in protected waters?
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Old 01-04-2018, 16:10   #3
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

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Is the passage in protected waters?
Going from Anacortes, Wash. to Seattle, Wash. So, the Puget Sound. So, yes. Except, that northern bit can be a bit testy at first...
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Old 01-04-2018, 16:16   #4
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

As long as the engine is in good order and the anchor gear is ready, you should have a good trip. Watch the tides and hold off if the weather sux
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Old 01-04-2018, 16:23   #5
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

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As long as the engine is in good order and the anchor gear is ready, you should have a good trip. Watch the tides and hold off if the weather sux
Thanks for the feedback! Appreciate it. Wanting to be smart without being so fearful we don't GO!
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Old 01-04-2018, 16:26   #6
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Oh, yes, engine and ground tackle are A+ (that's what we've been doing for the last six weeks or so!)
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Old 01-04-2018, 18:21   #7
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Leave when the boat is seaworthy. It's never "ready...". --Claire Allcard
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Old 02-04-2018, 05:28   #8
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

How do you know you are ready? Short answer is, you don't.

In some ways, it is a bit like having children. No one ever really knows if they are ready to be parents. And every first-time parent has had those moments when you are certain that you were NOT ready! Still, every year people all over the world make the leap.

Of course, unlike with children, you can always abandon your plans, sell the boat, and head back to land. Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:49   #9
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

you are ready to leave when the butterflies in your guts let you.
yes it is scary out here..especially if you have boat issues.
once your boat floats and propels and keeps bilges somewhat empty, it is time to go .
take with ye sail repair kits and sail ripair tape. yes spelling.... look for it on the packaging.... and toilet wax seal rings...hahaha very important.
be able to bleed your engine and speak whatever language is most prevalent in the area into which you will be sailing.
get personal with weather. i was advised when i was very young "a good sailor knows his weather." is not difficult to learn.
learn to know how to recognize important changes in your wet environment.
take spares for fuel delivery system and engine.
and, to answer your question-- you will never be ready . none of us out here is actually truly ready.
stuff happens.
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:52   #10
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Your hired captain should be able to give you advice for a good weather window. But motoring down Puget Sound will be easy. You could see some Greys or Orcas this time of year. It you're willing to 'camp' in the boat you should be all set. For instance, a Coleman camp stove should work fine for the two day voyage.
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:15   #11
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Quote: 'As of today we have 13 days until when we have tentatively hired a captain to help us sail the 70 nm from yard to slip, for which we've budgeted two days;"

So what's the problem? Stick two days' worth of sandwiches in the cooler. You won't need ice. The temperature is 7 -10 degrees above that of the interior of a fridge, so your sandwiches will keep. Put your soup and coffee in a thermos bottle. Stick an air mattress in the boat to crash on. Put your oilies on and go.

If I were doing it, I'd skip the paid skipper since all you have to do is stay in mid-channel all the way from Anacortes to Shilshole. I'd pop west-around Fidalgo Island, duck in through Deception Pass on the slack water - so time your departure from Anacortes accordingly - go twixt Whidby Island and Hope Island, thence twixt Whidby Island and Camano Island. You have only 12 hours of daylight at the moment, so take an overnight break at Oak Harbour Marina or City of Oak Marina, or, if you can get that far on the first day, at Everett.

If you have the experience for a night-time passage, just do that. Anacortes - Shilshole is about 15 hours at your boat's speed under power. Once through Deception, try to time yourself for a rising tide. Winds are going to be gentle with some local variation, but because the fetch on this route is very little, even in fairly high winds the seas are going to be low, and your boat is intrinsically well able to handle seas far greater than anything you will find inside Whidbey Island. So just stay in mid-channel and mind the shallows on the eastern side :-)!

TP

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Old 02-04-2018, 09:21   #12
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

My wife and I have done that trip many times, in each direction. It's a short hop in either direction to Port Townsend. When you cross the strait there's a tide rip extending quite a way North of Point Wilson. During an ebb, and with gusty winds from the West, it can get pretty ugly, so watch for that. If you go to the Port Townsend Boat Haven there's a hotel next door. If you go to Pt. Hudson you're close to Commander's Beach House, which is a nice B&B. No need to "camp" on your boat unless you want to. Spend the night in PT and head to Seattle with the next flood.

Or you could go down the East side of Whidbey Island and stop in Everett if you need to. That's more protected, but I've always just gone across the strait.

Admiralty inlet can get pretty rough, and motoring South in a good chop against a stiff South wind can be uncomfortable, so if you if you pass Pt. Wilson and the conditions are ugly, do yourself a favor and stop in PT for the night.

I've also done the trip both ways, solo, in one long day. Plan for weather and currents, and it's not a big deal. Ignore them and it is.

