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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-28-2011 05:16 PM
casey1999 Have a watch on board looking for sharks. I did a delivery through gulf of mexico and one day with no wind we swam off the boat and when we got out there were 3 makos swimming about 10 feet down in circles. Even a small bite that far off shore could be a major problem.

I would also pick up one of the new very compact e-pirbs. They go for around $300. Check west marine, in the 2011 catalog they have some new look to be great units that are cheap and some of the SPOT units can send e-mail and your location to who you desire- good part of a float plan.

I would also consider getting an inflatible dingy. I bought one from West Marine for $300 and it holds for people (and more could hold onto outside if needed). This could be used in liew of an expensive (and costly to keep certified) real life raft. I realize the dingy does not come anywhere near the performance of a real life raft but it is much better than floating in the water with only a life jacket. The dingy can be stored inside easily and rapidly inflated with the supplied foot pump. Also use it for a dingy (comes with oars) if needed.

Prepare as best as you can realizing that what will go wrong is somthing you did not think about. Be flexible and remain cool and in control of the situation under all conditions. Stress, fatigue, and fear is when mistakes are made.
Good Luck
04-28-2011 01:07 PM
Originally Posted by ScubaSailorLA View Post
.......I've always thought that the ability to navigate by the stars is a pretty cool tool to have.
It is. To within about 3 miles. More if you're not practiced.

With a chart, binoculars and enough visibility to take a sun shot anyway, I don't think you would ever need a sextant for coastal cruising. Still, they are cool.
04-28-2011 11:03 AM
ScubaSailorLA I have already developed checklists, pre-sail, maintenance, first aid, food, etc. I used to fly, too, and checklists have been my way of doing things since I was a teenager. I have a brand new forestay, and new sails are on order.

I can figure out and repair on the fly mechanical things, but I am not much of an engine mechanic. I have never spent much time working on engines, though I do know the basics.

I spent 11 days on the boat when we motor sailed her home after I bought her. I had hired a captain who treated the whole trip as an unofficial coastal cruising class for me, so I learned a lot from him.

I know how to dead recon (though my notation might not be totally correct) and read nav charts. Of course, I am equipped with a GPS, as well. I don't have an EPIRB, but I think that will be my next big purchase.

I do want to learn celestial navigation. I guess I'll buy a book, some tables and an inexpensive sextant before the trip. I've always thought that the ability to navigate by the stars is a pretty cool tool to have.
04-28-2011 02:05 AM
MARC2012 If you wait to prepare for all contingencies you will be too old to go.Best of luck.marc
04-27-2011 11:54 PM
Originally Posted by tomperanteau View Post
Aw, just cast off and play it by ear. Do the seat of your pants thing. Man up!
If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there!
04-27-2011 11:50 PM
sailguy40 From some of the things I have read here and elsewhere on the net, a lot of it is not just knowing how to handle your boat, but knowing what to do if something happens is also important. Much like, sure its not hard to build a computer, but if you finish that build and things go wrong, you really need to know how to troubleshoot it. This is something I personally need to work on, I can handle my boat well and I am comfortable with it, but if I run into major problems it could get ugly. I guess a good plan and onboard tools and extra hardware is always a start. I also think a good ole PM on a sailboat is a great idea. Example, maybe replace that forestay before it breaks, or get the motor serviced before it leaves you outside the harbor stranded. I have got in the habit of doing a pre-sail type checklist before I go out. Much like I used to do on airplanes when I was taking flying lessons. Only if you skip a pre-flight checklist and something is not right, you could be in big danger not just stranded.
04-27-2011 11:00 PM
tomperanteau Aw, just cast off and play it by ear. Do the seat of your pants thing. Man up!
04-27-2011 07:40 PM
Originally Posted by dacap06 View Post
.......I'm a big believer in schools, too. If you plan to make a habit of this I strongly recommend you take the ASA course on basic coastal cruising or its equivalent.......
Agreed. The Safety at Sea course, which is usually a prerequisite for the ocean races, is excellent.
04-27-2011 12:21 PM
Boasun What it all boils down to: Is the Confidence level of your skills, is coming up with Solutions for the problems that may arise. Some problems are by outside sources (weather, seas, Nav. hazards) and many are caused by your crew.(don't want toos, don't want to try, Don't know how, ate your share of the food and so forth.) The latter one is really really annoying. And you may also have equipment problems along the way.
You as the skipper need to solve all of the above as the problems occur.
Involving your crew as a TEAM will help a lot.
In other words your Knowledge and your LEADERSHIP skills will play a large part on how good a skipper you will become. But you have to sail as a skipper and learn from your own mistakes as you grow into your role.
04-27-2011 10:42 AM
JoeDiver Thanks Tom....copy, paste, save.....
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