Sail Ready!

Invaluable information for people getting ready to go cruising on a sailboat

Rod Campbell-Ross

Sail Ready!
ISBN 0-9757928-0-6 Title: Sail Ready: What I Wish I Had Known Before I Went Sailing Edition: Author/Contributor: Campbell-Ross, Rod; Campbell-Ross, Sue (ed); de Pauuw, Wendy (ill)

© Copyright 2005, Rod & Sue Campbell-Ross
Glen Tramman Cottage Lezayre Isle of Man 30 June 2005
All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in whole or in part, in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without the prior permission of Rod or Sue Campbell-Ross.


A boat is, in my view, possibly the best platform for travelling. You are free to go to travel wherever you want to (lots of places) and yet your home is always nearby. You can get away from the madding crowd or you can join it. You will meet many people, a few of who will become lifelong friends. (Most will be great friends while you are cruising, and that is OK too). You will be a part of the yachtie community which will support you, entertain you, teach you, guide you, advise you and be one of the greatest gifts of the sailing life! It is wonderful to enter a new bay and see many boats that you know and may not have seen for a while, sharing a cold beer, discussing the last few thousand miles. These relationships are extremely important; the yachtie community's success is built on shared experience and mutual help and support. In this world where the state has assumed the role of "nanny" it is refreshing to do as one pleases (more or less) and to be responsible for your self. I suppose that one day governments are going to decide that letting citizens sail off on their own into the sunset is just too dangerous; and stop it. This book attempts to provide answers to some of the questions you are likely to have if you are thinking about going cruising. It is the book containing information that I wish I had known before I started. It also contains the distilled information from many of the wonderful friends we sailed with who kindly responded when I told them about this book and asked them "What do know now that you wish you had known when it all started?". The book is written to be used as a broad introduction to those thinking of going cruising and is set up in an A-Z format for reference during the preparation phase before actually setting off. Each subject is of necessity brief, an overview. Some subjects require a complete book in their own right. It is also assumed that the reader is already a sailor, can navigate and understands the sea. Therefore there are many references to other books throughout this book and readers can choose whether they wish to know more about a subject or not. There are a few imperatives to be a successful cruiser: • You must be able to sail and know how to practice good seamanship (see "Experience"). • You must be "handy" and be willing and able to repair almost anything. • You must have a good relationship with your partner, cruising will expose all the weaknesses. • You must be relatively healthy (see "Health'). • You must be able to afford it (see "Finances").


Contents Life Raft Lightning Abandon Ship Anchoring Autopilots Batteries Becalmed Boat (Choice of) Checklists Children Ciguatera Poisoning Computers Containers Cookers Coral Crew Diesel Dinghies El Nino Electricity (Mains) Electrolysis EPIRB Experience Fatigue Finances First Aid Fishing Gas Generators GMDSS GPS Failure Grab Bag Hatches (broken) Health Heave To Holed! Instruments Jack Lines 5 6 14 17 20 21 27 28 30 31 35 36 37 38 40 41 43 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 56 57 58 61 62 63 64 65 67 68 Man Over Board Medical Navigation Outboard Engines Parachute Sea Anchor Pirates Pumps Radar Reducing Sail Refrigeration Rig Safety Sails Scuba Seasickness Simplicity Smart Chargers Solar Panels Spares Squalls SSB Radio (HF Radio) Storms Strobes Sun (Avoidance) Taxes Tools Voltage Washboards Washing Watches Water Turbine Generators Waterline Water makers Weather Wind Turbine Generators Wind Vanes 69 70 71 73 75 77 78 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 90 92 93 94 96 97 98 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 119 120 121 3 .

Abandon Ship! Be ready to abandon ship in 30 seconds. both during the day and night when everyone is sleeping. Have a list of what to do and what to get. Make sure all the crew memorise it well. Passports and ships papers 5. kitchen implements. Post a copy of the list near the chart table and memorise it. There have been cases where people have survived 40 or 50 days because they took the dinghy. medicines. If people muster without their lifejackets they are not mustered. Sheath Knife off deck 7. Leakstoppers 3. tools clothes) In the liferaft: 1. Children in life jackets 12. Fishing gear 11. Your life depends on it! Your crew are depending on your lead and you must provide it. If you take more than 30 seconds to muster everybody and everything in calm weather that is too long. Dinghy (time permitting) 15. Torch 8. Bailer 2. Anything else time permitting (food. Flares 13. Outboard and petrol (time permitting) 16. Rescue Line and Quoit 9. Yachts can go down that fast. Dinghy Recommended reading: Survive the savage sea. Repair kit 4. Hand held VHF 3. Water 6. Abandon Ship is a drill that must be practised regularly. Sample Abandon Ship List: 1. Dougal Robertson 30 seconds Keep thinking Practice List 4 . Liferaft 10. Survival and immediate action cards Why the dinghy? Liferafts are manufactured to last between 20 and 30 days. Emergency food 14. DO NOT PANIC! Keep thinking! Even though it is terrifying to abandon ship it essential not to lose your wits. Make it fun if possible but do it and time it. Grab Bag (see “grab bag’) 4. EPIRB 2.

The key to achieving this is laying down enough chain. Note that nylon rodes are not much use within coral reefs because they are very likely to chafe. You should have at least one spare bow anchor and a separate stern anchor (kedge). Generally work on a scope of 4-5. In addition you should also carry a dinghy anchor. but it is a vital piece of safety equipment that may save you and your boat if you find yourself in difficulty. If you use a chain and rode combination your minimum scope should be 7. You anchor could be your last resort when on a lee shore or within a reef and your engine dies on you. There will be several times when you will want to anchor in 18-22 meters of water. Sometimes if it is blowing. although there will be very few occasions when you will find yourself wanting to anchor in such deep water.Anchoring Anchors Good ground tackle is essential for a good nights’ sleep When at anchor. Having 100 metres of chain will give you anchoring options many other boats do not have because you still set an anchor in water 20m deep and swing on a scope of up to 5. Your main anchor rode should be all chain and you should carry a minimum of 100 metres. Chain weight for size of boat should be as follows: 30-40 feet 8mm 40-50 feet 10mm 50-60 feet 12mm Get good ground tackle Spare bow anchor 100m of heavy chain 5 . 100 metres of chain will allow you (when it is calm) to anchor in up to 30 metres of water. It is thus critical that the anchors shank is kept horizontal. When anchoring you should work on a minimum scope of 3 and if possible lay more chain down. If you are going to cruise higher latitudes you may want more than this. An anchor is designed so that when it is pulled horizontally along the sea-floor it digs in. you never know when the wind might come up in the night. It should always be in good working order. Not only is it important to having a good nights rest. Some people say you can never have too much chain out and if a gale is expected you may want to let all your chain out. or a blow is predicted. you will want to set down enough chain for a scope of 7.

Anchor size (weight) = at least the boats length in feet in pounds Secure the bitter end well – many a chain has disappeared over a bow roller CQR or Bruce LIFO 6 . If you use paint use a bright colour such as yellow. Their makers claim superior performance for a variety of reasons. Invest in the right equipment. Why not get a really big anchor? Getting one that that is double the minimum. Use a system that is easy to interpret. Do not save money here. which is nothing when you are sailing 10-20 tons of boat. Note that the anchor and rode together are a system and that they work together. Entering an anchorage When anchoring.These are not hard and fast. But it can be bigger. and you came in after them. You may need a shackle to do this. You will be surprised how difficult it is to see in the dark! Most boats nowadays carry the plough type of anchor as their main anchor with the second bow anchor being a sand anchor. you should leave or otherwise ensure that your boat causes no further problems. You need an anchor that is an all rounder and you should not go wrong with either of the two types mentioned.2 times that figure. up to 1. Mark your chain so that you know how much has been let out. some in sand etc. They are equal partners in helping ensure that you are able to sleep peacefully. remember that LIFO is the golden rule of anchor etiquette: Last In First Out. There are some modern anchors that are light because they are made of aluminium.5 . The anchor should weigh at least the same in pounds as the boats length in feet. Tie the second off on a different link in the chain. say the same as the boats length in feet in kilograms will only add 20-30 kilo’s. whatever the cost. If you need to you can easily cut the line. If your boat causes problems for other boats at anchor. There are many types of anchor and many brands. The famous plough type anchors include the CQR "secure" and its copies as well as the Bruce and a few others. but the brighter the colour the longer you will be able to see what is left. Experienced yachties will tell you that laying heavy chain on the bottom is as important as the weight and type of anchor. Cable ties are another method. Indeed you will find copious quantities of information about which anchor is best. In truth some may be best in mud. One final point: double tie the “bitter end” of your anchor chain to the hull with two separate pieces of Nylon line rated stronger than the chain itself. It will wear off very quickly anyway.

a roundish gap between the other boats. All these factors will require that more room is needed per boat in a bay than if the wind is settled and the boats are fairly similar. Let the boat settle and swing and ensure that you have sufficient room to swing without alarming or touching other boats. reverse the boat slowly and test how well your anchor is holding. As the boat moves astern allow the anchor to "bite" momentarily.Scope: the amount of chain or rode between the anchor and the boat. Sometimes the wind can drop to a dead calm. After letting the boat rest for a moment. At this point it is important not to drop chain on top of the anchor. Scope=rode Depth Find a good spot Windward edge of gap Knowing the depth. Reversing the boat slowly. look for a suitable "hole". Manoeuvre your boat so that it approaches the hole from downwind and stop more or less on the stern of the boat at the extreme windward side of the hole. Then set your anchor snub (See “Anchor Snub”). pay out the chain until you have a scope of 2. all you will achieve is a fouled anchor that will not set. After a while this becomes second nature. but work on swinging on a scope of 5 in most anchorages Let the boat settle and check what is happening Steer clear of catamarans and motorboats 7 . between two boats on the windward side. or better. My own minimum scope is 5 or at least 20m (if anchored in less than 3m of water). When anchoring in a crowded bay or anchorage. divided by the maximum depth of the water. Hanavave Bay (Fatu Hiva) in the Marquesas has gusts of wind coming off the mountain sides in different directions. Monohull sailboats also behave differently to each other. some boats “sail around” at anchor more than other boats. If you can’t see the anchor from the boat you can reassure yourself by diving on the anchor to check it and the lie of the land generally under your boat. If you do this. acquired with experience. Do this slowly and smoothly otherwise any jerk may pull the anchor right out of the bottom. In the tropics the water is often clear and you can see the anchor on the bottom. Finding a good spot to anchor is a skill. taking the tide (and height of the bow roller above the water) into account. Boats in an anchorage will swing about and remain clear of each other most of the time. Drop Anchor and fall back smoothly Set a scope of at least 3. and then continue to pay out chain until you have let out sufficient chain to swing on your desired scope (at least 3). Catamarans and motor boats swing very differently to a monohull sail boat. drop the anchor with sufficient chain for the anchor merely to hit the sea floor.

not to act as a cleat. windlasses etc). In any event. Set an anchor snub Take the load off your windlass Snatching is noisy and can cause dragging 8 . Your windlass is designed to lift the anchor and to let it out. One important point to bear in mind: Anchor tackle is heavy and unforgiving. Keep children and hands clear of moving chain and chain handling equipment (rollers. it is essential to take the load off your windlass. Develop a habit of considering the situation critically every time anchor equipment is operated. It makes your boat quieter on anchor and if done well makes your anchor more secure. long hair and loose clothing well clear. especially in anchorages such is many in the Canary Islands that have vicious gusts of wind known as wind acceleration. Your injuries could be very severe and you could be a long way from help. The main culprit. If you do get your hand caught in moving chain it is likely that it will be badly mangled. both for noise and for dragging is snatching. Anchor Snub Setting an anchor snub is good practice. An all chain anchor should have a good catenary effect* but adding one or two rubber "snubbers" to give the snub extra elasticity works extremely well.Fortunately in the Pacific anchorages are rarely crowded. Learn to operate your anchor with children off the foredeck and keep fingers.

even quite violently.The boat. that gives elasticity to your anchor. or for some other reason to set more than one anchor. Some anchorages (e. Stay away if you can. swinging around. Admiralty Bay in Bequia in the West Indies) have poor holding and you may wish to 2 anchors? 9 . Drop your anchor in sand instead of on coral or rocks. or to tie yourself off to a tree or rock or something on the shore in addition to. *Catenary effect: the effect of the weight of the chain. will sometimes stretch the snub to the full extent possible. Secondary anchors It may be necessary because of the weather. the holding. Anchoring in the Tropics In the tropics you can often see the bottom. you might find a small space that allows you no scope. In a particularly tight anchorage.g. between the boat and the point at which it lies on the seabed. or instead of using your main anchor. Without the elastic snub the anchor may have been pulled out of its holding and dragged. Many an anchor and chain get fouled in coral. The "Admiralty Method" of laying two anchors may allow you to swing on a scope of little more than the depth of water.

Drop the first anchor and then. You will achieve an unholy mess on your bow that may well be impossible to unravel without cutting the rode. You may have to buoy the secondary anchor off with a fender and drop it. pay out the chain until it hits the bottom or until it is all paid out and then drop the second anchor. The advantage with this is that the load is split. The golden rule remains: make sure your primary ground tackle is good enough to rely on 99% of the time. allowing the boat to fall back. The rest is then the same as for laying one anchor. If with the dinghy. If you are lying in a bay such as Taiohai Bay in Nuku Hiva in the Set an anchor astern if you want to face the seas and not the wind 10 . Then drive the boat up to the selected spot and drop the second anchor. especially in a hurry. The 2 main ways of doing this are either to set another anchor at approximately 30º-45º from the first. retrieving it later if you do have to leave in a hurry. If conditions make it likely that you will swing this method is not so good. or to set 2 in tandem. Return to the boat and take up the slack moving the boat to one side so that the anchors lie in a 45º arc off your bow. but you may need to loosen the rode if the wind direction changes so that you can present your boats bows to the direction of the wind. Both methods involve significant extra work and the secondary anchor is more difficult to retrieve. In a blow you will want to secure the boat with all the anchors you have. perhaps to the seas rather than letting her swing about. Fall back paying out the second anchor rode and adjusting the first until tension on both is equal and the boat is lying with the anchors in a 30º-45º arc off your bow.set 2 anchors from the bow. and should one anchor drag. while reversing the boat. Using chain. carry the anchor to the assigned spot and drop it. The 30º-45º anchor can be dropped either with a dinghy or by the boat itself. The first anchor is likely to be one of your spares. shackle it to the second anchor at the lifting point above the flukes. If directly from the boat let out additional chain from your main anchor. Another method of laying 2 anchors is to lay them in tandem (our preferred option). The stern anchor will hold the boat steady. the other will (may) continue to hold until you have time to fix the problem with the first anchor. Stern anchors The other essential anchor is your stern anchor.

Anchor watch When you are in a poor anchorage you may need to set an anchor watch. The boat upwind of you may drag on to you. Note that the problem may not be yours. A fit. but it will scrape all its galvanizing off and then rust. Coral bottoms are often hard and it is sometimes difficult to get the anchor to "bite". If you cannot do it yourself you may find someone in the anchorage willing to help. This has proved true with most plough type anchors in the Pacific. Work out where to drop the stern anchor. They are essential to clear wrapped anchors in depths greater than 10m. Scuba tanks and knowing how to use them are considered essential equipment by most serious cruising yachties. when anchoring in coral remember that coral is lethal to hulls and anchor rodes: keep both well away. so watch boats upwind carefully! In a really wild blow you may want to assist the anchor by using the engine. it is endangered and easily damaged Coral wrap Anchor watch 11 . Try and minimise your impact on coral. You may have to take up or let some of your bow anchor chain out. but you probably will not sleep much anyway.Marquesas or Friendship Bay in Bequia the waves may be entering the bay at a different angle to the wind. Also. Coral is threatened all around the world by many factors. Anchoring in Coral Chains and anchors make a mess of the sea floor. Anchor chain wrapped around a coral head Anchor chains have been wrapped around coral heads both horizontally and vertically. Better to be up and alert than wrecked. Using one of the primary winches winch the rode in until your boat is lying how you wish her to. Be prepared to dive down and check or free your anchor if necessary. Not much fun. strong swimmer can clear an anchor free diving in 10m. It is good practice to dive down and to check your anchor to make sure it has correctly set. at least initially. but will be at the edge of their capability. They will have very little time to work on the bottom. If possible anchor during the day and drop the anchor in sand well away from any coral heads. This is not as easy as you might Anchor carefully in coral. Taking as much spare warp and rode as possible pick a spot that will be up wind and astern of the boat and drop the anchor. A chain rode will not chafe and break. allowing a scope of at least 7 if it is on a chain and rode combination. They are impossible to lift or clear any other way other than diving.

Read Staying Put!: The Art of Anchoring by Brian Fagan Use "track" functionality in reefs When moving in coral try and do so between 10am and 3pm with the sun behind you Anchor lights 12 . it will be easily visible to dinghies and other yachts and will illuminate part of your rigging or cabin. It will draw no power and will automatically switch itself on and off from dusk to sunrise. being just above the height of your deck. Pick your time to move so that the sun is behind you and post a lookout on your bow or better still sitting on the spreaders. She buoyed it off in the middle of a wild night inside a coral atoll in the Tuamotu's Having tracked her route into the Atoll she was able to motor up and down the track for the rest of the night. When anchoring inside a reef system use it in case you are forced to leave at night. One of the last items on your anchoring routine will be to set your ball/light combo up after which you can forget it until you leave. Unless you have an intimate knowledge of the area you are in. Just make sure it is charged when first put up each time you anchor.think. try and do it between 10am and 3pm when the sun is high. Also. Ni-Cad batteries and LED's. In 2003 a $10m Swan 80 damaged her bow badly after she was forced to abandon her anchor after it got wrapped around a coral head and had no "give". Set up an anchor ball and light combination using one of the newer combo rechargeable units combining a small solar panel. This could be set up either on a line or on a short aluminium pole. Another good reason for using your engine is that if a boat upwind of you starts to drag you may be able to move clear of it as it drifts by. your boat may be sailing about on her anchor and you may be adding strain rather than alleviating it. Some electronic/computer navigation systems allow you to track your exact route. If you do try this try and work with the motion of the boat. She survived! Navigation in coral can be stressful. Turn "Track" on! If you anchor within a reef system you will be unable to leave at night unless you can exactly track your route in and you can retrace your steps very accurately. This probably complies with your insurers requirements but may be of limited use in some anchorages because it is too high and/or is lost in the clutter of other lights on the shore. Anchor marks and lights Most yachts are fitted with an anchor light on top of the mast.

