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  #1  
Old 03-25-2007
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First offshore (out of sight of land) Cruise

In mid May we will move our new boat, a Great Dane 28, from Port Isabel to Palacios, Texas. We plan to sail offshore from a point 20 nm east of Brazos Santiago Pass to a point 20 nm south of Cavalo Pass then through the pass and across Matagorda Bay to Palacios. We have experience sailing boats from 14 feet to 29 feet, but this will be our first cruise offshore. Prevailing winds should be complimentary for this trip.

We'll have radar, GPS chartplotter, and hand held GPS. We have all cogent charts. The boat will have a new life raft and an EPRIB. There will be four aboard for crew. She recently passed a survey and is in excellent shape. She also has a new VHF radio.

We would appreciate advice and suggestions.

Thanks.
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Old 03-25-2007
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I don't know the area so i will let others comment on the route. You said recent survey so I assome the boat is new to you. The first thing I would tell you is to pump out your diesel tanks and get the fuel polished. Change your Racor Filter and have several aboard. Know how to bleed the air from the system and re-start once you've changed a filter.
Sounds funny to be talking about motors on your first offshore sail but when you NEED to get into port or you NEED to go in a particular direction or some sailing part breaks...they come in handy!
Sounds like you've got all the right stuff...bring extra batteries for the handheld GPS...and get a hand held VHF for backup in case the mast comes down.
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Old 03-25-2007
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In addition to what Cam said, I would recommend you check out the ground tackle—anchor and rode—and make sure that they're in good shape. If something does happen, dropping the hook and giving yourself some time to work out a fix can make a huge difference.
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Old 03-25-2007
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Just to repeat what I've learned here, Make several shakedown trips before you go. Not all in good weather.
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Old 04-02-2007
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Hi Chaunclum,
Your best assets offshore, after a sturdy boat, are the strength and skills of your crew. Four on a 28' boat will be tight, but will allow you to stand two on watch at a time. I have an article on watch standing skills and a checklist on my website at:

Offshore - Standing Watch

Hope this helps,

Jeff
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Old 04-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartCaptain
Hi Chaunclum,
Your best assets offshore, after a sturdy boat, are the strength and skills of your crew. Four on a 28' boat will be tight, but will allow you to stand two on watch at a time. I have an article on watch standing skills and a checklist on my website at:

Offshore - Standing Watch

Hope this helps,

Jeff
Wow...looks like some good reads on that site. I look forward to reading it at leisure.
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Old 04-03-2007
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Rest is a good thing

Chaunclm: Sounds like exciting fun.
Delegate many details ie; boat prep, provisioning & other things the crew can handle based on capabilities/experience..........so You are not carrying the heavy load by yourself.
Don't lock yourself into a drop dead schedule which could sway your decision making at a critical time.
By all means everyone should have plenty of rest before you cast off & keep getting it everyday (no matter when - those naps add up) so that the watch schedule is safe......especially after the excitement of day 1 wears off.
Have Fun!
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Old 04-13-2007
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I remember my first trip out of site of land, I was 15 and in the Surf Lifesavers on a racing surf ski with 3 mates on theirs, we paddled off the beach heading straight out to sea. We kept going until land was no longer visible; except for the yellow smog haze hanging over Sydney we could have been anywhere. After a while we headed back but due to the current drifting us south we missed our beach by 10 miles and had a longer paddle home. As you get older you start to remember the fun times of youth.
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