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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Seamanship & Navigation
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Seamanship & Navigation Forum devoted to seamanship and navigation topics, including paper and electronic charting tools.


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  #21  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
.. If you find that too repulsive get a hospital pee bottle and go in it and pour that over the side. Limit your risks while single handing. One way to do that is not to do a two-handed operation with one hand...and peeing is a two handed operation for some steps in the process.
I agree. In rough weather, I use a half gallon plastic milk container with a handle. I cut out the front 1/3 of the container, preserving the plastic handle and its supporting plastic base, then tied a line around the handle. You can use the container with the line attached to a cleat, then throw the whole thing over the side. The sea water will wash it out and you can haul it back in clean for the next time.
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  #22  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

Hiya Sully, just a few thoughts for you on a big topic:

A large part of your navigation planning is going to be managing tides and currents, more often than not the currents will dictate your departure and arrival at the next stop. Especially where you're going.

Be realistic in how much ground you can cover in a day. When you do your planning, think about points on the way where you could divert to, if the weather turns on you or you run into some mechanical issue. Consider unlimited towing insurance. One tow could break the bank. It's one of the best deals in boating imo.

Know your boat systems, and how you'll manage them: How will you keep batteries charged, replenish fuel and fresh water. Have essential spare parts: impeller, filters, belts. engine oil, trans. fluid, anti-freeze ( if req.)

Have a Hand-held radio?

Get into a daily routine of checking all levels.
Regarding horns...you can easily blow through one of those cannister horns a fog. I carry one of these too:
Amazon.com: Seasense Ecoblast Sport Horn with Pump: Sports & Outdoors Amazon.com: Seasense Ecoblast Sport Horn with Pump: Sports & Outdoors


I'm working on an electric horn that runs off my radio.

Good luck, sounds like a great trip.
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  #23  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

Elaborating on my "minimum sounding" practice suggestion:

Scenario is that you are on a (insert point of sail here) sitting in your cockpit kicked back enjoying the sun behind your Foster Grants when your depth sounder alarms indicating that you have (insert the setting of your depth sounder alarm here) feet of water under your keel. What action do you take? You need to:

-Reduce speed
-Turn toward deeper water
-Evaluate your position(you aren't where you wanted to be or the water is shallower than charted at your planned location- which is it?)

Do you head up? Bear away? Release the sheets and start aux propulsion? Where are any interfering boats or other obstacles?

How often do you get false depth alarms on your depth sounder? Should you delay action to resolve whether the alarm is a false alarm? Or not? (I suggest that if you have this problem you need to resolve it...you need to have confidence that when that alarm sounds it is a real condition.)

Actions are similar to what is required if you notice an obstacle (partially submerged floating shipping container?) dead ahead (except depth of water in the direction you are turning may not have to be factored in).
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Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

I read through the thread. A few obvious things you probably already know

Chartplotter GPS Depthfiner on board? How about a way to access weather reports? You know how to pick your weather window?

Inlets can be stressful if the weather is less than perfect. You probably know that but it could be an entire thread. Similar wind and current effects an be experienced with coming around a point.


Again, you probably know this but in addition to COLREGS, the main rule seems to be the bigger faster vessel does what they want. Beware of ships in a channel. They can move fast and to some of them you are just an annoying gnat. Listen to the radio. I've seen a few pilots deliberately mess with a sailboat that they feel is in the wrong place and doesn't answer the radio.

There is a lot of debris in the water now around the harbors and rivers due to the rains.

Congratulations and have great time. Newport is a beautiful harbor.
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Last edited by Sal Paradise; 06-22-2013 at 08:28 AM.
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  #25  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

The toughest part of single handing is that every buck stops with you and they sometimes show up all at once. This can be a matter of distances in terms of needing to be at the bow to tend a bow line while needing to steer while needing to be at the stern to tend the stern line when docking, Or needing to pay attention to course, sail trim, depth sounder and still navigate.