The key variable you must cater for is whether it can handle your boat downwind in heavy weather when steering loads may be very high. Direct drive pilots will normally manage boats of up to 45 foot in moderate conditions. If you are going offshore your autopilot should be significantly oversized. Manufacturers claims about how powerful their products are and especially.Autopilots This discussion is about electronically governed mechanical autopilots. A tiller pilot used as a backup working in tandem with windvane gear (see below) is an exception. Automatic pilots "learn" your boats steering characteristics. about how much power they use should be treated with extreme scepticism. When considering a pilot choose one that lets you easily alter (ie these controls are not buried in a complicated menu) the following variables: • • • Sea State Control Rudder Gain Control Counter Rudder Treat claims by the manufacturer with extreme scepticism Oversize your autopilot significantly Sea State Control determines how far off course the boat is before the autopilot corrects it. Tiller pilots and direct drive autopilots are not recommended for offshore cruising yachts. It all comes back to what you will use your boat for. not windvanes. but note: your pilot will use more power. Rudder Gain Control determines how far the rudder is swung in response to the boat being off course. There are a number of autopilots around. buy the next size up. Essentially there are three variants: Tiller pilots. If in doubt and you can afford it. direct drive pilots and hydraulic pilots. Unfortunately this means that they are averaging conditions and responses and thus always steering for conditions other than what the boat is actually sailing in. In big downwind conditions this should be set to minimum. 13 . however tiller pilots are generally smallest and hydraulic are the biggest. There is some overlap in sizes. In big downwind conditions you will want to increase this value. Personally I would always opt for an oversized hydraulic option.

Autopilot accuracy is important at all times. because they do the work of one crew member. Counter Rudder determines how much opposite rudder is fed in to bring the boat back on course after a course correction. Carry spares. Autopilots are essential. Autopilots are completely dependant on power. including the rudder. Although wind vanes are notorious for tracking badly downwind (see "Wind Vane") they are an excellent alternative when they driven by a tiller An autopilot is essential 14 . A gyro is as important as a fluxgate compass in maintaining course accuracy. they also have a reputation for poor reliability. in these conditions this will be a secondary consideration.However. This is especially important at night when normal watch-keeping without an autopilot requires 2 on watch. often because they are undersized for serious blue water passage making. electronics and their mechanicals. On sluggishly steering full keel boats this control may need to be increased. or an alternative. Modern (i. The gyro measures the rate of course change. The windvane was not being used. in the last 2-3 years) autopilots have become much more accurate. On an extended offshore cruise autopilots are essential. If you see your course marked by a wake that looks like a series of large s-bends your autopilot is not steering accurately enough. It also cuts power consumption dramatically and puts allot less strain on the autopilot and all the associated mechanicals. but especially in big following seas. This picture clearly shows the S shaped wake from a badly setup autopilot.e.

Practice steering. take the vane off and replace it with the tiller pilot so that the tiller pilot is tipping the steering pendulum instead of the vane. It is too easy to become complacent. You may want to stand on watch by the helm to instantly take over should the boat be threatened by a breaking wave or imminent broach. Practice steering 15 . only taking over when absolutely required helping to conserve your own resources in difficult conditions. Do not automatically rely on the autopilot in wild weather.pilot. If you find yourself in rough weather you will have to steer and the practice may help save you and your boat. in all weathers and at night. The tiller pilot will work much less hard than working the tiller of a small boat and will use much less power than your "main" autopilot. If your boat has a wind vane (see "Wind Vane). This way you can use the greater accuracy of an autopilot to good effect. Steering is as much practice as it is a talent.

Batteries There are many different types of battery. close to the centre of the boat. Your starting battery should have a CCA rating as determined by your engine manufacturer. Check them at least once per week by ensuring that each cell has enough acid in it. They should therefore be as close to the keel as possible. but with at least double the AH. Hydrogen on its own is highly flammable. CCA for short. Wet cell 2. This is because wet cell batteries give off hydrogen and oxygen when they are being charged. The size determines the overall capacity and is measured in Amp Hours. On no account should it be possible for water to enter this container under any circumstances. Gel 3. Wet cell batteries require regular maintenance. This area determines the maximum output and is measured in Cold Crank Amps. Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) 4. mixed use or deep cycle. because the cell has most probably Regular maintenance Install as much battery capacity as you can! Batteries should be near the keel in an enclosed ventilated container 16 . both laterally and longitudinally and as low down as possible. Buy a battery with a CCA higher than recommended. If one cell is materially different try and determine why. AH for short. That is. Batteries are very heavy. They fall into a number of broad categories: 1. If possible position them so that they become part of the boats ballast package. Half an hour after a charging run. batteries are starting. Broadly speaking. hydrogen and oxygen together is an explosive mixture. They should be in a vented airtight container that is very securely fixed to the hull. The readings between cells should be very similar. Broadly they are differentiated by their size and the maximum area of metal presented to the electrolyte (acid). Other Batteries are built for different purposes and thus have different characteristics. measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte (acid) in each cell. If you have wet cell batteries the vent should be fan assisted and driven by a fan that is rated spark free and switched on whenever the batteries are being charged.

If the voltage is down. Even that will not be enough. in which case do it for that! Using a spreadsheet (or pencil and paper) write down every piece of electrical kit you have on board. The available literature on the subject advises one to work out a theoretical maximum daily usage and double it in order to determine the size of the battery bank needed. Add them all up and you will now have a total. and therefore you will suffer Work out what your power requirements are and then double it. Multiply this total by 1. Volts times Amps equal Watts. This figure is your average daily electricity consumption measured in amp hours at 12 or 24 volts. Usage So how do you work out your usage? Do this assuming you are on passage. Check the voltage of the battery separately from the others in the bank. the higher the resistance. Gel and AGM batteries do not need maintenance beyond keeping the terminals clean and lightly greased. It will use more when it is actually moving your boats rudder than at other times. Some items may have 2 ratings. Calculate usage 12v or 24v 17 . In the next column write down how long you think it will be on per day in hours. Multiply the consumption by the number of hours for the worst case and put the results into the last column. Every yachtie out there wishes he could find space to double his battery capacity. you might have to discard them all because the new battery will only last as long as the remaining batteries in the bank. Find out what its rated power consumption is. A 24v boat draws half the Amps of a 12v boat. The main advantage with 24v is that wires carrying the electricity are more efficient at higher voltages because electrical cabling has resistance. The higher the amps.2 to allow for errors and inefficiencies. unless of course you think you consume more at anchor.failed. a measurement of energy. For these purposes the number has a direct inverse relationship with Volts. A good example is your autopilot. the cell and the battery have failed and the whole battery should be discarded. If the whole bank is ageing. Capacity How much battery capacity do you need? As much as possible is my answer. 12v or 24v Note that the measurement "Amps" is a measure of electrical current. Many people find this is not enough and have to charge their batteries every day for far longer.

nearly the rated capacity of the alternator. Thus a 400 AH bank of batteries can only accept 60-80 amps. The topic is too broad and specialised to provide a customised blue print for every conceivable combination of circumstances. Take expert advice Seek and take advice from an expert. Look at http://www. Sizing Assuming you want to run your generator/engine for no more than 2 hours per day you will need to size your system as follows: Your generating capacity (that is the maximum amps you can deliver to the batteries from your alternator or genset) should approximate your daily usage in amp hours (ie.more energy loss in the form of heat in your boats circuits at the lower voltage. There are new batteries that can accept very high charge rates for most of the charging cycle called AGM or Absorbed Glass Matt batteries. There is conflicting advice on this issue but that final 5% can take a very long time.vonwentzel. you will need a 200amp alternator) and the usable portion of your batteries should be double that amount. whereas an 800AH bank will accept 120-160 amps. During the charging period you will note that the batteries initially will accept very high current loads. half the maximum. Once a month or so perform an equalisation charge when you over-charge at higher voltages (15v (12v) or 30v (24v)) for a short period. if you are using 200AH. The usable portion of your batteries is 50% of their rated amp hours if they are mixed use batteries and 70% if they are deep cycle (traction) batteries. this section is intended to give you sufficient information to ask the right questions for your circumstances. I go with the advice that it is better to shut off when this stage is reached. These are more expensive. Thus you will need a rated capacity 4 times usage with mixed use batteries and 3 times usage with deep cycle batteries. Sizing your system Alternator in amps = daily usage in AH Mixed use battery capacity = 4x daily usage Deep cycle battery capacity = 3x daily usage Take expert advice 18 . Using this formula should allow you room for errors and increased usage. but that this rapidly drops back to for an excellent discussion on batteries. but worth it if they reduce your engine or genset hours significantly. It will then maintain that level for a longer period before gradually reducing to 2% of the rated capacity when they are about 95% charged. Note also that most batteries can only accept a charging current of 15-20% of the rated capacity.

the anchor light and cabin lights are all available in LED now. Nav lights.LED's (Light Emitting Diodes) This is a new technology using substantially less power than standard incandescent or fluorescent lights. Check that it can be remotely switched off as it will not be wanted on passage! LED’s use much less power Example of a Usage Spreadsheet 19 . A single unit is available as an anchor light combining a small solar panel. Ni-Cad batteries and LED's.

water and food. They will flog themselves to death. Becalmed! Don't burn all your diesel Drop your sails. How far is it to your next port? Work out how much diesel you need to maintain your electrical requirements. It is far more damaging than keeping them filled in a decent breeze. but there is no doubt that being becalmed can be frustrating. Do not leave your sails up unfilled. especially water Maintain watches 20 . you could be fighting for your life in a gale. Maintain watches. Watch your supplies of fuel. If in the middle of one of the major oceans with 1500 miles to go. plus a little bit to get you into harbour and then you will know how much motoring you can do. it is unlikely you will have sufficient diesel to motor all the way. don't leave them up to flog Watch your provisions. Just because you are going nowhere does not mean that shipping has also stopped! You might have to start your engine and drive out of the way.Becalmed Is being becalmed worse than being in a gale? Tricky question.

compromise between space and handling/maintenance. the more maintenance required. The volume advantages of a 40+ foot boat when compared with a 30+ foot boat are dramatic. LOA approx 40' .at least 150 nm per day on passage. Keeping your boat in good seaworthy condition impacts safety dramatically. Must be set up for single handed sailing 6. 50+ footers generally have large capacity water makers. Most boats "out there" are sloops. Metal hull 8. so they are when comparing 50+foot boats with 40+ foot boats. the bigger the boat. Do you want 12v or 24v? Engine power? Fuel and water capacities? Colour? The list is endless. Stability curve: over 120 10. keel type and rudder configuration. ketch or yawl? Wood. Watertight crash bulkheads fore and aft. beam. steel. Keel – fixed and no wings or bulbs 13. However. LOA to displacement ratio: 16-18 11. in particular depth of forefoot. Displacement to hull length ratio min 250 9. made of GRP and are in the 40-50 foot range. This is an example of how you could specify your primary requirements along the following lines: 1. 3. This means LWL min = 37' 5. Generally. ferro-cement or aluminium? Hull shape. 4. cutter.Boat (choice of) There are thousands of different permutations of cruising boat and the choices are endless: Monohull or catamaran? Sloop. Speed . overhangs. gensets and other "luxuries" such as washing machines. LOA to beam: min 4 12. Safety: minimum Cat I offshore 2. Size does seem to be increasing and 50+ footers may be the average soon. Engine – minimum 60 HP 7. Which boat? How Big? A volume manufactured boat? What about a Cat? 21 . schooner. GRP. start with a few simple statements that will dramatically narrow the field. cost climbs exponentially for every foot added and your ability to manage a bigger boat needs careful consideration. Rudder – skeg hung You no doubt will have your own list.

So. what are the issues? Cats are faster. and that they are only suitable for Sydney Harbour. The inner forestay means you may not be able to stow a dinghy on the foredeck. the major difference being that a cat will not right itself. A monohull if holed badly enough will sink. They draw less and they can be beached. They were all in cats on the second time round. Any boat can capsize or pitch pole. they are not as sea kindly and they cost twice as much to berth in a dock. Hard work! It also means punctures and cuts in coral areas are a worry. Monohulls. It is worth spending a few minutes on Catamarans vs. This in turn means that you cannot have a RIB. Can you stow the dinghy on deck? 22 . If you are caught in a storm you may lose it and it can be dangerous. the first being completed in a monohull. lots of sailors go chartering. Contrary to what you might expect they are generally no faster on passage than a decent monohull. Cats and monohulls are equally dangerous in catastrophic circumstances for different reasons. whose design criteria are driven by volume considerations: most sailors are weekend sailors. The catamaran manufacturer Lagoon has not had a single capsize. the Solent or Long Island Sound on Sunday afternoons. we met a number of people who were on their second circumnavigation. not being sailed in all conditions for thousands and thousands of miles. Interestingly. Stowing a dinghy on davits is not the answer for yachts on long passages. so you are forever assembling and disassembling a soft bottom collapsible dinghy. Modern cats are built with much wider beams. or will not sink as fast. they are.Fewer of the boats “out there” are made by the volume manufacturers. are more comfortable at anchor and they have a lot more room. Think very carefully about choosing a boat under 50 foot with a cutter rig. The volume suppliers do their job very well. But their motion can be more uncomfortable under way. Fair enough. Yachties in a bar generally hold that the volume manufacturer's products are too light. That is not to say that the volume suppliers products are not “out there” at all. A cat will not. They are much safer than older cats.

Bulb keels and winged keels do have performance advantages. Spade. plumbing. Safety is affected by design in this area. Draft: Where are you going to sail? If that is predominantly the Bahamas you will need a boat that either has a lifting keel or one which draws very little by design. or partially hung on the keel. is very strong. A half skeg with a balanced portion of rudder? Lines and weed can and will easily get snagged. water maker. ballast and how attached. Make the bottom half sacrificial. You will spend allot of time servicing. particularly in the forefoot will mean a lot of pounding. shape. or will not stay shut when heeled in moderate seas) Hull shape underwater. is their space for one if not? Safety considerations. Keel: Depth. A good watertight bulkhead Criteria to choose: New or used Strength • Hull shape • • Keel • Rudder • Draft • Service Access • • Rig Centre Cockpit? • • Shade Seaworthiness 23 . if you do ground it you will lose half your rudder but you keep your boat and half your steering capacity. especially when going to windward.e. keel or skeg hung rudder? A rudder that is fully. wiring and genset). Has the boat got a good fitted sunshade (bimini). but a smaller cockpit is desirable under way (when things might be most difficult). but what happens if it is grounded? If the bottom hinge of the rudder is loose it will swing about and possibly hole your boat. electronics. Service access (particularly to engine. comfort of cockpit both underway and in harbour. Rig (sails on a ketch are smaller and easier to handle) Deck layout (Aft cockpit or centre cockpit). A flat bottom. but if you are ever in really shallow water the act as an anchor whereas a simple keel could plough through. Some important criteria I suggest are: • • New or second hand Strength and rigidity (some volume boats and even some not so volume boats are not all that rigid Test the boat! Look for lockers and doors that either will not open.You will choose your own boat based on your own criteria. make sure you can get to it easily. most of the time). A large well balanced spade rudder with extremely beefy stock and load bearings may be the answer. Generally a big cockpit is desirable in harbour (i. but it is faster downwind and will steer more easily. or on a skeg.

g. Another stability measure is the CCA Capsize Screening Formula (beam v displacement). Tonga in August). o Hull speed is a function of LWL.• • forward may save you and your boat if you hit a container. The longer the boat on the waterline the faster she will be. look at both.setsail. where as newer boats favour wider hulls. They sail flatter and are faster on a reach and running. Look for values above 260. This holds true unless you buy a boat built to similar design criteria with Steve Dashew's Deerfoot or Sundeer boats. Offshore boats should be up above the 120 -130's. look for values under 2. but less than 330. Suddenly a watertight bulkhead makes allot of sense! o Sail area to displacement ratio determines power. Racers may be less than 20. but these are some of the fundamentals: o Stability Curve. Spend some time on this topic before choosing your boat. o LOA to beam ratio determines how fine a hull is. Steve Dashews boats are around 4-6. In addition to the safety and seaworthiness considerations a light boat is not as durable and may not take kindly to days of upwind pounding. Imagine it is pitch dark and you are sailing at 10 knots in a decent breeze in an area where you know there are whales (e. o Watertight bulkheads. especially forward. Look for a value around 16. Look for minimum values of 3-4. A lighter boat needs a lighter rig and vice versa. Note that engine size is almost irrelevant to top speed above hull speed unless you have Strength Seaworthiness Stability Displacement ratio LOA to Beam Comfort factor Watertight bulkheads Sail Area to Displacement Ratio Speed and LWL 24 . What if your your rudder is damaged so badly either by grounding or by striking something heavy that the boat is holed? A watertight bulkhead aft will also save the boat. where as a full keel Colin archer design could be 60. Of course there maybe a container lurking within those same waters in addition to the whales. Strength: has the boat got reinforced scantlings (the rounded bilge areas amidships likely to take a pounding) if the boat does go aground? Seaworthiness. o Displacement to hull length ratio. Finer boats have an easier for a completely different approach to yacht design. Handling is also substantially different. Note these two measures are not mutually exclusive. o Comfort Factor (Ted Brewer) should be 30-40. Check out www.

you. If you hit a container at speed it probably does not matter anyway because a metal boat is as likely to sink in these circumstances as a plastic boat. cruising boats are only at sea 10% of the time. However. Understand as much as possible about the engineering underlying the design of your boat. Metal Boat? Many modern plastic boats are simply not up to long term cruising. you will spend much time swimming off your boat. this is probably the best location for the owner’s cabin. keel. Locks and cabin doors can jam shut or pop open on their own. choose carefully and do not be seduced by fancy bathrooms and "Hilton Hotel" interiors. An owners cabin forward means you can get the best ventilation on the boat at anchor and you are in the best place to hear the anchor dragging. going aground either on a beach or reef and collisions with ships. not steel! So. A boat that is easy to climb up on is also important when recovering an MOB Large Windows as in “Deck Saloon”? Cabin Layout • Swim/boarding platform Many people will recommend a metal boat. It was made of glass fibre. One owner even shipped his boat back to Europe claiming it was not fit for an Ocean Passage! Another boat had to be scuttled 1400 miles from St Lucia after her rudder stock broke. especially from the volume manufacturers. suffer from a lack of hull stiffness. o Large windows are nice. Making way across large oceans in biggish seas will expose this problem very rapidly. Swim/boarding platform. This is when a watertight bulkhead will save the boat irrespective of its construction material. as skipper.It is probably true that a metal boat is safer in all of these calamities. mast and rigging. As long as you have some good sea berths amidships or aft. however with 3 of these. but especially the rudder. Many modern plastic boats. have some control. easy access for boarding or disembarking from your dinghy. The risks (relative to a plastic boat) are: hitting a whale or container. but how much strength has been compromised? • Volume and cabin layout. Choose strength and seaworthiness. 25 . but will be unusable at sea. Some of the “so called” better brands had this problem in the 2002 ARC. as the hull flexes. Make sure that you understand and trust the engineering underlying the hull generally.sufficient to make the boat plane. A cabin in the forepeak may look great at the boat show. If you are cruising in the tropics. is important.

anchors. autopilot etc. Buy the most basic boat and spec it up yourself.Buy your boat at the most basic level possible and then fit it out yourself with bigger and/or better sails. winches. 26 . water maker. engine. gensets.

