Setting up your boat for offshore passages includes adding lee cloths for crew to sleep. Going upwind, the forward accommodations will be uninhabitable. The best place for rest is in the middle of the boat.
Boats and their owners are in a kind of relationship where each takes care of the other. You can't assume it to be otherwise. There are the exceptions, however, such as the Westsail sailboat in The Perfect Storm that was later found in good condition on a beach after being abandoned by its crew. But those are not the norm.
Pam shares her thoughts on what to look for when searching for the right boat. Looking beyond the interior appointments and creature comforts is key. By following her advice you'll not waste your time and money falling in love with a boat that won't pass a proper survey.
With so many choices out there, it is easy to get into more boat than you need, or even the wrong boat entirely. It is best to identify what your needs really are and search for a cruising boat that best matches that mission statement.
The scene around Annapolis is crazy when it is boat show season. Every serious boater comes to town for one of the shows and we celebrate boating on a scale that is almost overwhelming. Friends, old and new, share stories, food, and wine. This is what cruising is all about.
It is my favorite time of year, and I wish I could share it with everyone I know.
Every so often something upsets the apple cart and created a new market for a product or service. It is called Disruptive Innovation. The cruising community is ripe for something new and different, something that challenges the status quo of big, expensive cruising boats that don't fit a more enlightened approach to sustainable cruising.
Finding ways to make your trawler or sailboat better capable of traveling offshore. All of these efforts result in a better seaboat, even if you are not planning to cross oceans. And these upgrades will better familiarize you with the many systems on a cruising boat. And that brings confidence.
It is much more fun to live with a boat that fits your actual cruising plans, not some fantasy dream machine that is way more than you need or can afford. Finding a good fit makes for a memorable adventure rather than a trip down bummer lane. The number of big trawlers for sale for "health reasons" is proof that one should focus on the smallest boat that is big enough.
Everyone has a tolerance for a certain amount of clutter. On the sometimes limited space of cruising boats, having spares for every contingency must be balanced with knowing where everything is while not sinking the boat with tons of spares, consumables, and items that somehow find their way aboard. I’m as guilty as the next person, but I’m working on finding the balance.
Being on the water sometimes means being in the water. It happened to me recently, and reminded me of a clever technique to get back aboard one’s dinghy, especially suited to older boaters. Practice it a couple of times and you’ll have another trick in your back pocket next time you need to get aboard without a swim platform or ladder.
I got aboard a new MJM 35z in Annapolis to celebrate the new owners’ new boat. It sure is nice to have all the control this boat offers at one’s fingertips. Fast, economical, comfortable, and very well made, the MJM offers a look at what can be done.
A recent report on driver distraction brings this subject into focus. While the numbers relate to drivers on the road, there is some parallel to boat operators, and drinking is much more prevalent in boating. Scary stuff but a trend that isn’t likely to change with everyone’s addicition to smartphones.
No matter how much you prepare, there is always something. A young Swedish couple I follow recently sailed from the Big Island in Hawaii to Honolulu. The sail wasn’t pleasant, and in the brisk conditions, they heard a loud bang against their aluminum hull. Turns out they lost their Rocna anchor overboard. The chain had been removed for the trip to keep seawater out of the chain locker, done a million times, but this time, their trusted stainless steel anchor restraint failed.
When your diesel engine exhaust goes from clear to blue, white, or black smoke, this is usually an indication of several factors going on that might need your attention. Knowing what the colors mean can be helpful to determine if something is lurking in your engine room. Blue, black, and white exhaust smoke all mean something. Do you know what they are?