The key is to be able to sequence your tasks, understand what you cannot do and try to avoid putting you and the boat in impossible situations. This takes both practice patience and the judgement to know it can't be done one way, so how can it be done. That will come with being willing to think things out in advance, try them as you suggest in the OP, learn from your mistakes, and be willing to go to plan B.

One of the hardest things to do single handed is to get into a tight dock in a cross current and/or cross wind. You need to practice that under engine, think about what can go wrong and how to deal with it if it does, and think about a bailout plan if things get crossed up badly. Maine has some wicked currents and an unforgiving bottom.

You may be aware of this already but it can be very helpful to simply stop and try a maneuver in open water before trying it for real. Being dead stopped you can see whether the wind or current is carrying you one way or the other. Learn to sight over hardware and other fixed points on the boat while keeping an eye on the compass to gauge drift and leeway. Once you understand what is likely to happen you can then proceed into a tighter higher risk maneuver for real.

It sounds like a great summer!

Good luck,
Jeff
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Last edited by Jeff_H; 06-22-2013 at 11:45 AM.
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  #26  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
Hello all,

I'm moving onboard a boat I bought (surveyed, good, solid). A Pearson Triton, nicely equipped. My plan is to sail north this summer from Newport, RI. I'm trying to keep my goals to a minimum and focus mostly on being safe and enjoying myself, but I'd like to make it to Maine and if things are going really nicely to Canada. I have 2 or 3 months.

I'd like to leave Narragansett bay feeling very comfortable handling the boat by myself. Any thoughts?
Sully,

If you make it this far, and you should, send me a pm a couple of weeks before you expect to make Mount Desert Island. I have an extra mooring in Seal Harbor this summer and if someone else isn't already using it I will be glad to share it with you as you head east. Enjoy the trip. It is beautiful cruising "Downeast".

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  #27  
Old 06-22-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

I have taught about 20 people how to drive semi-trucks, they are large, complicated and have a ton of regulations on them...kind of like a boat. The best way to learn is to study the rules, the techniques, and the equipment, ask questions, and learn as much as you can, then do it. You can learn a lot from sailing with someone more experienced, but until you are the one doing all of the things that have to be done, it is not quite the same. I hate to tell you that sometimes you just have to stand behind the wheel, take it slow, give yourself a lot of sailing room, be super aware of your surroundings, and just try to stay relaxed and keep your mind in the game.

There is not a single thing that anyone here can tell you that will be exactly the same as doing it in person. I could sit here and tell you all about how to drive in the mountains hauling an oversized load, but until you have 200,000 pounds of cargo on the trailer and a combined weight of over 400,000 pounds and are going down a mountain in the snow, in traffic, it just is not the same. I could tell you to buy some piece of equipment, or tell you how to tack into some condition or the other, or how to tie some knot, but if you are like most people I would think you need to be like NIKE and just do it. Safely, slowly, and with your mind clear and being well rested.
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

I can drive ,but don't ask me to back a trailer. Boats, lol lots of information, I will go slow when i begin my parctice TY.
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

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Originally Posted by desert rat View Post
I can drive ,but don't ask me to back a trailer. Boats, lol lots of information, I will go slow when i begin my practice TY.
I used to go to those competitions for backing and such, a company I was contracted to sent me and a couple of others every year. I get so tickled at a boat ramp. It is not that hard, trained monkeys can do it, but just not those monkeys.

If you ever want a laugh go on youtube and search for backing down a boat ramp. It will have you rolling in the floor watching those guys, unless you are one of those guys, then not so much LOL.

I would say that my most aggravating time on the boat is getting into a tight fit at a dock with a cross current or wind, yet other guys, who have had a lot more practice than me make me look like a boob. I will get back to practice next year when I get back on a boat.
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  #30  
Old 06-24-2013
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Re: Cruising Skills/Practice

11. Practice doing the naked-happy-it's-raining dance in the cockpit.

Single handing means a lot of time up top getting salty. The freshwater rinse is quite welcome when it comes, grab the soap and shampoo and enjoy. Other than that have fun, enjoy your boat and the solitude. Take your time and don't get wrapped up in meeting schedules.
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