Check Lists Checklists are an important safety tool. A full standing rigging check means checking 100-200 individual items even on a smallish boat. Some check lists that need to drawn up: 1. any one of which can fail. Prepare a number of check lists. Running Rigging and Sails 4. Pre-passage check 8. Standing Rigging 2. Check it before a blow. such as doing a standing rigging check. Engine. Abandon Ship 6. Prepare your lists and adjust them if need be. making sure your boat is in tip top condition before you go. Provisions 12. Mayday 7. Your pre-passage checklist should include all your periodic checks. Each stay has something like 10-15 components. Safety Equipment 5. plumbing and pumps The Challenge organisation checks their rigging once a week. Coconut Run cruising area conditions are less demanding. Print off a few copies and physically tick each item off as it is checked. Check it again after the blow. if you know one is coming. Rigging checks 27 . Underwater 11. gearbox and transmission 10. When drawing up your checklist remember to make it as comprehensive as possible. Lights and Batteries 9. Standing rigging is particularly demanding. even at sea. such as a long passage. so I found that a rigging check once per month was sufficient. rigging checks should be more frequent. possibly resulting in the loss of your rig. Water maker. Electrical Circuits. You will need a list of all your checklists as there are checks to be made both periodically and before certain events. but they are sailing to weather in the southern oceans. Treat these in this book neither as exhaustive or cast in stone. Deck Equipment 3. If you are sailing in high latitudes. Choose your intervals so as to ensure the optimum safety and comfort for the boat and crew.

If you are going to be out of the school system for a long time you will need to plan for education. Going on a boat is a good opportunity to let them grow up in a Huckleberry Finn sort of a way. but generally does not mean pushing them. mostly having a good time.Children If you have children on board you will be known as a "kid boat". They really do need to learn how to get along with their peers otherwise they may have difficulty readjusting once they start living ashore again. Education is a big enough subject for a book in its own right. One approach is to try and concentrate on numeracy. history and geography according to where you are. Finding other kid boats is the only way for them to socialise with their own age group. Learn languages. movies and a computer games. They need two things not normally actively provided full time by their parents: To socialise with other kids in their own age group and entertainment. If they will be out for a shorter period it may be better just to let them enjoy gthemselves. literacy and science from material you take along. pack those. This is beneficial in many respects but to little time spent with their own age group can also be harmful. This means different things depending on how old the kids are. Entertaining kid's means having a wide variety of books. Bring plenty of Education: when they rejoin school they should not be behind Kid Boat? Numeracy and Literacy 28 . Adults decide to go cruising. Depending on their age you will also want to consider education. You will seek out other kid boats and they will seek you out. if he likes cars and trucks and things that go. Kids just go along for the ride. Even so they will spend allot more time with adults than their landlubber friends. Your objective should be to have them settle into school within their own age group with ease when they return to land based school. but above all bring the toys your child loves best at home – if she loves dolls and barbies bring those. some with kids. most without. toys. Try and concentrate on toys that are "constructive" such as Lego and Playmobil.

or in the cockpit. You will need kid size lifejackets depending on their age. Kids can easily fall between life lines. so most “kid boats” rig netting in the life lines. you will need to have a lifejacket that they can wear while in harbour. such as to watch dolphins swimming in the bow wave.books. sports and snorkelling equipment and games. You can invite them on deck in exceptional circumstances. If your kids cannot swim well. Children's safety requires separate planning 29 . Children's safety needs separate planning from normal adult safety on a boat. in the dinghy or at anchor. If the boat is underway they are not allowed on deck. One rule that should be instilled in children is that while on passage kids should only be allowed down below.

you suffer more. etc. Eat the chicken! If at any time you think you may have Ciguatera poisoning seek medical help as fast as possible.e. Mannitol treatment is recommended at the rate of 1gm per kg of body weight. far from land. These could include inverted responses to temperature. Avoid ALL reef fish and all predator fish such Tuna. This can take up to 4 hours to administer. you will know quite quickly. old) ones even if they have been caught in deep water. Although fish accumulate it. You will feel awful and you will have odd nervous responses. It is ingested by eating tropical fish that have themselves accumulated the toxin. Red Snapper are allegedly the worst culprits. especially big (i.Ciguatera Poisoning Ciguatera is a toxin endemic within tropical reef areas. your body cannot get rid of it and every time you ingest more. It can cause long term harm. they appear not to suffer from it. and must be done under medical supervision. If you are worried about Ciguatera at a dinner do not eat it. For a full description of Ciguatera poisoning go to http://www. Avoid Barracuda. Wahoo and especially Barracuda caught in the vicinity of reefs.htm If you are worried do not eat the fish! Seek medical help Avoid reef fish in the tropics Avoid predator fish near tropical reefs 30 . Ciguatera may be cumulative. hot feels cold and cold feels hot. volcanic activity and construction. especially those reefs that have been damaged by storms. If you do eat a ciguatera infected fish. Avoid tropical fish caught anywhere within any reefs.rehablink. particularly in areas that have been damaged by storms. construction or French nuclear

You might find that the only keyboard Most boats have at least one computer Backup is essential on land. As almost everybody has one. Laptops are no exception and will fail too. an A4 chart for the middle 3. You may be able to bang off an email with your longitude and latitude before you abandon ship. Discard these self printed charts after the passage or when they are no longer needed. By contrast desk top PC's are built from components that are internationally interchangeable and cheap. planning. I would advocate setting up your computer equipment so that it is as robust as possible and so that you can mitigate failure. There are now probably few cruising boats that do not have at least one computer on board. DVD and floppy drives that are brand and country specific they are difficult and expensive to repair when not in the laptops home country. That is a point of view and every body is entitled to a point of view. and vital in a boat If you are relying on electronic navigation have a paper backup All computers will fail. administration and entertainment! Email is a backup emergency service because data transmits better than voice. To avoid buying paper charts. So instead of nodding solemnly and agreeing that the traditionalists are right. Backup The only area where non-computer backup is essential is with navigation. Desktops All computers will fail. at least with "traditional" navigation techniques and practices for coastal navigation and with a GPS for ocean passages. It is nice/useful to have one on board and many cruisers think that they are essential.Computers Most cruising books and advice will tell you that you should never rely on a computer on your boat. before leaving. You can fix a desktop easily anywhere in the world. Carry paper charts for each passage and know how to use them. take a printer and print paper charts from your electronic charts covering every conceivable navigation requirement of each passage. they must therefore be an imperative and I doubt that you would consider going to sea without one. It is far more difficult and much more expensive to fix a laptop. Laptops vs. 31 .000 miles and a detailed chart of your possible arrival points. Because laptops have their own model type screens. administration and entertainment. long and short. All one needs to cross the Atlantic is a detailed chart of your departure point. planning. PC's are now widely used for communication (email). It is possible to survive without email. navigation. keyboards.

If so make sure it is dry and well ventilated. The ultimate may be to build a "pc locker" into which all the various bits are fitted. Salty water condenses on to PC components causing rapid corrosion and shorting. You may be able to install the guts of a computer (i. The relay turns the lamp on when the PC is switched off. dry environment. Case Aluminium and plastic cases are available. There are lots of different case types and shapes.see your motherboard instructions) and fit a switch/circuit breaker for the PC on your main switch panel. Fix it so that it cannot move. Most desk tops come with AC power input and high street 12v and 24v DC power supplies are available for desktop computers 32 . Rack mounted PC's are available and may also work. This will keep the PC and all its components slightly warmer than its surroundings helping prevent condensation landing on the inside components of the PC. but at least you can get it and it will work! Use desk top PC's on board. One way of doing this is to fit a relay to the PC's power input circuit that switches on a small lamp (2½ watts) fitted inside the PC.available where you are is Spanish. If you must take a laptop. You will also need to set your operating system power options so that it does not turn the computer off when logging off. but make it easily accessible for repair! Disable the soft on/off function (the button on the front of the case . even when it is switched off. Fitting Fit your desktop computer somewhere dry. As one of the places is normally the chart table area this may not be as dry as you would ideally want. Fit the lamp inside the case of the PC near the bottom. change to aluminium or stainless steel where ever possible. so try and place it in a locker or behind a bulkhead. Check the fixings used by the manufacturer. Of course the lamp should be capable of being switched off separately as well. make sure that you keep it in a secure. Prevent corrosion by keeping the PC warmer than ambient temperatures. Corrosion Corrosion occurs in conditions where damp salt laden air is prevalent.e. Fit your desktop computer somewhere dry Stop corrosion by fitting a small lamp inside that is on when the computer is off Power Powering the PC at first sight is difficult. without the case) into the area behind your instruments. but close to where you are going to want to use it.

mouse. Then you can easily plug most peripherals in directly. Keep spares in a sealable plastic tub with suitable drying agents in the tub. Maintain an up to date copy of everything on the second drive. Look on the web. for both 12v and 24v boats. Eden make a chip that uses less power. Even then carry every component of the PC as a spare. USB USB USB ports are great! These days. take a spare hub. Mount a USB hub on the panel. It is even possible to find PC's designed for police and emergency services vehicles running on DC. motherboard. but they are available. e. Intels are quite power hungry. keyboard.0 standard. hard disk drive. However you may not want yet more RF straying around the boat.powerstream. Make sure all the USB stuff you buy is on the USB 2. when not needed they can simply be stowed somewhere convenient. memory and was advertising DC power supplies. They are not expensive and work well on a boat. Carry a lot of spares Spares Carry spares of everything! Have two identical PC's that have different primary uses. Fit the second so that it is separately bootable in a different partition. When 33 . Take spares! A good alternative to the wireless keyboard is the "indestructible" keyboard. Made of a rubbery material it is completely waterproof and can be rolled up. but check out component power consumption at the time you buy the PC. This includes a screen. Power Look at the power consumption of the CPU. Mount a separate (USB) DVD drive on your chart table panel in addition to the one in the case. DVD drive. Usually these parts are delivered vacuum packed in plastic.g. Keyboard and mouse "Wireless" keyboards and mice are available now. navigation at the chart table and DVD movies in the saloon. At the time of writing shops have never heard of DC power supplies. you can plug almost anything into them. An interesting development is that in-car PC’s are now becoming available that are used for in car entertainment and electronic street maps. but make sure that you can do everything on both PC's. As with everything else. Do not open them before you leave. but they are expensive and their components are not as readily interchangeable. Fit two hard disks to every PC on board.

Be a techie! Be a techie! Before you leave you should strip down and reassemble a desk top PC at least once. Screen Find a 12v LCD screen. You may need to make a floppy to take to the internet café. they are available in various sizes that should easily cope with your requirements. It can run directly from your boats DC supply and does not need AC. Like every thing else on your boat. so it would be a good idea to have a USB driven floppy drive as well. These are great for going to the internet café. Get a USB memory stick.choosing a mouse get one of the newer optical types. You should also know how to reload Windows (or Linux) and all of your software and data. one for the chart table and one for the saloon area to watch movies. You can even buy a switch that will let you choose between 2 different screens. but beware. many internet cafés in remoter corners of the world are still running Win 98 and these memory sticks only work with XP. Get an external Hard Disk Drive 34 . They are flat and can be screwed onto any flat surface. it is your responsibility and you are going to have to do it anyway. Backup Hard Disk Buy a hard disk enclosure that runs off USB and use it for back up. if necessary under supervision. They do not have a moving ball mechanism and so are less prone to failure.

It is rumoured that an average of 1000 a year fall off ships all around the world. 10-20 tons of boat slewing down the corner of a waterlogged container – you can just imagine the result. but remain awash invisible both to the eye and to radar. Be ready to abandon in less than a minute. but some. Most sink quickly. Neither do most people and you would be very unlucky to hit one. If you do hit a container at speed the result is probably going to be catastrophic.Containers Containers lost off ships are horrible. We never saw any and we certainly never hit any. See "Abandon Ship" If you hit a container at speed you could sink in 30 seconds 35 . full of cargoes that are buoyant do not sink.

either on or off. it will sink into your bilge and then has the potential to blow your boat up. less efficient and smelly. Many places supply one or the other. diesel. Small petrol cookers are available from a company called Coleman. kerosene and electricity. not a spare stove If you do have a gas cooker you should be aware that butane and propane gas are heavier than air and sink. whereas the diesel and kerosene variants are more expensive.on or off 36 . the result is likely to be catastrophic. Butane Have a backup computer that uses a different fuel source Treat gas with the utmost care Gas is heavier than air. The RNLI (lifeboat service) in the UK report that their most common call out concerns fire. If you buy a gas cooker. Work out how many litres of air/gas there is in the bilge. They can be found in camping shops. If there are people on the boat at the time of the explosion it can be fatal. When using a manual bilge pump consider that the pump chamber may have a capacity of one litre. Having gas on board means complying with all the safety requirements of gas and is yet another fuel type to find and store. or you think that you may have spilled or leaked some gas pump it out BEFORE throwing any switches. They are really just cooking rings. Gas cookers are cheap and efficient. pump air and gas. the gas will sink into the bottom of your bilge and an explosive mixture can form very quickly. but you do not need gas. Most cruisers carry petrol for their dinghy outboard engines. Always carry a backup cooker that uses a different fuel source. If you spill some gas do not throw any switches . not both. make sure that it is rated spark free. Bellows type bilge pumps made by Henderson. get one that works equally well with propane or butane. Propane vs. If you do suffer a gas explosion on board. On a catamaran the cooker does not need to be gimballed. Most yachts have hydrocarbon fuelled cookers. If you spill gas. as well as liquid. If there is a leak. Electrical cookers are more likely to be restricted to cruise ships and super-yachts. Plastimo and others.Cookers Cookers are available that run on gas. If you have a bilge blower. You need to pump for quite a long time! Also open hatches and vents and try and get air flowing through your boat as well. An ordinary domestic cooker is usually better and many times cheaper than marine cookers.

When diving and snorkelling treat the coral with care and respect. It is the habitat for millions of fish and other animals who rely on it for safety. but it is extremely damaging. Your anchor and chain can cause immense damage on the seabed. anchors and chains. It is threatened by temperature change. Bonaire does not allow any boats to anchor anywhere around the island in order to preserve its coral and under water habitat. Treat it with respect and enjoy its beauty. They have set up mooring buoys everywhere one could possibly want to anchor and the sea floor is in very good condition. in addition the chain will rapidly lose its galvanising and then it will rust. Not only is it is not advisable to drop you anchor in thick coral.Coral Coral is delicate and in many parts of the world threatened ecologically. dirt and pollution. Coral is threatened and dying. Just a touch sometimes is all that is needed to damage it. treat it with respect 37 . diving and other water sports. chemicals. shelter from predators and food.

Of course the new recruit might say it to you! Even so. unpaid or paying crew will depend on the relative positions of the owners and prospective crew. are very small places. Make sure that the new recruit's passports. understand their work ethic and become aware of irritating personal habits that might come to light. There are lots of people wanting a taste of the cruising life. even quite large boats. Do not leave it until the last minute. The choice between paid. That way you will get to know them. visas and documentation very carefully 38 . The rank atmosphere will pervade every corner of the vessel ruining what otherwise should be a pleasant voyage for all on board. visas and documentation are in order before you leave. Some tips: Any boats. Choose your crew very carefully on criteria that you are happy with. Owners sometimes persuade these types to pay for their food and/or towards the upkeep of the boat. If a major fall out occurs 400 miles downwind of the Galapagos you can either beat back to drop the crew off or sail on for the remaining 2500 miles to the Marquises. They can be found in ports such as Las Palmas and Balboa. but I do not think this is going to work out" before you leave. There are also web sites and agencies where crew. unpaid or paying can be found. Generally. whether paid. unpaid or paying? Be very careful Establish a working relationship before you leave Check passports. it is still better not to have the recruit on board. but who do not yet have the means to afford it in their own boat. Neither choice is good. Skippers normally hold all passports on board and you can Do you need crew? Paid. The same physical dimensions will seem even smaller if people on board cannot stand each other. Try and establish a working relationship a good few days before you leave and require the new recruit to help you ready the boat for the passage. Panama trying to catch boats bound for distant shores. people bumming a ride on the ocean wave in exchange for a little work. They will work very hard. crew with good experience and the certificates and references to back them up will find well paid professional opportunities. At the other end of the scale is the ocean going back packer. It would be far better to tell the recruit "Sorry.Crew Many boats want crew. especially for longer passages and watch keeping.

Enquire of new recruits about any medical conditions. Know the rules for the countries you intend to visit and request that the new recruit gives you the deposit for safekeeping along with his/her passport when they board the boat. Medication Drugs! Terrorism! Departure deposit .perform this check without embarrassment. you will pay the price first. Skippers are not normally skilled at searching for drugs and weapons and the resulting embarrassment may well be pointless. If they have any and they require medication. Try and satisfy your self about drugs and terrorism.g. the crew second. or that they pay a deposit. some countries pay them back only after you have left.get it before you leave 39 . Nevertheless the risk remains. Some countries require that all inbound tourists have either a valid outbound air ticket. Tell them the rules for the refund of these deposits. bee stings) ensure that they have sufficient medication until the next place on your route where a new supply is available. Some skippers even perform searches. though this a personal choice and is likely to be extremely difficult. so they will need a bank account unless you are willing to handle the processing yourself. Skippers are responsible for all crew on board and if you take on an ocean going bum carrying drugs. either regularly or when something happens (e.

Ideally the feeds should be capable of switching automatically. the first with a 10 micron filter.Oh Dear! Biocide If your tank has been infected have it cleaned even if you have killed the bug with the biocide. Always use the biocide! Always use a Baja Filter 2 feeds to the engine 2 Racors Diesel Bug . If you get diesel bug and then add a biocide afterwards in the hope that it will fix everything you kill the diesel bug. Boat tanks get dirty over time. Repeating: Always add a biocide on every fill up. but beware. but its remains stay in the tank and continue to clog your lines and filters. It multiplies quickly and manifests itself as slime. this is going to happen somewhere embarrassing where you will not have 10 minutes to unclog the filters and bleed the fuel system. very quickly. your tanks will get very dirty. Always add a biocide on every fill up.Diesel Diesel comes in varying qualities "out there". *Diesel Bug is a bacteria that lives in water. If it does get there you may need the injectors and pumps changed and/or serviced on top of all the other trouble. Each feed should have at least one Racor filter in line before it reaches the engine. Over a period of a few hours all the debris in your tank is removed. There is a service available in many places that puts 3 pipes into your filler. When the engine dies. the second with a finer filter. Fit 2 separate fuel feeds from the same tank or fit a gravity fed day tank. too much biocide can form a sticky deposit that can cause the very problems it is designed to stop. Various manufacturers make biocides that kill Diesel Bug. it dies suddenly with almost no warning and when it does so because of fuel starvation. It is possible to clean a tank without dismantling the boat. If you get diesel bug*. they have traps for solids and water. but feeds on diesel. Hope that the diesel bug only clogs your lines and filters before it gets to the engine. Get a Baja filter. hopefully at diametrically opposite ends of the tank then pump the diesel around and around through a large filter. One pipe is a compressed air pipe that jerks about inside the tank stirring it up. you will have to bleed the fuel system. Needless to say. Some boats fit 2 Racors in line. The other two pipes. 40 .