I'm not sure you need anything to get your boat ready as long as it floats and steers reliably and has a working motor. You absolutely need a working radio, and good ground tackle. If your sails, motor, and steering all fail, your anchor is all you have to stop the boat before the current throws you up on a beach or a rock, and your VHF is all you'll have to call for help. I have an EPIRB and PLBs on my boat, but I don't think that's necessary for the trip between Anacortes and Seattle.

N.B. You should also know how to bleed your diesel. If the boat has been sitting for a while, getting underway can dislodge crap in the fuel tank that can plug your fuel filters. You'll need to know how to deal with that.

If you're new sailors, I do think it's a good idea to hire someone experienced. It's nice to have someone along to share local knowledge, and to teach you about trip planning, weather, currents, and anything else that comes up.

Worst case scenario is that everything fails and your boat is sinking in a gale, with short steep waves bashing the life out of you. If the SHTF and you have no other options, there's a USCG station at Port Angeles, which is probably only a fifteen minute chopper ride away. That's why you absolutely need a working VHF--or two. It won't be pretty, but you'll live.

Hope this helps. Fair winds!
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Old 02-04-2018, 09:30   #13
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

I live in Langley, Whidbey Island and I am willing to help you without charge if you provide transport to and from your boat to my home. I have about 130,000 nm sailing experience and I am a pretty good mechanic as well.

Send me a PM.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:30   #14
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

If you feel more comfortable with a hired skipper, then by all means do it. His local knowledge and seaman ship and navigation, etc, will be an excellent learning experience. Well worth the peace of mind, and feeling safe and confident.

You should be there to learn and take part in all aspects of the passage. Helm, navigation, watch standing, coastal piloting, plotting, ETA to next naviad, or land mark. Use a hand bearing compass to find your estimated position or fix position.

What do you need :

If you have watch standers, a magnetic compass, a GPS, working sails, depth sounder, knot meter, marine navigation charts, nav tools, cruising guide to your area, good batteries, VHF and cell phone, you should be all set. Any other gear, or electronics , etc. are all a plus.

But, we would also add in a very excellent pre cruise check of all systems and inventory. Have your wife join in on that as well.

Also, I like the advice to learn about bleeding the air out of the fuel lines and clearing the fuel filter . Very, very important. Raw water intake , also.

When I came back from south east asia, I was home based at Whidby island for 6 months between deployments. And, it was bloody cold up there. The calif wimp that I am, if we were making your passage, we would pick up a slip, and go ashore for a nice meal and sleep in a comfy bed in a warm room.

Check the weather and the tide/ current reports, and charts and if all was well, be off the next morning all refreshed. Even have a good healthy breakfast and be tanked up.

Also, we would have the main ready to haul up, but we like sailing, and would probably be under sail if possible. But, if that engine quit, I would want to get that main up, and jib rolled out ASAP. I know that some areas, those currents and seas can get a bit angry and contrary, so you have received super excellent sailing directions from the other posters.

You should be able to make this passage a very special and fun event, learning as much as possible...not an ordeal.

Stay smart, hire your skipper and learn from him, and make life easy. Tell him what you want. If he objects, get a different skipper. Work together as a team.

As far as the cold up there, NAS Whidby Is ' when I was walking ramp watches around our P2V-7 Neptune Patrol Bombers, I wore : regular underwear, thermal underwear, civie levies, navy wool pants, my navy wool sweater, the navy jumper, a jacket, and my P-Coat.

Then I had a furry hood, and my watch cap,wool socks and brogans ( boots) and some huge outer boots that went over my issued boots. Add in gloves. I walked those ramp watches looking like a giant slow moving fat frog.

Never forgot that, and it was back in 1965 and 1966. Lordy, Get these bones into a warm, comfy, non noisy land based room. ( if available )

Yep, I like that idea alot.

There you go, our personal thoughts added to the other great info that you received.

Have a super experience, and set it up so that you do not have to rush around, and skip any important aspects to your passage.

Prior proper planning prevents piss poor performance... ( the seven p's)

Have fun !
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Old 02-04-2018, 11:34   #15
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Re: Splash Day & Shake Down Cruise - How to Know You're Ready?

Usually in the PNW the cost of upland/dry storage to work on a sailing vessel is about one third of expense to be tied up to a slip in a Mariana, So by the sense one gets from reading the description of all the unfinished projects on 'The to do list' raises the question as to why more is not completed before the move south was contemplated?

Or are you driving from Seattle to Anacortes every time you try to get work done? The traveling expenses between yacht and home do add up to a serious impact on the budget. This is a factor that many people taking on a vessel refit do not take into consideration when embarking on the dream.
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