There are various brands available. Either way it makes hauling your dinghy up the beach easy. A great fitting for a dinghy is wheels fixed to the transom for hauling it up a beach. Other types (remaining 10% or so) include various traditional and other dinghies made from a variety of materials and some non-inflatable collapsing dinghies. Alubat in France make a boat called a Cigale that can stow a dinghy on the swim platform. This is a great solution if you can find such a boat. safety and versatility. though it is fair to say that the most common is now the RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). The great advantage of the inflatable dinghy is its stability. their joins come apart and their fittings fall off. or the latest PVC is as good as Hyperlon etc. however they fall into 2 categories: those made with Hyperlon and those made with PVC.7m dinghy inside a locker on the transom. safe and versatile The RIB is without doubt the most popular choice afloat today Get a Hyperlon dinghy (NOT PVC) Fit wheels on the transom. chosen by those whose boats cannot stow a dinghy on deck or because the owners prefer clean decks while under way. RIB's and inflatables are stable. The Hanse 53 can stow a 2.Dinghies Dinghies come in all shapes and sizes. The next most common is the collapsible or roll up dinghy. You have a choice: bigger wheels that are lower than the propeller allowing you to drive right up onto the beach which is great for heavy surf. These need to fold so that they can remain out of the water until you approach the beach when the dinghy should be slowed and the wheels lowered for driving onto the beach. or as minimum one or two small wheels. on the keel or just below the transom. with price corresponding fairly closely to quality. Some boats had swim platforms large enough to accommodate a dinghy. they make hauling the dinghy up the beach easy 41 . Some even have masts and sails. Hyperlon is vastly superior and should be chosen even though you have to pay more. PVC Dinghies tend to disintegrate more quickly. Insist on knowing what the dinghy is made of inside the shop before handing over your cash and do not believe any tales about PVC being as good. perhaps permanently set like in a suitcase. great for teaching kids how to sail or for having a little fun in an anchorage.

That way it is much more difficult to steal. Even in port you might have occasion to use it if the port is large or spread about such as Las Palmas and Papeete. Look after it.Your dinghy is your connection to the shore when at anchor. Set up a bridle that you can easily attach to a halyard and lift the dinghy to rail height.Set its anchor on the beach .Double tie it on . many a dinghy has been stolen or simply just blown away after being carelessly tied on to a boat or not secured on a beach. Fastidious types double tie the dinghy to the boat and always tie it on to something or set its anchor if hauled up on the beach. Look after your dinghy: . In certain parts of the world you should lift it at night.Lift the dinghy at night 42 .

This can lead to unpredictable weather disturbances along the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ). and a reduction in rainfall over eastern and northern Australia. If you are sitting in Panama about to set off to cross the Pacific El Nino should not stop you because the information about whether it is an El Nino year will not be certain. It is difficult to predict an El Nino year. That’s where all the coconut trees are. This is what the Australian Bureau of Meteorolgy has to say: The Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) is calculated from the monthly or seasonal fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin. The Coconut Milk Run was renamed the Coconut Milk Shake that This last event finished in Autumn 2000 Check out http://www. popularly known as a La Niña episode. which weakened back to neutral conditions before reforming for a shorter period in 1999/2000. Positive values of the SOI are associated with stronger Pacific trade winds and warmer sea temperatures to the north of Australia.El Nino The Coconut Milk run is the name giving to cruising in the tropics. Waters in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean become cooler during this time. The most recent strong La Niña was in 1988/89. Sustained negative values of the SOI often indicate El Niño episodes. The Australian weather service watches El Nino closely because it impacts climate in Australia. These negative values are usually accompanied by sustained warming of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) Unpredictable weather Hurricanes in July? In Bora Bora? Watch for sustained negative values 43 . a decrease in the strength of the Pacific Trade In some years the Pacific is affected by El Nino. staying on the winter side of the equator within the tropics. The most recent strong El Niño was in 1997/98. a moderate La Niña event occurred in 1998/99. A few years ago hurricanes were reported in Bora Bora in July. so called because one generally sails westward about the globe.shtml for more information on this subject.

adapted for use on a boat will mitigate the risks. All your AC mains equipment must be in good order. so one should be doubly careful. Treat it with the same respect you would on land. On land a power station earths the neutral side of the AC circuit. An isolating transformer is essential for using shore power if you are on a metal boat. even more so on a boat because there is no earth 44 . A good earth leakage unit. checked frequently and you should always exercise the utmost care. In addition your electrician may not provide an earth for the same reasons that the US Navy does not. On a boat neutral is floating and not earthed. In addition there is a spare “earth” circuit on most electrical equipment. Salty water is highly conductive (much more so than fresh water).Electricity (mains 110v/220v) Mains electricity is very useful on a boat and can be supplied from one of three sources: Shore Power An AC genset Inverter Mains electricity. Because you are in a marine environment you have salty water in close proximity. On any other boat an isolating transformer is highly recommended. AC is dangerous. even if supplied from your genset or inverter is still mains electricity and is dangerous.

The US Coast Guard bonds negative to the hull at a single point. All boats have a number of dissimilar metals in contact with salty damp conditions. especially aluminium boats. Use the same principle where all other dissimilar metal components connect and join. Separate dissimilar metals A black art Dissimilar metals in sea water Aluminium boats Two issues: 1. the use of plastic and silicon is very helpful. Separate fittings on spars with plastic and/or silicon. This current is lethal to certain metals. The US Navy for instance constructs its ships with a floating negative (more below) in all its on-board electrical circuits. Where care is not taken to separate the metals the aluminium alloy in the spar corrodes leaving a larger hole than originally drilled for the fixing. sea water) an electrical current will pass between them based on the difference in their “potential” voltages. stray current induced 45 . From here the discussion separates into two issues that need to be thought about and planned for separately: Electrolysis with stray electrical current and electrolysis without stray electrical current. Again.g. Ultimately the fixing will work loose and fail. but it assumes critical proportions in metal boats.Electrolysis (galvanic corrosion) This subject is a “black art” and there are widely divergent opinions. Who is right? When two dissimilar metals are connected and placed together in an electrolyte (e. Your mast and boom (and other areas of the boat) are likely to be aluminium with many stainless steel fittings. Electrolysis is a significant issue on all boats. no stray current and 2. Some fixings can be supplied with plastic lugs or sleeves. or connected to a metal component in the sea (eg your engine is connected to your propeller which is in the sea). salt water. Lets deal with electrolysis without electrical current first. There are two ways to deal with this problem: separate the metals if at all possible (above the waterline) and fit anodes below the waterline (and in any keel sump). Use fixings that are the same as one of the metals and try and separate the fixing from the other metal. actually immersed in the sea.

Normally they are supplied with both 110v and 220v input and 110v and 220v output. The live side of the circuit is looking for a way to ground anyway it can.Underwater you should place a number of zinc anodes around the hull. The solution to all this is a transformer. If it comes onto your boat through that innocuous box on the pontoon your boat could become an instant super-anode. Shore power is converted into magnetic energy in the transformer that is then converted back into electrical energy on the boats onboard mains circuit. The problem is made several times worse by other dissimilar metals nearby: other boats. The ultimate aim with both is the same: to isolate all power sources from the hull. What the isolating transformer does is that it isolates shore power from the boats onboard circuits. although as I stated above this section also applies to the boats on board AC Mains circuit. shore power is very unlikely to stray. let’s split this subject in two: Shore power and on-board power. Whether you bond to a metal hull or not is up to you. Stray electrical current can arise from a number of sources. With only one connection on board. Personally I would not. Just placing an isolating transformer on board does not absolve you of any further responsibility. one should be placed inside any bilge sumps. the pontoons. on the keel and rudder. Anodes (zincs) Stray current induce galvanic corrosion Is you boat a super-anode? Isolating transformer An isolating transformer is essential on a metal boat Stray DC is more insidious. The second source of stray onboard power is the boats own systems and this is usually a DC problem. piles. One more thing: on board mains power is still mains power and still dangerous. Place an anode on your prop shaft and if possible on the propeller itself. debris on the bottom etc. See “Electricity (Mains 100v/220v)” for more information on this topic. Highly recommended on all boats they are 100% essential on a metal boat if you are going to use shore power. With shore power you have the problem that the shore based power station has earthed the neutral side of their network. normally this is done on the hub. The second issue is electrolysis induced by stray electrical current. Additionally. A rather special transformer called an isolating transformer. it will probably go on for longer and you may not detect it 46 . From an electrolysis standpoint you still need to be as careful of on-board mains power as any other power. Again.

The last item in the list of defences against electrolysis is a stray current meter. The hull cannot be a common earth Items in the bilge are prime candidates Stray current meter 47 . Compile a list of every item that could possibly be affected and check them regularly. Make sure that all your items that could have any contact with the hull are serviced regularly. Power then drains via that item into the water in the bilge completing the circuit causing very rapid galvanic corrosion in your hull. The bonding question on a metal boat is this: do you connect the boats negative circuit to the hull or not? It’s up to you and your electrician. The list will be quite long. See check lists. Are you with the US Navy or with the US Coast Guard? If these two highly professional organisations cannot agree what chance do you have? On a metal boat a floating negative is maintained throughout the boat. the hull is NEVER used as a common earth such as on a car. This will help reduce the risk of stray currents and help you track down stray current in the negative circuit if you ever need to. Use di-pole switches – that is the switches with circuit breakers on both sides of the circuit so that both positive and negative circuits are broken. Typically problems arise when a fault occurs in an item in the bilge such as a bilge pump.The first item to consider is bonding. Have it properly installed and know how to use it.

or when you buy an EPIRB it is VERY IMPORTANT that you register it with the authorities in the country in which the boat is registered. Switch on and off every 2 hours Once activated. If you do use your EPIRB you can double the time that it transmits by switching it off for an hour or two and then switching it on again. Will you be rescued? If you are in North American. unless it is switched off. Turning your EPIRB on and off does something more than simply extending its battery life: it tells the authorities about your direction of drift and speed and it also tells them that the emergency is real and that there are survivors. you stand a good chance of rescue. European or Australasian waters. There have been disturbing reports where an authority on being passed the information about an EPIRB in its area of operation has ignored the information because "rescuing some tourists on a boat" does not warrant the cost. This happened to a boat called Leviathan off the coast of Africa a few years ago. If not. however these are an excellent idea for MOB recovery. it will transmit for a number of hours. The boat will need a homing receiver. When you buy a boat that already “owns” an EPIRB. An EPIRB is vital Personal EPIRB Authorities outside first world waters have ignored EPIRB alerts In an emergency switching your EPIRB on and off every 2 hours extends the battery and tells the authorities the rescue is real Be sure to register your EPIRB 48 .5 homing signal as well. It works by sending a signal containing your information to a number of satellites. Each time it is switched on it should be left on for at least two hours as it can take this amount of time for the alert to fully go through the system. There are also personal EPIRBS on the market. This is a vital statistic. compare different models battery life expectations.EPIRB The EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) operating on 406 MHz is a vital piece of safety kit. you stand some chance of perhaps being rescued. The boat and owner must be identified in the national EPIRB records in order to co-ordinate the best response to any emergency. See “MOB”. or nearby. Some 406 EPIRBS include a 121. The system triangulates your exact position and then relays both that information and your EPIRB details to a control centre from where the alert is relayed to the nearest sea rescue authorities.

You will learn far more in your first three months cruising than you did in all your previous sailing experience. so ordinary. We then entered the French canals where we got used to handling the boat in very easy circumstances. even if you sailed regularly. first aid and radar use. When we arrived in the Med we started with easy day sails. Armed with all this new found knowledge I set off for Australia. Do a few courses. Then I stopped sailing for 15 years. When we decided to do our voyage to Australia I wanted to update my knowledge. Have it on board otherwise some authorities may stop you going any further without a "qualified" skipper on board. It seemed so matter of fact. little day sail. I did quite allot of sailing when I was much younger growing up in Cape Town. I owned a Hobie Cat and I sailed and raced as foredeck crew on a 32 foot sloop. 49 . I started with a day skipper course and did several specific courses on subjects such as VHF. we did so as if it we were just setting off for a jolly.Experience How much experience have you had? How much do you know? Do not be put off if you have not done much sailing. You will also do stuff that you hardly ever do in club sailing. By the time we set off from the Galapagos on the 3000 mile crossing to the Marquesas. We slowly built our confidence so that by the time we set off to cover the 600 nautical miles from Gibraltar to Lanzerote we did so confidently. although it does help. The last course and test was for my coastal skipper certificate. some countries require it. My overall aim at the beginning was to keep my family confident. An essential certificate is the International Certificate of Competence. like regular passages at night and lots of anchoring in different conditions. do it in easy stages. sail as much as you can and when you do actually set off. We hired a professional skipper to take us across the English Channel. You will learn more in your first 3 months of cruising than you would in a whole life of club sailing Take it in easy stages when you start: Build your confidence Get an ICC.

fatigue can be deadly if you need all your wits about you as you hand steer through a gale. Set a sea anchor and get some sleep. Getting cold and tired. Manage fatigue Maintain a workable watch roster In bad weather actively manage fatigue: rest when possible and eat well. Try and put on dry clothes. Being kind is not helpful. Take shorter watches. As skipper the best remedy for seasickness is to have the crew lie down and close their eyes.Fatigue Fatigue is something that must be actively managed. eat or drink warm food. Maintain a workable roster and stick to it. Allowing your partner to be kind is shirking! The last relevant form of fatigue is that when you are caught in a storm and you have to fight to keep the boat and her crew safe. 50 . Seasickness can induce deep fatigue that is difficult to lift oneself from. Another form of fatigue is when short handed and you are struggling to maintain an adequate watch. Sleep helps defeat fatigue and if you need the crew you will have them back more quickly by sending them to their bunk. Try and get a nap. Heave to for a rest.

Add in a margin for error and hopefully you have enough money to do it! A very good approach would be to split all of the above between capital and current accounts. You then have day to day living costs. The current account will include your income: rent. some places are cheaper. Assume your food will cost what it is costing you now. more or less under the headings above. try and draft a cruising budget. port fees etc 5. as accurately as you can. Your living costs In addition. It will include such items as house. You will have regular expenses back on land such as life insurance. The aim is not to allow any leakage from capital into current. Lots of it. and some are more expensive. investments etc. to go cruising you have the costs of closing down your old life on land and establishing the new life afloat. some airfares home and when it is all over you have to face the cost of re-establishing yourself on land. value of boat. Work out what your resources are first. There is no getting around that fact. 51 . dividends etc and your expenses such as provisions. interest. In other words put all the major assets and liabilities into the capital account and put all of your income and expenses into the current account. Purchase of yacht Fit out for cruising Maintenance Regular expenses such as insurance. It is imperative to your future happiness on land when the whole adventure is behind you that your capital remains intact. They will balance out. fuelling. storage and property costs 6. flights etc. Then. 3.Finances Cruising and yachts cost money. communications costs. There are 6 basic costs involved: 1. The difference between the two is that that the items under capital are enduring and long term in nature. 4. repairs. You will need to add items such as car hire and airfares back home because you will find that you need to do these things. 2.

Even if its not yacht related. Essential on board reference books include: The Ship Captains Medical Guide. it is an essential thing to do. also learn how to do intravenous injections.First Aid First Aid a specialised topic deserving not only a book or two in its own right. sutures and setting fractures 52 . A good First Aid guide. but as much training as you can get. Obtain very detailed diagnosis literature on certain common illnesses such as appendicitis. such as an ordinary St Johns Ambulance First Aid course. Do a First Aid course.

Once a fish is hooked it cannot get off because of the shock cord. The hook was a double hook set at 45º approx 5cm in length along the shank. because if it has enough fight left it can shake itself off just as you want to land it. Dorado (also know as Mahi Mahi and Dolphinfish) and Wahoo. Catch fish. Our final set up consisted of a plastic hand line reel. In the beginning we sometimes did not know a fish was on the line and only found out when we were pulling the line in for some other reason. 70m of 200kg line and 3m of 10mm shock cord. What is your objective? Game Fishing? On a sail boat? Or is it meat collection? On the coconut milk run your main catch will include Tuna of various species. and Shark and if you are really lucky you might catch one of the bill fish (Marlin etc). Take the line in at night. on a long passage it could be your only fresh food Hand line reel. You may get a few others such as Jack. The lure was a plastic squid approx 20cm long on a small weight. While we used a rod and light line we lost a lot of tackle and a lot of fish. Barracuda. Do not be tempted to pull it in too early. just watch it. you will not want to be grappling with a large fish in the dark. We never lost tackle once this fishing rig was commissioned and we lost very few fish.Fishing Fishing is a personal topic and rods and reels are expensive. Snapper. heavy line and shock cord 53 . If you see a fish take the lure. It will thrash around and tire itself out. The lure was a plastic squid on a 1 metre steel trace (125 kg) attached to the line on a heavy duty swivel.

immediately stop using it until it is repaired. near its exhaust. some of it gas related. These gases are heavier than air so any leakage inside the boat will sink into the bilge. and as they live in the bilge they are exposed to sea water periodically. Gas detection devices are prone to sea water damage.Gas Gas. Have your gas installation performed by a qualified gas technician to conform to local marine/gas installation standards. any spark escaping from the blower when it is switched on will then be harmless. Gas safe practices on a boat: 1. the gas supply is cut off too. If there is any malfunction of gas equipment. Gas explosions kill They also will destroy your boat in less than 1 second Do NOT trust a gas detector Gas installation by a qualified person Maintain good gas practices 54 . It is far better to set your boat up to minimise the danger and to adopt a "safe practice" routine. 3. Fit a solenoid type gas valve in the gas locker. If you fit a bilge blower. The RNLI in the UK report that the second most common call out after false alarms is fire. If power is cut. Keep your gas bottles in a sealed locker with overboard drains. Fit a light next to the circuit breakers to remind crew that the gas is "on". Keep the boat well ventilated. Fit circuit breakers for the solenoid next to the cooker and on the main switch panel. Adopt the habit of only turning the gas on when cooking. Gas explosions on boats are horrible. fit a certified "spark free" blower high up. Turn off the gas using the valve on the bottle if leaving the boat for more than a few hours. possibly resulting in death and/or destruction of your boat. In the bilge the gas can rapidly achieve explosive proportions and all that is needed for a catastrophe is a tiny spark. 2. When turning off the cooker turn the gas supply off first and then the cooker. Any gas in the duct will remain at the bottom. for the purpose of this discussion means propane or butane. 4. There is a body of opinion that believes they can actually contribute to the danger because they encourage a false sense of security. and when returning to it after a few days ventilate it well and clear the bilges. 5. Turn off the gas after using the cooker every time.

55 . especially for equipment in the bilge. In this situation when you know there is gas in the bilge do not throw any switches.Gas (continued) Manual Bilge pumps also pump gases. even dry. If you spill gas (when your cooker does not light first time. to remove any spilt gas. for example) immediately manually pump or blow your bilge as well. Manually pump or blow your bilges every day.

66 amps at 12v) using 0. some that are combination water makers and gensets and some that use different technologies such as the Wispergen that uses a sterling motor. Water generators are good on passage except that they slow the boat down (by an average 1 knot on a 40 footer). Note that a good wind generator does not work when sailing downwind and will cost about USD $1. There are a few boats "out there" that rely completely on wind and solar. Fuel Cells are being talked about at the time of writing. In summary these devices are expensive. The most common is the AC "genset" generating upwards of 2 kvA (2 kilowatts). There are also DC gensets. A set up where the Whispergen is run just at in the evening for eight hours or so may be sufficient on its own to keep up with all the power requirements of the boat and also allow the owner to install a smaller battery bank. In addition the average cruising boat is in port or at anchor 90% of the time. both as regards their initial price and their fuel consumption. They merely make it more efficient. Unfortunately there is no substitute for burning diesel. The only real alternative to using your main engine for power generation is a genset. Many of the smaller and cheaper ones are petrol powered. Wind & Solar You may want to add a wind or water generator and/or solar panels.500. In addition to the genset you will require a sophisticated battery management system There is a genset on the market called Whispergen that uses a Sterling Motor (external combustion) that runs on diesel and delivers a constant 800W (33 amps at 24v.Generators Generators come in many guises.8 litres per hour (at full capacity). but it will be some time before they are competitive. 56 Small petrol gensets are very cheap Diesel gensets are more expensive Combo water maker/genset Whispergen Battery management Wind & Solar – surely all those yachties cannot be wrong! . Do not rely on the input from any of these devices when sizing your system. I admire them very much and it shows that it is possible to survive on much less power. That amount could buy about 750 gallons of diesel. A 75 watt panel costs over $500. while the marine ones tend to be diesel powered and water cooled. do not generate much power and rely on the elements to work.

The problem is that GMDSS is effectively not used across most of the Pacific or most other non first world seas. Find out about where it is effective and where it is not. It is probably best to comply anyway if you are fitting new equipment now. or equivalent) you will learn extensively about GMDSS. 57 . No watch is now being maintained on VHF 16 or on 2182 (HF) or on any of the other MF/HF frequencies.GMDSS GMDSS has been obligatory from 1 February 2005 for recreational craft and it is used mainly in developed nations and this means it is certainly operating in European and US waters. A DSC controlled VHF is normally the first method and an EPIRB usually provides that second method. GMDSS requires all vessels to be able to transmit a Distress alert from two sources. If fitting new equipment compliance with GMDSS is probably going to be determined geographically. As with everything else work out a plan around the Pacific GMDSS issue. When qualifying for your SRC (Short Range Certificate) and or your LRC (Long Range Certificate.

It moves from equinox. A methodology for doing this is described below. You can also use your radar if you know what land or buoy the radar is seeing. perhaps every hour. It should be used only if you have no other means of knowing where you are. It is a good idea to do it. when the sun is directly over the equator to each solstice in approx. just in case you need to. course and speed. 92 days as follows: First 20 days before/after equinox 8º 2nd 20 days before/after equinox 7º 3rd 20 days before/after equinox 5º 4th 20 days before/after equinox 3º Final 12 days ½º The GPS CAN fail Always dead reckon You can do celestial navigation: heres how. Basic Celestial Navigation If you are well off the coast. you may need to navigate by using traditional means. Carry a sextant. at least once a day (preferably more) record your position.. Note that this is not accurate and could be 20-50 or more miles out.GPS failure In the event of GPS failure. Of course. either of your own unit or the system as a whole. If you are close to the coast keep the record much more often. Keep a couple of spare digital watches on board Note the time when you record the suns zenith 58 . Dead reckoning Always keep a record of your voyage as it progresses. If you are within sight of the coast you can take bearings on land marks and plot your position manually. At this point paper charts are probably best. you may have to resort to basic celestial navigation without a sextant. Celestial Navigation Celestial navigation is a skill that can be learned in a few days. you might just find it interesting to put your skills to the test on passage. That way you can use dead reckoning to help corroborate any position you calculate using any other means. sight reduction tables and an almanac. Dead reckoning is good practice in any event. The sun moves from one solstice to the other in a highly predictable manner in a period of 182½ days. or more.. but in those circumstances this will be much better than nothing! Modern electronic watches are very accurate. If in the ocean. Make sure you have a couple spare and that you check their accuracy regularly.

that is its opposite edges must be parallel and its corners must be exactly 90º. The cardboard must be absolutely rectangular. How do you measure the angle of the sun from the horizon with any degree of accuracy? This can be done quite well with a piece of rectangular cardboard (or a locker door) and help from one of your crew. Have the crew write down the exact time of each measurement as well. If you are using a locker door a pin or nail stuck in vertically is a good alternative. Line up the base of the cardboard with the horizon in the direction of the sun so that the bent edge casts a shadow on the card board (do not look at the sun as you may damage your eyes) as near to midday as possible.By way of example if your GPS fails on 21 April you could work out where the sun is. The solstices are on 21 June and 21 Dec and the equinox is on 20 March and 23 September. The edge facing the horizon must be the bent edge. The angle from the top edge of the piece of card board to the corner marked by the bend is the angle of the shadow and can easily be measured using your navigational plotter. Do this a few times and use the measurement with the greatest angle. Mark a line exactly 1cm from one edge and bend the edge of the cardboard over exactly on the line. Have your crew helper mark on the opposite edge of the cardboard the edge of the shadow that is cast. So. Measure the angle of the sun Now comes the difficult part. for 21 April first work out how many days since the equinox (31) This is 20+11 adding up to 8º+11/20x7º or 11º 51' north. Measure the sun 59 .

Again this should correspond with your known approximate longitude. You may have to add or subtract the suns declination. (12 hours x 60 mins per hour divided by 180º). Use all available information. An error of 1º equates to 60 miles. It need not be accurate.To calculate your latitude a diagram may help. but it will now be apparent what your laititude is and it should correspond with your known approximate latitude. Draw a parallel line to that of your sun that intersects the corner of your cardboard. Heave to* over night as they used to in the good old days if unsure. Stand off if you have to. Draw the earth and your piece of cardboard in about the right place remembering that because you lined the cardboard up with the horizon that the bottom edge is in fact a tangent and is at a right angle to a line drawn from the centre of your earth to the edge of the cardboard . When you calculate that you are near land or navigational hazards such as shipping lanes. you could easily be out by less than 2 degrees: that's 100 miles! 60 . To determine your longitude you now need to work on the time you recorded when the sun was highest. This is called the suns declination. Hopefully you will already know your rough latitude. Again I remind you. That is your local midday. Pencil in the angle of your shadow. rocks and reefs etc you should become much more alert. Call other ships on your VHF. Use your depth sounder to try and find a contour. Try and find landmarks or buoys that you can identify on your chart. it should only be used as a last resort. Work out the difference from UTC (GMT) in minutes. but must be sufficiently approximate to help you visualise accurately all the angles. Your longitude in degrees is the time difference in minutes divided by 4. This is not accurate. Now draw in the theoretical position of the sun from the centre of your earth (11º51' north in our example). See "Heave to" Draw a digaram Work out your latitude Work out your longitude This is NOT accurate.

Example list of items for your Grab Bag: Food Clothing Water in containers strapped to the lifelines Medication Fishing tackle Multi-tool Spare GPS (one pre-loaded with basic charts) Relevant charts folded and stored in a waterproof ziplock bag Handheld VHF that runs on batteries Batteries Torch (waterproof) Books Pencil & paper First aid book Knife Glucose tablets Sunglasses Hats Sunblock 61 .in the Mediterranean it is arguable that you might conceivably have to last a week. Its contents need careful thought. Putting a lanyard on it and tying it to the life raft will help prevent its loss.Grab Bag This is the bag you grab on your way out of the boat as you abandon ship. If you are crossing a major ocean you may need to survive considerably longer. Consider for the type of cruising that you are doing how long you might need its contents:. Make sure it is waterproof and that it floats.

Have a piece of planed timber ready to place in the loop that can be tightened by turning. Drill a 1cm hole in the middle. Leave a loop of line in the hole a little bigger than the depth of the window. try and make the repair waterproof. It will leak and be uncomfortable but water ingress through a broken hatch will not then overwhelm the pumps. if you are still at sea. Hatches break and boats have been lost as a result.Hatches (broken) Carry plywood boards for every size of hatch and window on board. The boards should cover the hatch/window completely. or two if the board is long and narrow. The intention is to have something that stops the ingress of most of the water. Replace the twisted line with screws or bolts. make the repair to the hatch or window more effective. Once the weather has settled. Strong boards may save your boat 62 . Try placing some waterproof fabric over the hatch and securing it with a line tied around the hatch.

When you suspect that this is true take a good multivitamin with high RDA's (Recommended Daily Allowance) of all the essential vitamins. Dengue Fever is unpleasant. Watch for tropical diseases.Health Cruising is healthy. Check out govt websites. With Malaria it depends where you are as to what type of anti Malaria treatment you might need. particularly sea related sores can take a long time to heal. Carry the appropriate anti-biotic. little stress and a great lifestyle. Each time you catch it. Malaria and Dengue fever are more problematic. Cover up. particularly Dengue fever. Do as much research as you can on government websites and then see your doctor for advice. Recovery from Dengue normally takes 2 weeks. 1000mg Vitamin C tabs and treat all cuts carefully. wear bug repellent and be inoculated against Yellow Fever. it gets worse. Colds and flu are rare in the tropics. Two things: When far from western style supermarkets pay attention to getting a balanced diet. Hydrogen Peroxide is an antiseptic and it fizzes satisfactorily on cuts and scrapes. You can take tablets and there are various courses available. At the time of writing there weren't any vaccines or remedies for Dengue Fever. but sores. The US and British government websites are particularly good on this subject. Malaria and Yellow fever. Wash them thoroughly in an antiseptic wash and then treat them with Bactroban. there is lots of physical activity. It may stop altogether because there is none. The US and UK sites are good Guard your health Take special care of cuts and grazes Malaria Yellow Fever Dengue 63 . $1 for 1 apple might slow down the fruit intake. all carried by mosquitoes.

To heave to. Having Hove-To. Heaving to is a good tactic for all sorts of things: for simply having a rest. simply put the boat through a tack. The boat should be making a little leeway and perhaps a little way forward. 64 . to stop the boat quickly in a MOB situation. Practice it a few times in different conditions. Leave the helm lashed to windward and adjust the mainsheet until she is comfortable. Every boat is different and will behave differently in different conditions.Heave To Heaving to is one of the great sailing tactics that is being forgotten. but leave the headsail backed. to ride out a storm. everything will go quiet.

Consider carrying a spare manual "roving' bilge pump mounted to a board and fitted with sufficient hose to drain over board. People have saved boats by tying a sail around the hull. say out of a hatch and over the side. using the lavatory pump and in dire emergency pumping your fresh water out. but also that is quite pliable that you can place on the outside of the hull (you will need to go overboard). If you are building a new boat from scratch. it might save you 65 . Amel’s come pre-designed with watertight areas. When you really need to pump you can never have too much capacity! Other emergency measures include taking the engine cooling raw water hose off the seacock (after closing the seacock!) and pumping from the bilge. the tanks make good buoyancy. try and get something on the outside of the hull. or if you can do it. Carry some suitable material that is reasonably stiff. it is more effective than anything you try and stuff into the hole from the inside. If stuffing the hole from the inside you will need to maintain pressure on the "stuffing" to keep it as effective as possible. There is a device available now that operates a bit like and umbrella. Maintain your bilge pumps Even if a watertight compartment does not save the boat. Its usefulness will depend on the location of the hole and whether it can be deployed. especially for your manual bilge pumps.Holed! Carry a spare electric bilge pump and several float switches. Carry service kits. If possible. The most common area for collision damage is forward in the bow area. At the stern a common cause of sinking is holing when the rudder is damaged or failure of the prop shaft seal. using the water maker pump (fit suitable diversion valves and hoses before you next go out). There are adhesives that work under water. If it has bulkheads in approximately the right Water tight compartments? Try and cover the hole from the outside. Remember the hoary old adage: "The best bilge pump in an emergency is a frightened man and a bucket". Find something that can be wedged in place. Check the design of your boat. Put the boat on the opposite tack and heel her if possible so that the hole is above water. Test regularly. a longer term precaution may be to try and set up one or more watertight compartments on your boat. you stick it through the hole and then open it.

If building a new boat consider whether it is possible to integrate water and fuel tanks into the hull construction. The bulkhead will need to be sealed very effectively. This approach. Some yachts have gone down in less than a minute. Even if your watertight compartment is not perfect it may still save your life by adding several minutes to the time you have available to abandon ship. if used in tandem with watertight compartments will make your boat considerably safer.places consider how you could make a watertight compartment. including all service ducts and the bilge. This will in effect give the boat a double skinned hull. 66 . The design of any door into the compartment will need special attention.

The windex on the top of the mast and a quick glance at the sea will provide better wind information than a wind instrument. its position on the hull and its calibration. At anchor or underway when not on watch you can quickly check (some) things without getting up. On top of all this all the electronics behind the plotter need to be interfaced and then it all needs to be maintained.Instruments A number of manufacturers make good. reliable instruments. The salesman may try to sell you a plotter. but very seldom required at the helm in the tropics. engine status and other interesting things. These plotters are very expensive. This section is not intended to recommend one. rather it is intended to provide you with some issues you need to think about. It does have limited use when sailing in a current. What are you trying to achieve? Think about what information you actually need on the helm. after that depth. In addition an impeller driven boat speed instrument is not very accurate. Your GPS provides you with speed over the ground (not boat speed or speed through the water). Its performance is greatly impacted by any weed that has grown on the impeller and hull. The really key instrument is depth. A good alternative to the instrument manufacturers plotter is a PC and PC based charts. See the sections on “Navigation” and “Computers”. The rest is probably superfluous. Your autopilot controls must be at the helm in order to be able to instantly disengage it when required. A combo repeater in your cabin is very useful. It can usually provide a customised series of readouts including instrument data. This is essentially a computer screen adapted for use in conjunction with the manufacturers instruments on a boat. There are lots of instruments available Depth is key Boat speed is seldom accurate A windex is generally better than the wind instrument Do not be seduced by a sweet talking salesman A dedicated chart plotter ties you to their charts Depth. Many manufacturers sell a combo boat speed and depth pack. Radar information is useful. In addition you have to buy the manufacturers charts and once you have bought the plotter you are tied to his prices for the charts. heading and speed are useful. a GPS repeater and your autopilot controls are needed on the helm. Eyeball mk1 is the best instrument that you have. radar plots. Autopilot controls must be at the helm Combo repeater in your cabin 67 . chart information. If all you buy is the depth sounder you will have realized 80% of the value with the purchase of your instruments.

Most jacklines run along the outside deck so that if you fall on a 90cm harness you could be hanging in the water. You may not even be able to shout for help. but it can roll underfoot and be dangerous. Webbing jacklines should be regularly checked and renewed if necessary because of the UV damage they constantly suffer weakens them. If the boat is moving fast. It is far better to lay your jacklines as far inboard as possible so that if you fall you hang near the top of the life lines. Shorten or double up the harness to shorten its length as well. The best jacklines are webbing because webbing is flat and strong. even if you are injured you should somehow be able to get back on board and call for help more easily. In the ARC 2002 a crew member died even though he was clipped on. Shorten your harness 68 . That way. especially in anything more than moderate seas. you will not be able to climb on board. You could drown because of the way you fall with the drag of the water holding you under. I have seen ordinary stainless steel cable used.Jacklines Jacklines are lines that run up and down the boat allowing crew to clip on and yet to move the length of the boat without unclipping. Webbing jacklines Check webbing jacklines for UV damage Set jacklines as far inboard as possible.

Life Raft
Purpose made, self inflating, life rafts with enough capacity/places for everybody on board should be on board. Life rafts must be securely stowed on or below decks but must be capable of being deployed in half a minute or less. All life rafts should have a survey certificate signed by an authorised servicing agent valid at least for the period of the intended voyage. Life rafts come in various grades (prices) according to quality, brand and equipment on board. You cannot supplement the on-board equipment, but the manufacturer should have supplied you with a list. The on-board equipment list is normally very limited. Do not be tempted into thinking that you can rely on this, even for a short period of time. Make sure your Grab Bag (see “Grab Bag”) contains everything else you want/need. An expensive addition to a Life Raft is a SART (Search And Rescue Transponder). It provides a very distinct “echo” on a radar screen and is used fro short range SAR. It is unlikely that many yachts will carry a SART. Make sure it is in date

There is very little included inside - prepare your grab bag


Lightning can ruin your day! Quite apart from the fact that it probably will occur in an "attention getting" storm, the likelihood is that it will destroy all your electronic and electrical equipment. A direct hit is not necessary to destroy everything as an electromagnetic pulse from a strike close by may be sufficient. Lightning is frightening and unpredictable, very little is known about it. Theories abound and levels of authority are determined by geography. Americans believe in lightening dissipaters, but Europeans believe they attract lightening. What is absolutely certain is that the sea is flat and low and your mast is metal and high! Steer around electrical storms! Extraordinary things have happened on boats hit by lightening. Some boats have reported all or some of their electronics and electrics being "cooked". One UK boat reported that it blew its keel bolts off and sheared the bolts holding the chain plates fast. Start your thinking from a "worst case scenario" where lightning is concerned. You might even be forced to abandon ship because of fire or some catastrophic failure. The best advice is to try and avoid it. Steer away from electrical storms, even by 180º. If you are caught in lightning there are a few tips that might help: 1. Keep a spare GPS in a small metal container. (Faraday principle: A metal container (such a tin, car, aircraft or metal boat) will protect people and things inside from lightning and electromagnetic pulses.) 2. Put as much as possible that is electronic into the oven in lightning 3. Turn as much as possible off and isolate as many circuits as possible. Disconnect as much of your electronics as you can (unplug computers etc). 4. Start your engine if you are in an electrical storm. If it is diesel it probably will still be running after the hit and that will give you more options than if it is not running. 5. People on deck are unlikely to suffer direct hits because the mast and rigging is protecting them, but on no account should any standing rigging be touched. It is far safer below. Remember the Faraday principle Lightning can destroy all your boats electronics and electrics

Steer around electrical storms

Spare GPS in a metal container Put Electronics into the oven Isolate circuits

Start your engine

Crew down below


Man Over Board
Yachtsman's nightmare. If you go over and you have not been seen your chances of surviving are very slim. In some conditions even if you are seen you could still die. The rule is not to go overboard! Personal EPIRBS are available operating on 121.5 MHz. Together with a homing receiver in the boat this would be a very valuable addition to personal safety. If you can find one that incorporates a strobe light and a proximity alarm that sounds as soon as its goes out of range this would be even better. As with many other technology solutions it should not substitute for good practice. How to prepare: Practice your man overboard drill at least once a month. The standard bucket and fender drill is best. Tie them together and throw it overboard. Then shout "MAN OVERBOARD". The MOB procedure goes as follows: 1. Immediately stop the boat by turning it into a heave to*. 2. Appoint a crew member whose sole job it is to keep the MOB in sight at all times 3. Throw out the Dan Buoy/Light/Horseshoe combination 4. Start the engine and furl/drop the headsail. 5. Have a crew member sheet the main tightly amidships. 6. Have a crew member set up a line with one or two strops to haul the MOB on board** 7. Steer towards the MOB, do not hit him/her and place the boat up wind of the MOB Let the boat drift down to the MOB and ask the MOB to set the strops, one around his body, under the arms and the other under his knees. If the MOB is unconscious the skipper must make the unenviable decision about whether to risk another crew member’s life to rescue the MOB. If so he/she will need to be prepared as well as possible (wetsuit/survival suit, life jacket and harnessed with a line to the boat). The strop used to lift the MOB could be prepared so that both crew members can be winched out at once. *See "Heave To" and know how to perform this Practice MOB recovery in a variety of conditions Do not fall overboard!

1. Stop the Boat 2. Crew to watch MOB 3. Dan Buoy 4. Engine and Headsail 5. Sheet Main amidships 6. Recovery lines and strops 7. Go upwind of the MOB

Remember hydrostatic pressure


manoeuvre in the boat you are sailing in. If there is any danger of hypothermia try and set 2 strops. If the MOB has a harness on use that. *** In big seas it is best to rig the line up amidships where the rise and fall of the bow and stern are least. A halyard is then not suitable as the rolling of the boat will mean that the top of the mast is swinging through a large arc. ** A potential problem with pulling a MOB on board vertically. especially in conditions where the MOB may be hypothermic (Always assume this if the water is cold) is heart failure caused by a drop in hydrostatic pressure. Rig the line as low as possible. one under the arms and the other under the knees. 72 .

especially in the remoter reaches of the world can be less than fully balanced. The third box should be the box that you give the doctor. or at least a nurse. First aid 2. Basic first aid: Plasters (get the English cloth variety "Elastoplast" plasters in a variety of shapes and sizes. Food resources. saline drips and other specialist medical supplies that are normally only available in the medical profession or on prescription. as opposed to prescription drugs. Take extra vitamin C. Antiseptic in both liquid and lotion forms and other "every day" items. Anti-biotics fall into this category. The next box should be a more comprehensive medical box containing more serious drugs such as diarrhoea treatments. Definitely do a first aid course. American "Band Aid" type plasters are useless on a boat). head ache tablets. Split your medical equipment into 4 boxes: 1. The fourth box is a tupperware. sea sickness drugs. treatments for eye infections etc. Practice and learn as much as you can before you go.Medical The bottom line is this: if you are not a doctor. Prescription/professional 4. Refrigerated items Practice and learn before you go 73 . Extend the course with some practical learning and/or experience doing some basic procedures such as: Setting a splint Intravenous injections Sutures Split your medical kit up into 4 components: 1. The contents will essentially be over the counter. or the box that you open yourself only in dire circumstances: It will contain hypodermic syringes. kept in your refrigerator containing any drugs that may need to be kept cool. 3. there will be times when you feel very alone. "Bactroban" is essential in the tropics as are multivitamin tablets. Over the counter items 3. 2. anti-histamines. 4.

eye and ear infections and chest infections. There may be a few days before you can reach help and the patient may need to be sedated until he/she is treated. These can fall into certain countries listed drugs so they must be declared when entering new countries. These need to be broad spectrum as well as a few specific types such as those that help infections caused by cuts and associated blood poisoning. If you are cruising the Med between France. Have some prescription pain killers. You need to have enough really strong pain killers and tranquillizers in case someone on board suffers a fracture at sea. non prescription drugs covering every possible over the counter necessity? B: Prescription drugs including a variety of anti-biotics.What drugs and medical supplies? A: Over the counter. 74 . Consult a doctor about a medical kit that suits you and your cruising circumstances. Italy and Spain only. you will need a different medical kit from a boat leaving Panama to cross the Pacific.

They're usually completely accurate. Sketch in some longitudes. PC. It is up to you whether you use them.use the charts and your head as to when the blank piece of paper approach is appropriate. There are illicit. latitudes and your key waypoints and the main navigational hazards you are likely to encounter.99% of the time. Electronic charts are great for coastal cruising. proximity of a navigational aid or a radar bearing for instance. software. in Tonga. Electronic navigation? Be sceptical and alert Electronic charts make navigation much easier BUT Complex chain of equipment Do not rely on electronic charts instead of navigation skills 75 . paper charts and a plotter every now and then just to keep your hand in. When you are sailing near the coast you should always confirm your position with at least one other piece of information: depth. but nevertheless excellent. For instance. You are relying on a complex chain of equipment to carry on working (power. Do not attempt to navigate through reef systems on your blank piece of paper . that is they are accurate 99.Navigation A PC and GPS together provide an excellent means of navigation. This is not a good idea at all. A blank piece of paper may be sufficient. Do some manual navigation using tides. some charts were “wrong” by 600 meters. You could even draw this diagram in your log book to keep as a permanent record. copies of electronic charts and navigation software circulating amongst the yachties. There are some occasions when they are not 100% accurate. Record your daily position at a specific time. bearing on a known landmark. but less useful when crossing large oceans. all linkages) so you must have an adequate backup if it all stops working. Remain alert for any discrepancy and maintain a healthy attitude of sceptical curiosity on your position at all times. Another issue is that electronics are being used as a substitute for navigation skills. You will find that the ease of using electronic charts and the ease of drilling down to more detail (that you probably do not have on paper) makes the use of electronic charts very compelling. GPS.

take a printer and print paper chartlets from your electronic charts covering every conceivable navigation requirement of each passage before leaving.Backup The only area where non-computer backup is essential is with navigation. To avoid buying paper charts. an A4 chart for the middle 3. at least with "traditional" navigation techniques and practices for coastal navigation and with a GPS for ocean passages. Discard these chartlets after the passage or when they are no longer needed. All one needs to cross the Atlantic is a detailed chartlet of your departure point. Barbados and other possible arrival points in the West Indies.000 miles and detailed chartlets of your possible arrival points. 76 . Carry paper charts or chartlets for each passage and know how to use them. If headed to the West Indies from the Canaries you will want detailed chartlets of your intended destination plus the Cape Verdes (for emergencies).

Anecdotes abound as to why the Enduro is not sold in some first world economies. The key issue with the choice of bigger engine is the ability to plane with all your regular crew onboard. This board can be lowered to the right height above the waterline to place the outboard screw in the water. Our boat has a bolt on board made for our transom that was fitted with four bolts. Your boat is then steered using it’s own rudder. That done you will next need to consider how to apply the power. This method would allow you to get the outboard motor running very quickly. however it would have taken something like 20 minutes to set up the outboard engine to work there. Yamaha is by far the most common in remote areas and is the natural choice in the third world where the Yamaha "Enduro" brand is ubiquitous. I have heard it said that local dealers have asked Yamaha not to sell it. Because they only fire on every second stroke they have been accused of being more difficult to start. you are more likely to find repairs and servicing available for them. Get two! 3HP & 15HP Yamaha is the most common in remote areas What about 4 stroke? 77 . Being able to plane will keep you drier. They are more expensive. It is additionally fitted with a method for securing the throttle arm. but use less petrol. The big brands are all offering 4 stroke engines now.Outboard Engines There is a trade off between power and weight. Some boats have a levered board on the transom on which the outboard is normally stored. because they need virtually no maintenance and very little replacement. We never tried using it. The ideal solution is probably 2 outboards: a 3HP for small anchorages and a bigger engine (8-25HP) for large anchorages. One important issue to consider is using the outboard as a back up. The big brands all make excellent quality products. You might want to consider a bigger engine than 15HP if this is the case. Because Yamahas are so abundant everywhere.

it will sink with possibly catastrophic results. It is said that a Sea Anchor mitigates much of the power in a wave by disturbing its internal geometry? Practice setting it in calm conditions first and then in more "boisterous" conditions. When setting one it is critical that it is not only weighted. This rode should have built in elasticity of 40% or so. Ensure all connections are either metal to metal. Adjust the bridal if necessary or with a separate line or lines attached to the bridal with clove hitches try and take some of the strain off it if necessary. It could sink the boat. If you try and set it to leeward you will quickly find yourself in allot of trouble with a tangled parachute and several lines fouling your keel. it will prevent your bow lifting! Rode You will also need 100+ metres of nylon rode.Parachute Sea Anchor The Australasians argue that a parachute sea anchor is an essential survival item. If not floated. Chafe is a big problem in these conditions. Let out all the rode so that it sets in the in the wave behind the one immediately in front of the boat. Setting It must be set to windward. but it is claimed that they disturb the internal geometry of waves leaving a "slick" of relatively calm water to lie in. What are you going do as your last resort? Always set a sea anchor to windward Watch for chafe 78 . or line to line. Pay it out. With the Southern Ocean as their back yard. Where line does join metal it should do so in a thimble. Experiment with how the boat lies. Bridle It is recommended to set up a non-chafe bridle at the start of the passage so that the sea anchor can be easily deployed from the safety of the cockpit. they may have a point! Not only will they hold the boats bow to weather. Bring the bridle back to the cockpit securing it with cable ties along the toe rail. snubbing it occasionally to help it set. but floated as well. rudder and prop in terrible conditions. Imagine the parachute set vertically. Chafe Check it often (at least once every 1-2 hours) for chafe.

fire white flares if you see a ship or try and attract the attention of the ship in some other way. Show the day shapes and lights "Vessel not under command". Be aware of shipping Maintain an anchor watch 79 . however if you have to move while it is set in a storm you are unlikely to be able to retrieve it. If you do set a sea anchor you should maintain an anchor watch. you will just have to cut it loose. Shipping If there is any shipping in the area you need to carefully consider whether you can use a parachute sea anchor as altogether the anchor and the boat can take up nearly 200 metres of sea room and there is no way to alert the master other than by VHF which he may not respond to. As you probably do not have these.Retrieval Most have a retrieval system making this easier. both visually and using radar.

Pirates Your exposure to pirates is determined mainly by where you are. or see you on radar. You have flares and possibly a spear gun. Pirates are in specific areas – know the risks before you get there Stay offshore Keep moving and keep your stern presented to them If all else fails – cooperate There is no point in guns unless you are prepared to use them Guns will be a huge overhead when entering new countries Pirates probably have more firepower then you Not having guns doesn’t mean you have no weapons 80 . You may have to place them into the safekeeping of some countries authorities. they will not know you are there. If you do carry guns you will need to declare them every time you enter a new country. If you already have a few miles on them they may give up. One final thought about guns – in certain parts of the world pirates will carry military assault rifles. The cost and paperwork will be onerous. If you cannot do this then do not carry guns. Let your headsail sheets fly – heavy flogging lines are a deterrent. Brazil and Ecuador have all attracted some bad press recently. Have other crew go below and try and prevent anybody from boarding. If you carry guns you must be prepared to use them. You will not be able to match their firepower and your weapons may trigger a worse response. If a boat does catch up with you have your engine running early. Research any area you are entering and find out as much as you can. In addition Venezuela. This means seriously injuring or killing someone else. If they have weapons and you are not prepared to engage in a floating firefight you will have to cooperate. Forewarned is forearmed. do not stop and try and keep your stern presented to them. Not having guns does not mean you don’t have any weapons. It is not worth risking your life when they might only steal your things and ransack your boat. They will be more trouble than they are worth at best and may be turned upon you at worst. the unsheeted headsail will also allow you more manoeuvrability. If you are approached by a boat or a number of boats turn and run. If they cannot see you. Sheet your main hard amidships. If you are in an area where there is a concern about pirates stay well offshore if you can. If they have been placed into safekeeping you may need to exit that country out of the same port. The worst areas are the South China Sea and the entrance to the Red Sea.

A Molotov cocktail will definitely slow them down.You probably have petrol and a bottle. It all depends on the circumstances and how far you are prepared to go. as will a spear shot from a spear gun into a rubber dinghy. 81 . You can also ram their boat. A flare shot into a small boat will distract its crew.

Fit your fresh water pump in a position where you can hear it cycling. When you really need it you can not have too much capacity. It is better to be alerted that your fresh water is being pumped out than to lose all your fresh water. A roving bilge pump fitted with 2m of hose on the suction side and 5m of hose on the outfall side is also useful. Fit one bellows pump near the companion way and one in the cockpit. Fit a number of bilge pumps: one or two high capacity electrical pumps and a number of bellows type (Henderson or Plastimo) pumps. Standardise on pumps Make sure that all your bilge pumps work at all times and carry spares 82 . operable from the helm with hatches and the companion way shut. Bilge pump handles should be secured with a lanyard to prevent accidental loss.Pumps Try and standardise on board pumps. so that you only have to carry the spares and service kits for one type of pump. The other advantage is that you also only have to know how to strip down and fix that one type of pump.

Many are now integral or can be interfaced with electronics allowing a variety of supposedly wonderful possibilities. It will give you advance warning not only of ships. Use it at night. set the alarm for shipping. On clear nights without squalls. A mizzen mast is an excellent place to place the array if you are on a ketch. consider whether to put extra money instead into a bigger radar array. Rather than investing your money in the latest electronics. You cannot delegate watch keeping to a machine. Do not rely on it. It will provide you with much more accurate echoes and (provided you can get it high enough) extra range. If you have Radar on board at least one crew member must be trained to use it Radar assisted collision Radar is good for squalls Do not set the radar alarm and then go to sleep! 83 . Radar assisted collision is a well established phenomenon. but also of squalls. Radar is available from a number of manufacturers in varying quality. it must be used and therefore there must be someone qualified to use it on board. However. If you have it. just accept that it is another set of eyes looking out for you. thankfully. You can also see a "map" of squalls around you which will give you a chance to zig and zag through them (or into them if you are collecting rainwater.Radar Radar is an important piece of safety equipment. there is little fog in the tropics.

unless they begin to plane. Most boats will not sail any faster if over canvassed.Reducing Sail When the wind comes up. Being over-canvassed stresses the rig and crew unnecessarily. There will be a precise table of wind speeds. Reduce sail as soon as you think of it Shake the reef out half an hour after you first think of it On a Cat sail strictly by the book 84 . As a general rule take a reef in when you first think of doing it and leave it in for half an hour after you first think of shaking it out. Sailing Catamarans must be done strictly by numbers. points of sail and which sail to set. Follow it precisely or even conservatively. best practice is to reduce sail early.

Refrigeration Refrigeration is the subject of many text books. Meal planning is an important issue. Separate fridge and freezer Insulation is critical to successful refrigeration Consider water cooled refrigeration 85 . It will help cool the refrigerator and the freezer stays shut longer. If you are considering building refrigeration into your boat yourself. you can sail around the world without cold beer. That way if one breaks you still have the other. research insulation materials carefully. Water cooled refrigeration is also available. otherwise you will run your engines much more than you initially planned. Some models pump sea water around and some have clever heat exchangers built into thru-hull fittings. I agree. Purists will scare you about how much power they consume. but what is the point? Have a separate fridge and freezer run with separate compressors. It keeps the heat out of the cabin and seawater in the tropics is generally cooler than air. but you must get it right. You will not use any more energy. In fact you may use less. Take frozen food out of the freezer say once every two days and place it in the normal refrigerator until it is needed. as a dedicated freezer that is opened less often will usually use less power than a combined unit. There are excellent modern materials.

ketch. junk? Which rig? There are devotees to all.Rig Sloop. A grinding tool may be the most effective tool in this situation but it might have to work in wet conditions. A large pair of bolts cutters (more than 3 feet long) is the stock solution. 86 . All the rest are peripheral. The main advantage of a ketch is that its sails are smaller and therefore easier to handle. but still connected to the boat with its rigging has pile driven a hole through the hull. in boom furling is available. schooner. the centre of effort is lower down and you have more sail combinations to choose from. Saving the rig is likely to be your last priority and most likely getting rid of it will be near the top of the list. The main problem with furling is what happens when it does not work. Next is the ketch. but without doubt the sloop is the most common rig out there. yawl. is the furling main. You will have to have a system set up for the reefing pennants. You are far more likely to set your main if it is furled in the mast and (as on an Amel) you only need to push a couple of buttons to set it. in addition to the reefing points on the sail and a designated line that fits may be sufficient. Which rig? What will you do if the furling stops working? Lifting the main is hard work Power winches? Maybe one to lift the main How will you clear the rig if you lose your mast? Bolt cutters are unlikely to work but are better than nothing. hanked on headsails in the cruising fraternity have become a rarity. What then will happen in a squall or gale? If you have reefing cringles and in boom furling you have another option if the furling system fails. Boats have been lost after the mast. In mast furling was the only option until recently. many cruisers would still choose a slab reefed main/lazybag and furled headsail combination. One thing is for certain: Lifting your main is an energetic activity. The cutter rig is very similar to a sloop. Furling headsails are the norm nowadays. but their effectiveness is doubtful. but still not firmly entrenched. Nevertheless. broken off in a capsize. but good to spot when you see them. Power winches? Have one to lift the main if you can. More common. say after a capsize. If you lose your rig you are likely to do so in quite difficult circumstances. Many boats sail around with only their headsails set because of the work involved in lifting the main. however now. A permanently set cheek block and cleat on both ends of the boom.

Because it is impractical to have an antenna array for all the different wavelengths. The catch 22 with safety is that you cannot get the experience without actually doing it. Masthead antennae are best. many of which you have little or no control over. it is very useful for receiving Weatherfax and email. However. it is a state of mind. It is a constant awareness of the capabilities of yourself and your boat. do not attempt too much before you have got a few cruising miles and months under your keel. you will learn more in three months cruising than you can in a whole lifetime of weekend sailing. For extended cruising an HF radio is considered an obligatory safety tool. very well. You will need training in propagation and in some countries you will need a Long Range Certificate or equivalent to operate it. Have you practiced drills for MOB. Build a safety checklist and run a check along with all your other pre-passage checks. The transceiver. What are the key systems in your boat? How reliable are they? When did you last check them? When were they last maintained? Have you got all the safety kit? Does it work? Is it “in date”? What procedures do you have on board for pre-passage checks? Watches? Weather? Navigation? Comms? etc etc. but carry an emergency antenna as well. Safety is a state of mind. Being prepared involves knowing yourself and your boat very. a constant awareness Calculated risk Know yours and your boats limitations Checklists Experience VHF HF/SSB 87 . A cockpit speaker is recommended. Do it! Radio Equipment A 25 watt VHF GMDSS capable radio transceiver should be permanently installed. In addition to voice. important as the right equipment is. You can mitigate inexperience with training. antenna and ground must all be correctly installed. ATU. Fire? Have you practiced these drills regularly? Safety is a state of mind. Marine HF transceivers are supplied with an Antenna Tuning Unit (ATU). Abandon Ship. the RYA Yachtmaster programme or its equivalent is excellent. You will need a Short Range Certificate (SRC) or equivalent to legally operate it in some countries. that is only acquired with experience. Putting to sea is a calculated risk involving many different variables. Know your boats limitations and weak points and mitigate them.Safety Safety is not a long list of equipment. True.

all permanently attached with a lanyard or an MOB Module (now available as a single self inflating unit) should be mounted on or near the stern rail. a self igniting light and a whistle. drogue. Flares: Carry flares in a watertight container and have the following types: 6 white hand flares 6 red hand held flares 8 red parachute flares 4 orange smoke flares The container should be stowed so that it can be accessed quickly and easily. is recommended. but be capable of being used instantly. They should be stowed securely. See "EPIRB". light and danbouy combo 88 . Lifebuoys: Lifebouys or rings should be stowed within reach of the helmsman so that they can be deployed instantly. Most yachts carry deck level nav lights and a masthead tricolour navlight. Standardise your nav lights so that they all use the same bulbs and carry several spares. all permanently attached. a self igniting light. A Satellite EPIRB transmitting on 406MHz or an Inmarsat type "E" EPIRB should be carried and be registered to the boat with the appropriate authority. Another lifebuoy with a drogue.a whistle and a danbouy (pole and flag). One lifebuoy.EPIRB: Carry an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon. Navigation lights: Navigation lights should be fitted and working so that the boat complies with the International Regulations for Preventing Collision at Sea (Colregs). each on their own dedicated fused circuits. An echoing area equivalent to 10sq.m. EPIRB Nav Lights Radar Reflector Flares Lifebouys Lifebouy. Maintain two sets of navigation lights. Radar Reflector Fit a permanently mounted radar reflector at least two thirds the way up the mast. It is one of the items you should take with you when abandoning ship. or a lifesling (without a drogue) should also be mounted on or near the stern rail. equipped with a drogue.

Have a harness and safety line provided for each member of the crew. and it permits you to move more easily along the jack lines. it has been put on.e. and been checked to fit snugly. Lifejackets Firmly secure heavy equipment 89 . a crotch strap and a safety line not more than 2 metres long (preferably much shorter) with a snap hook at each end . unless they are inflatable in which case they should be tested at intervals in accordance with manufacturer's instructions. gas bottles and stoves) should be firmly secured to prevent damage from possible knockdown or capsize. and not have any defects. but comfortably.The lifebuoys should have permanent foam buoyancy. Every Lifejacket/combined harness should be fitted with a whistle. Yachts name permanently marked Keep Harnesses short Lifeiacket/Combined Harness. Each lifebuoy should have the yachts name permanently marked. Every harness should have a crotch strap. Where/when possible keep the safety line as short as possible.e. Heavy Equipment All heavy equipment (i. a light. at least once. the safety line should not be more than 2 metres long with a snap hook at each end. Harness: If separate from a combined lifejacket/harness. yacht name. Every member of the crew should have their lifejacket/combined harness that is "theirs" for the duration of the voyage (i. Do this by doubling the safety line back on itself and snapping it back onto your harness. batteries. They should be fitted with marine grade retro-reflective material. This is easier to perform than snapping the harness onto the jackline. If gas operated it should have a certification that it has been checked and serviced within the proscribed service interval). retroreflective tape.

A mild broach-to will lay your boat on her beam and give you a nasty shock. The wind across the deck is reduced by the boat speed. you will not want to be on the helm steering an unbalanced boat hour after hour. but there will not be any pounding. How dare the wind not be from the East! The perfect long distance passage making wind is 20-25 knots from the quarter. 90 . and the rig is not under any great strain. Broaching to is a problem especially when running downwind. So. You ride with the seas so may suffer some rolling. Because of the distances you are travelling and the likelihood that you are sailing short crewed. too little rudder effort and is caused by a complex series of interacting forces caused by the wind and waves. Do not broach to Running only please! Two poled out headsails on a boat running west north of South America. but you must have the correct sails for all these conditions. It is fast and comfortable. Occasionally you will have to go to windward and it is invariably a rude shock when this happens.Sails Cruising in the tropics is mostly downwind running West. Hoist your canvas as far forward as possible. you want to sail easily with a minimum or effort for the auto-pilot and crew: Choose a well balanced and well designed boat. This occurs when you have too much effort aft (the main is the problem). day after day. Downwind Sailing thousands of miles downwind is comfortable. At worst you could lose your rig and suffer other damage.

if not of in mast furling variety. Consider carrying storm sails: a trisail and a storm jib. but what happens if you need them and do not have them? 91 . should be equipped with at least 3 reefing points . You will need 2 poles. one just aft of the other. If your main has a very deep third reef it may suffice. Keeping your sails in good order can save you trouble and money later.A good rig for downwind cruising is a boat equipped with two roller furling genoas mounted on twin fore and aft forestays. These sails must be quite heavy and hard wearing. The parts that are being repaired must be clean. Your loft or chandler can supply sail repair tape that uses an adhesive that results in a stronger repair than if the sail had been sewn together. They can be used in winds all the way up to gale force. Maintain a constant awareness of chafe and as you check you sails and how they are set through the day watch for chafe. Practice setting these sails in calm conditions. Chafe is a big problem with downwind sailing. Mount a second track or have a gate fitted above the main so that the trysail can be set without the need to take the main off the track. The inboard sail will be your everyday sail. If your code zero is built with heavier sailcloth you can fly it in more wind. say 10 to 18 knots or so. It will of necessity be slightly smaller than the forward headsail and perhaps be self tacking. Mainsail and other sails Your main should be as heavy as possible and. Tape is good for repairing sails. Setting the trisail in heavy conditions may be impossible without a second track because you will need to remove the main from the track first. These should be permanently mounted on tracks on the mast. You will need a large code zero for lighter airs. both of your sails and your running rigging. If you tear your sail you may need to repair it until it can be attended to professionally. With chafe you will need to sew patches of heavier fabric and/or leather onto specific chafe points. Sail repairs You will need to repair your sails. the one that you will also use for reaching and of which is very deep. dry and free of salt for the adhesive to work. Choose a well balanced boat with a big strong rudder Storm sails are seldom used on the Coconut Milk Run.

In addition to the recreational benefits of having scuba kit. You will need a compressor on board and the overall investment is considerable. You will want to check how your anchor has set and you will need to free it from coral a few times. it is also considered vital by many cruisers. You will need to clean the bottom of your boat from time to time and you will want to check underwater fittings. This is very good equipment to have on a cruising yacht. Having the scuba kit in these circumstances will make your life much simpler. Learn to use it and consider doing a dive course before you leave.Scuba Scuba stands for Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Carry SCUBA kit 92 .

Deciding to simply just cope with seasickness is not really satisfactory. most men do not get sea sick. most are chemical: you swallow them. There are magnets and other more exotic "voodoo" remedies. Some do not and are sick for the whole voyage. Equally most women do get sea sick.Seasickness Sea sickness is horrible. It is also sexist. to take 3g (3000mg) of Vitamin C. because everybody is different. but some do. as soon as they begin to fell seasick. and then recover. Get is sorted before you go 93 . The milk run in the tropics only has two really long passages: the Atlantic and the Pacific between the Galapagos or North America and the Marquesas. There are many sea sickness remedies on the market. so if you do recover after 3 days it is normally just as you are entering the next port! Seasickness is sexist: Most women suffer. Most people who do get sea sick are sick for the first 3 days of any passage. Without doubt. Find out what suits you with trial and error. Many people find that sea sickness drugs are mind altering and make them feel very depressed. depressing experience? Find the drug or remedy that suits you. that has the least side effects. but some do not. One remedy recommended but untried by the author is for the victim. both nearly 3000 miles. The rest is made in hops of 3 to 7 days or less. What is the point of doing the cruising if it is a horrible.

the urge to connect them all. for instance. Wrong! Keep them separate. waits until the water is fresh. computer that – is any of it necessary? It is said that cruising is a fixing your boat in exotic places. tied electronics. computer this. It simply senses the genset is on because voltage is up. fills your tanks. a simple approach and an automated approach. adjust the back pressure manually (checking the pressure dials). the more complicated your systems. So what? You do not want to sail like that anyway. Here is another example: there is a very great temptation to tie all you electronics together. select the simple one. it is possible to do. In mast furling. it is simpler. Wrong! What if the sea water your boat is in is dirty? What if something is wrong and it is not alarmed? What if something does not quite work and it fills your tanks with salt water? If you have to physically switch the watermaker on. flushes itself and turns off. Brilliant you think. you might not even switch it on and off. You will know and understand your system inside out and will be able to pre-empt many problems. you can also inspect for wear and chafe. the more fixing you will do. This is not just because of the added complexity and increased maintenance that flows as a direct result. Certainly that is true and inescapable. electric winches. Cruising is fixing your boat in exotic places……… KISS Know your equipment Keep electronics simple – resist. check the product freshness by tasting it. it switches itself on. especially in the high pressure lines. Your GPS will also give you your course (COG). The issue is how much fixing you will have to do. It is simple to adjust your autopilot to the course you need. 94 . you will have a constantly updated bearing to that waypoint. With an automatic watermaker. Why enable your boat to automatically steer to a waypoint? Yes. but because you will be less intimate with your equipment. check for leaks and hear any odd noises – every time you make water. When one of them stops working the others will still work. When you have a GPS waypoint. hydraulic boarding platform. As a general rule. automatic watermaker.Simplicity Keep It Simple Stupid! The KISS principle. if possible. If there are two choices.

The principle is the same with all your other systems. If in doubt keep it simple. If you can, before you leave, sail your boat frequently in lots of different conditions. Live aboard for weekends and holidays. If possible, live aboard for a couple of months. You will learn two things: there are lots of things you thought indispensable that you can easily live without, and there are things you did not consider that you will find that you need. Far better to spend your money and time on the latter!


Smart Chargers
Smart chargers were developed to manage large battery banks more effectively than the simple automotive regulators found built into most alternators. The latter will rapidly charge a depleted battery bank up to about half and then trickle charge it. This fine is if the battery is being used as in a car. This is not the case on a boat. Plenty of experience has been gained in this area and fitting a smart charger is a smart thing to do. As with the rest of your electrical power installation the smart charger is merely a single component and must be chosen to compliment all the other components in the system. An alternative is to fit a regulator bypass. Fit it with an audible alarm and bright flashing light. Cut back to the regulator when the battery bank voltage regains 14.3v (28.6v in a 24v boat). If you forget and let the alternator feed unregulated power into your batteries for too long, you could boil them and cause severe damage and quite possibly a battery explosion and/or a fire. Get a smart charger

Regulator bypass?


Solar Panels
Solar panels can deliver a good deal of power, however you will need several to make a difference, so you will need a large area to mount them. Cats generally have a suitably large area, whereas a monohull may be able to fit 4 to 6 above the bimini or on the rail. The same comments generally apply to solar panels as to wind turbines, the power they provide is supplementary and cannot be relied upon. It may sound obvious, but solar panels do not work at night and unless they are in direct sunlight they do not work very well. If you do have solar panels you must fit a diode in the circuit otherwise they will drain power at night. Solar panels are very expensive (over USD $500 for a 75 watt panel) and it is rumoured that they require more power to make than they will produce in the whole of their operating lifetime. Economically speaking it will undoubtedly be cheaper to run your engine or genset a little longer. A supplementary power source

Solar Panels consume more power to make than they generate in their whole working life


Specifics: Engine: Impellers (several). A dud shower drain pump mid Pacific is not life threatening. Mid English channel it is just vaguely annoying. Italy and Spain are quite challenging ship chandlery wise.never use jubilee clips twice. always discard and replace). It depends on where you want to go Have a comprehensive inventory of spares Standardise to reduce spares Engine Electrics 98 . Winches: do not have more than one brand. Prepare a list. impeller and a couple of shackles. The Caribbean serves its large fleet of yachts well. but it is very irritating. Carry spares for every system/item on board. Electrics: If you are a 24v boat and you use a voltage dropper for your 12v equipment.Make a list. you could probably get away with a spare fan belt. timing belt. Some principles: 1. Try and check what connectors are used on board and carry a comprehensive spares kit. Try and standardise with various items.Spares So you are going cruising. carry a spare! Fuses of every type and variety used on board . The Lewmar service kit covers quite a few sizes. Light bulbs of every type and variety used on board: make a list. a. jubilee clips (several for every size on the engine . b. (Gibraltar is great) but much further away and you are beginning to need to consider your spares inventory very carefully. perhaps even across the channel or down Long Island Sound. Fresh water pumps: try and standardise on brand/type instead using identical service kits rather than having several different types. You could be surprised when the lack of a small 10c electrical connector stops you in your tracks! A comprehensive selection of "chop blocks" is also vital. fan belts. The starting point is to look at your boat and consider all her systems. water pump. Where? If you are heading off down the Solent for a day or two. 2. or at least very important. All of them in their own way are probably vital. but the Pacific only has pockets of availability (Papeete and Noumea) and very little in most places. all service items.

whatever your boat needs. Service kits. Invariably this means lots of AA and quite a few D size batteries. spare hose (every size and type on board). battery water. blocks. Fresh water system: hot water tank pressure relief valve. Look critically at your rigging. pump service kits. Bilge: Spare electric bilge pump and several float switches.Batteries: A large stock of all the various sizes of alkaline batteries that you use will probably be necessary. jubilee clips (a large selection of different sizes). especially for your manual bilge pump Carry a large stock of spare fluids: engine oil. various sizes of hose couplers (including at least 2 of the type that have multiple sizes). pneumatic fluid. Rigging: Carry a large variety of shackles. Test regularly. spare valves. The multi-meter probably uses one of the smaller 9v "square" batteries. etc. Can you make temporary repairs to a broken stay? Batteries Fresh water system Bilge Fluids Standing and running rigging 99 .

When that happens.Squalls Squalls in the tropics are mini weather systems. luff up into the wind. furl those sails before it hits! Do not fly your Code 0 in squally conditions. especially as visibility reduces. If you are running poled out. Your radar is great for squally conditions Squalls are mini weather systems Squalls are usually benign. Keep a good look out. just occasionally they may contain vicious little 50kn wind systems Treat every squall with respect Shipping may not be visible under a squall. Shipping probably will not be visible under a squall on radar. If you are caught. Sometimes there will be a few squalls around you that join forces. let the tack fly and get it in. It can be quite exciting to have your sails set for 15 knots of wind and then be confronted with 50 knots. even on radar. some rain and a gust or two of wind. You can see them all bunching together on radar. 100 . containing torrential rain and/or vicious gusts of wind. The noise will be terrible. Most are just a bit of cloud. just maintaining headway on the same tack and ride it out. You can see squalls visually during the day. but there should not be any harm done. The radar is great for tracking squalls during day and especially at night. Some can be quite large.

Kinks and bends massively reduce transmitting efficiency. including the weather and the news. The aerial starts on top of your ATU. If you have a metal boat. you will swamp all HF voice transmissions in the anchorage or port and other boats that are nearby will report strange electrical fluctuations. Have the ATU as close up to the deck as possible and have the connection to aerial come straight through the deck and then straight up onto the aerial. We cooked an Inverter and a Navtex with stray RF. but worthwhile. In order to receive email you will need a modem.kielradio. If the person fitting your HF radio does it any other way get someone else. even when you are 1500 miles from land. There are a number of versions of the Pactor II available. so should be able to remain in contact by email. When you try and get the SSB. It must be as straight as possible from there up to the top of the aerial. Other than the management of the SSB they are all then a sintered copper plate is probably the answer. Pactor II modems are available from and Kielradio (www.scsptc. the hull is a good ground (through a capacitor to keep the DC circuit isolated). The ground needs to be excellent. The most critical parts are the ground and the aerial. Installation is critical ATU fitting is critical Voice Weatherfax Email 101 . If not. Turn everything else that is electronic on your boat off. Sailmail has a wealth of information available for download by email daily. all in a straight line. the Pactor and your PC to work all together for the first time you may find it Get the cheapest one that manages frequency selection on your SSB. SSB radios are very useful for receiving weatherfax and email from services such as Sailmail (www. Email transmission really is incredibly noisy radio wise. Data transmission is better than voice transmission. The Pactor III upgrade is $150. it is several times faster than Pactor II.SSB (HF radio) The installation of your SSB is critical and should be done by a qualified person who understands them very well and has used them extensively.

It is very worthwhile deciding what your tactics will be.Storms Storm tactics are the subject of several books. See Lynn and Larry Pardy: Storm Tactics Adlard Coles: Heavy Weather Sailing Linda & Steve Dashew: Surviving the Storm 102 . thinking them through and then practising the drills.

otherwise they will be in a locker when you have an MOB. perhaps even over the horizon. It is illegal and will disorientate you. Personal strobes for those on watch Not on top of the mast 103 . An MOB with a strobe will be visible for a couple of miles. Make sure they are attached to lifejackets and are easily used. Fitting a strobe to the top of your mast is not a good idea.Strobes Have personal strobes on board for those on watch at night. Shipping might mistake you for a North Cardinal mark.

Always wear a broad-rimmed hat and wear sun glasses. One that is sturdy enough to withstand a moderate gale. Fit a good sun shade/bimini on your boat. but it is essential. Then stay under its shade as much as possible. Make it a habit to put sunblock on every day. you will be exposed to alot of sun. even when swimming. get scratched or damaged in some other way. You will lose fewer pairs and you can let them just hang if you need to remove them temporarily. long shorts Polarized sunglasses help you through reefs Spare sunglasses 104 . Where a T-shirt or other protection. When buying sunglasses buy several identical pairs so that you have several spares on board. Attach one of those strings that go around you neck.Sun (mainly its avoidance) The sun in the tropics is relentlessly hot and it goes without saying that you should stay out of it as much as possible. Cruisers do not lie in the sun Hats and sunglasses Stay out of the sun Sunblock every day Fit a sunshade Shirts. No matter how hard you try. If the sunglasses are identical you will have a supply of spare parts as they break. or one that is easy to stow away. Polarized sunglasses are useful for helping cut reflected glare. If you are staring out of the window as you are reading this on a rainy day in November somewhere in England this may sound hard to believe. Sun Glasses are mandatory.

Taxes Generally you will not be required to pay taxes on any vessel that is in transit. On the other hand France can be useful. The problem arises should you wish to stay longer than a specified period in any country in which the tax has not been paid. Boats registered in Gibraltar. Jersey. Check the rules for each country VAT: 3 year rule 105 . though this may be changing. Geurnsey and other tax havens should travel warily. Check the requirements of the country you are visiting. France is known to be aggressive with boats that may have not paid VAT. Europeans should be aware that VAT may become payable on their boat if it has been absent from the EU for longer than 3 years. Visits to French overseas territories such as French Polynesia and Martinique may count as visits to the EU.

borrowed or sunk. and flat and a small one for electrical work. promptly. one large and one small • Hammers. Maintain it meticulously and replace items that are lost. mid range sized Phillips. US equipment is still lmperial. long and short and of various sizes. 240v. 12v and butane • Die for crimping copper and telurit connectors • Combination wire stripping and crimping tool • Two lengths of thickish cable with a crocodile clip on each end. Screwdrivers do not swim and other yachties who borrow them do not always return them. • Medium sized Vicegrips • Small hacksaw • Small and medium flat files • Small metal measuring tape. • Soldering Irons. • Stanley knife or similar and several packs of spare blades. small with a set of sockets from 5mm to 10mm. They will be invaluable for checking suspect circuits and equipment. • Socket set. This is very useful for hose (jubilee) clips. amps and resistance. Get one that can measure voltage. and most equipment nearby. both Metric and imperial (AF). Oil this lightly to help stop your tools rusting. 106 . • Adjustable spanners. a rubber mallet • Pipewrench • Pliers. carry a wide selection of Phillips and flat. carry a wide selection of sizes pointed. Carry at least two very large screwdrivers for adjusting your rigging.Tools You will need a good toolkit. both metric & imperial Electrical • A good digital multimeter is vital. large and small. Carry spares of those used most often. Carry a screwdriver that can accept a range of heads and carry a comprehensive selection of odd heads for odd fastenings. ie. These should be long enough to reach from the batteries to the chart table. • Common size spanners. Split into various categories: Roll and tie up tool rollin. circlip and conventional • Screwdrivers. and/or the alternator. Your toolkit is part of your safety equipment.

• Circlip pliers • Small and large. Drill holes in the handles for attaching a lanyard that can be tied around your wrist for underwater work. rounded. • Grinder • Jig saw. Include the following: o Right angle or flexible chuck o Sanding discs and selection of discs. artery forceps: • Glass fibre measuring tape • Bradawl • Screw Extractors • Dental and make-up mirrors for seeing behind things and around corners Speciality tool kit • Gauges for refilling refrigerant • GRP matt roller • Set square • Bolt cutters for clearing a failed rig (grinder?) • Sail repair/sewing kit Power tools • Chargeable hand drill/ screwdriver. flat. variable speed with a variety of blades for steel and wood • Orbital sander • Power drill with variable speeds and reverse.Secondary toolbox • Pipe wrench • Larger vice grips • Impact driver • Comprehensive selection of files and rasps. straight and bent.for cleaning the bottom of your boat. 12v so that it can be charged directly from your boats DC circuit. small round. small triangular • Sharpening stone • Tenon & Coping saws • Hand drill • More/backup screwdrivers and pliers • Wood chisels • G-clamps (one small. lots of spare blades • Palette knife and Putty knife • Several plastic and steel scrapers . Carry spare batteries. one medium) • Large adjustable spanner • Large and small hacksaws. o Cutting wheels o Grindstones o Wire brushes 107 .

both metric and imperial. large and small. The case should hold all its components securely in order. both brass and stainless steel • Find out from your engine manufacturer what tools are needed for your type of engine. Sockets ranged from 4mm to 23mm and the imperial equivalents. • lmpact screw driver for loosening seized bolts and screws with a variety of heads • Socketset. 108 . some plastic and at least one good quality.Mechanical • Allen keys. made of steel • Tool for removing an oil filter This list is not comprehensive. You should carry tools and spares that are needed for every item of equipment on board. • Hexagonal wrenches. • Vernier calipers. both metric and imperial. metric and imperial. Carry them all. Keep the set lightly oiled to help avoid rust • Wire brushes.

or you are doing a very substantial refit. I recommend 24v because of the efficiency gains you enjoy over 12v. Put a diode in this circuit to prevent it feeding the house bank "backwards". You will still need 12v for some of your equipment. Items such as your windlass or power winches are much more efficient at 24v because they use half the current of 12v equipment. 24v is probably best 109 . the greater the energy loss suffered from resistance in the circuit. but that can be supplied from a voltage dropper and normally is limited to your radios. The higher the current. If you do opt for 12v some of the inefficiencies can be mitigated by placing a battery near the equipment (eg near the windlass). Having several batteries around the boat is not a good solution however. or you are building your own boat you can choose your voltage. that your voltage is already determined and you will have to live with it.Voltage The chances are that if you are buying a boat new. There is nearly as much equipment specified in 24v and generally the advantages of 24v outweigh the disadvantages. or used. The battery is then charged by a separate circuit connecting it with the house batteries. If not.

Boats have sunk because a washboard was lost.Washboards Washboards should either be the attached permanently/sliding variety or be tied on with a lanyard. 110 . perhaps in a capsize. The crew have then been unable to save the stricken vessel because they could not slow the flow of water in through the companion way.

space. you will spend several times the cost of a machine in laundromats. if any more water than hand washing. A washing machine will not use much. If you do fit a washing machine make sure it is securely fitted. Not having a washing machine is more expensive If you have space.Washing Washing is the bane of the cruising lifestyle. If you do not have a washing machine. a flying washing machine would be most undesirable in a capsize. water. If possible find a secure place to fit a washing machine. If you are sailing with kids I would suggest that a washing machine is essential. Most people hand wash and frequent the laundromats. fit one 111 . so do not think that by not having one that you are saving money! The issues determining whether or not you have a washing machine on board are number of people on board. Smart boats have washing machines. power and whether you want to load your boat with yet another system.

When sailing or coastal cruising short legs it may be possible to not set a formal watch (everyone is on watch) or to operate an ad hoc watch system, but as soon as you go further off shore or the passage is longer than 12 hours you should set a formal watch. The watches should cover the whole 24 hour period and still allow everybody ample time to rest. Watches are more and more difficult the more short handed you are. If single handed, you have no choice but to sleep. Many couples who sail alone, or with their kids, find it difficult to maintain a complete watch. Be aware that a fast ship can speed from under the horizon to running you over in about 10 minutes. Have a "watch watch" with an alarm that can be set to sound every 10 minutes. When it sounds, scan the horizon from right to left. Your eye is trained naturally to scan from left to right and you are more likely to miss something. Beware of squalls. See "Squalls" Some tips: 1. Adjust the watch to suit the conditions. At the extreme watches can be as short as 20 minutes if on the helm and exposed when beating into heavy weather in intense cold. 2. The traditional 4 hours is too long at night, but 6 hours may be OK during daylight. 3. Many boats adopt a 3 hour watch pattern at night. Crew on watch at night should wear a lifejacket and be harnessed on, especially if they are alone. Anything can happen and if the rest of the boat is asleep an MOB may be in the sea for several hours before someone else wakes up. It is desirable that crew should also be harnessed on to the boat when on night watch even if in the cockpit. Make it mandatory that crew are harnessed on if they leave the cockpit for any reason, even if the sea is flat calm. Use the radar, especially at night. Set the alarm so that it sounds from about 10 miles. You will find that the alarm is set off by squalls reducing its usefulness on squally nights. Do not rely on the radar, you cannot delegate watch-keeping to a machine. It is there to assist you, not replace you!

Set a formal watch if a voyage is overnight

Very difficult to keep if short handed

A fast ship can run you down in 10 minutes

Get a watch watch

Watches must suit the conditions

If alone on watch wear a lifejacket and harness on

Mandatory harness on if crew go on deck, especially at night

Radar supplements, but does not replace watch keeping


Water Turbine Generators
Water turbine generators are very effective and can provide all the power needs of a boat under way. But you do not get the power for nothing, they will cost you up to a knot in boat speed. Across the Atlantic this could be 2 days! They obviously do not work at all at anchor. Considering the statistic that cruising boats are at anchor or in port 90% of the time one needs to work out whether the cost of the water generator is justified. Another problem is that big fish and sharks will eat the turbine, so carry spares! Very efficient

They slow you down

They do not work at anchor (duh!)

The turbine gets eaten


If you are buying a boat to go cruising, or you have a boat already that you are preparing to go cruising, raise her waterline by 6 inches (15cm). Yachties typically load something like 1½ tons of personal belongings on to their boats. You are probably also going to be loading the boat with extra equipment. On long passages you may pile another ton of provisions on board.


Having unlimited water is great in the tropics. This technology relies on several chambers to "intensify" pressure sufficiently for the water maker to work. so make sure you carry spare seals and know how to fit them if it stops working. You could also add an oil from water separator after the 5 micron filter.Watermakers Watermakers (desalinators) are becoming mandatory on modern cruising boats. So. Or you can buy a branded water maker delivering a third of that for $6. how do you choose? What are the issues? Clark or CAT? Not really expensive Excellent filtration Only run your water maker at sea or when you can see the bottom Build or buy? 150litres per hour $2500 60litres per hour $6000 115 . The latter is easier to install because the manufacturer does it and it has fancy controls. Branded watermakers generally cost a lot more than building your water maker yourself. a high pressure pump. They do stop working! The other type of pump is a normal piston (plunger) type pump. a 20 micron filter (or a combo sea strainer/20 micron filter) and then a 5 micron filter. whereas you need to design and fit the former and it has a few low tech controls. back to choice of water maker. You can wash yourself and your clothes frequently! Run a washing machine! They are also not all that expensive.000. All water makers require a minimum of 4 elements: The high pressure vessel and membrane. Sealing is critical in a Clarke pump. There are a number of watermakers on the market. You can build your own water maker delivering 160 litres per hour for about $2. Only run it out at sea or in clean anchorages where you can see the bottom. Water makers require the following pre-filters as a minimum: a raw water sea strainer similar to that on your engine. They come in many brands and sizes.500. It is good practice not to run your water maker in areas with "dirty" water. There is Clark technology where the feed pump provides the energy for the high pressure (HP) pump. a low pressure feed pump and filters. of which CAT is a good example. Never run it in port. Now. Within those parameters there are dozens of choices! The high pressure pump does come with some choices.

Have a mechanic fit it to your engine driven through an automotive air conditioning clutch or to a dedicated DC or AC electric motor – this is probably the better solution because engine revs are not a problem. There is very little to choose from in functionality and they all work the same way. The conventional choice is a CAT pump. Controls: fancy controls will break down. so the issue of power consumption is probably not relevant because your engine/genset is running anyway. If you are using a CAT pump connect the HP pump to the pressure vessel using a high pressure hose. If you buy a branded water maker keep it as simple as possible. You will need a CAT 247 or 277 model pump (Check the latest info on these model numbers). Power: you will almost definitely have to be running your genset or charger when you do make water. Generally you will make water at the same time that you charge your batteries. This is how to build your own Fancy automatic systems will break down Power Clark technology? The CAT pump is the conventional choice Filters are critical 116 .com. it may be better to split the production capacity across two or more membranes which can be isolated with valves to provide some redundancy should one fail. The CAT pump still requires a feed pump matched for throughput. A better alternative is to run the pumps off a dedicated electric motor operating at an exact RPM. The Clark pump is probably only available from the branded water maker suppliers.wateranywhere. install a sea strainer in front of the feed pump. Therefore you could fit the HP pump directly to your genset (if possible) or engine. A second high pressure hose should exit the pressure vessel and go to a ball valve (the back pressure valve) fitted to a skin fitting so that the waste is pumped overboard. After the feed pump fit the 20 micron and the 5 micron filters. From the seacock. Choose the type you like that offers the best price/performance equation and that delivers the production capacity you require.High pressure vessels and membranes are mandatory. Fit a low pressure gauge in front of these filters to tell you when your filters are dirty. Connect the clean water side of the 5 micron filter to the input for the HP pump. Install a high pressure gauge just in front of the membrane. See www. You will need to match the capacity of the HP pump to the input capacity of the membranes. Evaluate the robustness of the different types and brands on offer. Remember that this part of the system is operating at 60bar. Also.

One boat had built a water maker by using a high pressure cleaning system bought in a supermarket. This means you can put dock water in your main tank and not worry about it (using chlorinated water as flush water will destroy your membrane). well secured. Add pressure sensors in line as safety cut outs. Extras you can add for very little more include a 20 litre tank. a solution that was innovative and cheap. They should not be sealed with "plumbers tape" because it disintegrates and will clog your filters and membrane. Any metal to metal joins should be of the same metal. All High pressure hoses should be rated at least at 150 bar. Add a flow meter in the production line that is visible from where you operate the back pressure valve so that you can set the back pressure correctly. Before you use them (and all the other hoses and fittings) you should thoroughly clean them with hot water to ensure all dirt and oily residues are flushed out. You can put a Y valve in line to the tank for sampling. Because the cleaner was not salt water rated he flushed it every time he used it. Use 20 bar hoses in all areas other then for the HP hoses. Use Locktite or similar. Fit a flush water tank 117 . for flush water.

Open the back-pressure valve completely 3. 2. If for more than 2 weeks you must pickle the membrane . Then when the flush tank is almost empty. 4. This is the point of maximum fresh water production and increasing the back pressure any further will not make any more water. Follow the membrane manufacturers recommendations and instructions. If you make water every day there is no need to flush the membrane. 60bar. Set your output Y valves to close the lines to the flush water tank and main water tank and open the sampling port.Operation is simple: 1. Flushing Always make some flush water for the flush water tank first. To flush the system do as follows: while the watermaker is running set the inlet Y valve from raw sea water to flush tank.that is you must add a preservative. Set your inlet Y valve to select raw sea water. Flush it if you will not to use it for more than 2 days. At this point you should be making water. turn the whole system off. but it will damage your membrane. 118 . After letting any air out. This is because the first few litres of production water will be salty. Turn on your watermaker or engage the clutch with your genset or engine running 5. If you are making water for the first time after pickling the membrane flush it for approx 30 minutes or according to the manufacturers recommendations. To pickle the watermaker simply add sufficient chemicals and perform a normal flush. slowly close the ball valve until the high pressure guage reaches approx.

Repeating: know what to expect in the area you are sailing in. Ordinary land based radio stations. but note: there have been out of season storms and some areas can have tropical revolving storms (TRS) at any time of year. The good news is that there are lots of resources and you can generally access sufficient resources to keep your boat and crew safe. Sat C area forecasts. If a TRS is brewing. The North Atlantic. Know how to interpret met charts – do a meteorology course Ocean forecasts cover vast areas Know the weather patterns in the area you are sailing in In the tropics stay on the winter side of the equator Weather resources 119 .com. the English Channel. They will be visible either visually or on your radar. Bering Sea and North of Venezuela all deserve special mention in this regard. Navtex. especially if you intend to sail in the more "interesting" areas of the world.Weather You need to be able to accurately interpret met charts and you will want a reliable source of weather information. Read up on this topic and have a strategy in mind for the area you are in if you are caught. Your weather forecast may not make any mention of these squalls. The SPCZ has already been mentioned and prior swotting up on the weather and how it works in the area you are sailing in will provide a good context for understanding the weather reports you receive. stay on the winter side of the equator. Popular weather resources include: Weatherfax. Marinas. If in the tropics. In the tropics. That is why you need to be able to interpret met charts. especially in areas affected by phenomena such as the South Pacific Convergence Zone (SPCZ) there are often squalls. Understand how the weather works in the areas you intend to sail in. Cape Horn. These are small weather systems in their own right that can contain torrential rain and/or strong gusting winds up to 40 or even 50 knots. Bear in mind that an ocean weather forecast covers a vast area and is quite and others) Sailmail have several weather resources . I am sure there are many other places that have equally special weather patterns. however you should expect them. This generally will help keep you Within the forecast area you are likely to find conditions that can vary considerably from those forecast.check their list if you are a subscriber. run for the equator. unless that is absolutely is not possible or it is too far. The Internet (bouyweather. the Tasman. weatheronline. The Cape of Good Hope.

if you seek quiet anchorages they will be less effective and you will not need one in a harbour. They are expensive 6.Wind turbine generators Wind turbine generators are a popular way of adding to your boats power resources. They have a lot of disadvantages: 1. 4. They must be tied down in a gale 120 . What ever they do provide is purely supplemental. They work in wind from about 10 knots up to 25 knots after which they cut out. Many are very noisy 2. They do not work while sailing downwind. Always be very careful of the turning blades. New ones typically can provide up to 400 watts. You cannot rely on any power they provide. they are very dangerous 5. 3.

lines It is worthwhile considering a windvane Use no power Strong and silent But…. 2. Ugly Lots of lines and blocks Not accurate downwind with a standard vane Connect a tiller pilot to a wind vane – if you already have a windvane it is a very cost effective autopilot solution 121 . This force is very strong. The more downwind you sail the less accurate they are. However by doubling or tripling the size of the vane with some polystyrene they can be made to work quite effectively downwind. leaving the mechanism and paddle). however. The arguments against them are also considerable and you need to be a committed wind vane person to overcome them. As the paddle is forced up. These lines. This problem can be overcome by increasing the size of the vane. The advantages of a wind vane are considerable. One great advantage is that you can set up a wind vane to work electronically. It is a big ugly appendage on the back of your boat that uses important space that you may prefer to use for a boarding passerelle and/or swim platform. even by only a few degrees the vane is tipped by the wind flowing past it (or the tiller pilot) one way or the other depending which way you are off course. The action of tipping the vane turns a paddle set in the water which forces the paddle up to one side or the other. You will need to route lines to your tiller or wheel. They are more complex to run than an electronic pilot and require a degree of "fiddling" before you get it right. The way a wind vane works is elegantly simple: When the boat is off course. This is a great backup system. led by a system of blocks clutter your decks and cockpit areas. supplemented by a tiller pilot is your main system. 4. even at low speeds. and it is worth considering one. The principle advantages are that they use no electrical power and they are silent. The smallest tiller pilot will tip the pendulum easily (you take the actual vane itself off. 3.Wind vane autopilot A number of manufacturers make wind vane autopilots.. but they have largely fallen into disuse because electronic autopilots have replaced them. The mass of the vane is extremely important and so you will need to work out what you are doing carefully and maintain the correct weight of the vane. or possibly the wind vane operating normally. The principle disadvantages are: 1.

the gearing designed into you wheel (or how far along the tiller you set the lines) and what type of rudder you have.attached to the paddle alter your helm to correct your course. how she performs on that point of sail. This correction will be an over-correction and the same process will then repeat. The extent of the over-correction depends on a range of factors including: how well balanced the boat is. This constant process of over-correction means that you sail in a series of S-curves. 122 . but in the opposite direction. how well you have set your wind vane up.

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