Offshore Checklist - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

No one has mentioned emergency supply of water? I also like to carry a PLB whenever I leave sight of land. A separate hand bearing compass is nice. Rigging knife and extra line is a must. Handheld VHF and GPS in pocket at night in case I go over and have to cut loose from the tether.
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-09-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

If this stays on topic, it could be a great thread.

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post #13 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Since I sail single-handed almost all the time, having things in the cockpit is the only option. Often there is no way to get below to retrieve anything until/if I can get the windvane set. You can imagine why the bucket is on deck:-) The anchor would only be stowed below if doing a major crossing. I think getting it out of the way is a good idea so that there is no possibility of it breaking loose and to clear the foredeck to use the sea anchor if necessary. Great idea about the bungee cords on hatches! Think I will do that instead of using the screws. You're absolutely right about it not being the best idea to cut off quick access to the bilge. It has always bothered me to screw them down but I have so much stuff down there that keeping it from getting out and flying around in a knockdown has been the priority. Items on the list can surely be adjusted depending on how far "offshore." I guess my idea of offshore is anywhere out of sight of land where you will be out over night(s). Killarney_sailor, if you use a SSB/Pactor/Sailmail, would be interested to know how your reception and transmission has been way out in the Pacific.
I am not the one to comment on Pactor. My SSB works fine and I can use the Pactor for weather faxes but no luck with Sailmail anywhere in spite of lots of expert advice. Still working on it.

My bungee setup is to have closed eyes into the bottom of the deck and a heavy cup hook thingy in the middle of the lift up part. Shock cord goes between the eyes and either goes through the hook or not depending on what you want.

I think you are expecting conditions to be much worse than they are. With a reliable steering vane you don't need a bucket on deck and most of the time the companionway is open.

I agree this is a useful discussion.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #14 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Oh, and have a good book in the cockpit. Lots of time to read.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

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Trysail rigged w/ sheets/ready stowed but ready as it always is
I would like to have and try a trisail. If I had to guess the vast majority of offshore cruisers don't carry one these days. The Pardeys and others make a great case for one however. All who use them say you want to have a dedicated track on the mast
To my mind there are two major benefits of a trysail: 1. It protects the main so you have it to continue after the storm event and 2. It allows you to lash the boom down, preferably to gallows, so it isn't a headknocker. To be useful it does need its own track and to be rigged. That means more lines and more stuff to trip over. I chose a deep third reef in the main and have not regretted it in conditions to F9. I don't have a gallows so immobilizing the boom is problematic.

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Storm jib rigged w/ sheets and ready
Much the same issue. With furling headsails, your storm jib is going to be an ATN. Rigged with sheets? I dunno how you do that. This is a sailing offshore list, not a prep for heavy wx once offshore list, right?
I think the ATN GaleSail is a really bad idea. Look at the video on the ATN site and consider the conditions in the background. Pretty benign, right? Now consider hauling that sail up on deck and forward in the worst weather you have been in, rigging the sail (wet sail, wet furled jib), running the sheets, and raising it (where is your halyard? how often do you think the sail will need attention at the furled jib on the way up?).

A much better solution is a removable inner forestay always rigged offshore with a staysail or storm jib rigged before you leave the dock.

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Life raft up on deck and secured stowed but ready as it always is
I think there is a good case to be made that your life raft ought to be stored off-deck.
that is a different discussion. Mine is currently on deck, but I may move it so it is more easily accessible from the cockpit, less vulnerable to boarding waves and "where I want it when I need it"
I keep my raft and ditch bag under the companionway ladder. Choices.

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Anchor stowed
Leave it where it belongs on the bow but lashed
I don't take my anchor off the bow - when I need it, I want it there. I don't even lash it down until I am safely offshore
I lash the anchor in the roller before heading offshore, but I want to be able to use it if I need it without having to haul a 55 pound lump of metal over a pitching deck.

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RIB deflated and stowed
That seems to be conventional guidance, but I have found that tying the dinghy down inverted on the foredeck fully inflated results in significantly less motion and therefore chafe. It also gives me a good place to store the dinghy gas: lashed to the cabin top before dropping the dinghy on top of it. Outboard goes on the pushpit tightened down on a mounting board, tied down, and with a safety line to the engine hoist.


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Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Since I sail single-handed almost all the time, having things in the cockpit is the only option.
I certainly do prep ahead but I don't drag everything into the cockpit. The more stuff the more potential for tripping, loss, or damage.

Quote:
if you use a SSB/Pactor/Sailmail, would be interested to know how your reception and transmission has been way out in the Pacific.
I can't speak to the Pacific from personal knowledge. I have used an SSB & Pactor with both Sailmail (marine) and Winlink (ham) across the Atlantic and along the US East Coast, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. It has been dead nuts reliable. Outstanding performance. I've passed e-mail while crew with satphones were pounding on their laptops, and made ship-to-shore phone patches while they were shouting "can you hear me now?" into the phone. Good stuff.

I am aware that there are fewer shore stations in the Pacific than in the Western Hemisphere. You should still be able to make regular connections across the Pacific. Google for "rfax.pdf" for global weather fax schedules and frequencies and you'll be set.
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Last edited by SVAuspicious; 07-10-2012 at 08:37 AM. Reason: reformatting for clarity
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post #16 of 27 Old 07-10-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Offshore Checklist

My trysail is made from 9 oz., triple stitched nylon with huge corner patches. I sewed it up from a kit from Sailrite. The idea, to me, is to get the center of effort way below that of any of the other sails. I've used it to test it out but never had to use it in a storm yet. With my "tender" hull design, keeping it from heeling too far and getting the resultant weather helm is most important for maintaining good control when the wind pipes up. Just by chance, my liferaft fits snugly down in front of the pedestal where it gets tied in. It significantly displaces a lot of potential water weight and is accessible at a moment's notice. I don't have a dedicated storm jib but use a 100% working jib right on the furler that is 8-9oz. and can be rolled up very small. Agree that ATN type sails seem to be a bad idea. One of the things on my to-do list is to put a mast hound on with running backstays and build a small jib with integral Dyneema halyard that can be hoisted right from the cockpit.

Keeping a lot of stuff on deck IS a PITA but singlehanded, it really is impossible to go looking for stuff sometimes. Looking at that PBJ sitting down there just out of reach when you need to keep both hands on the wheel in a following sea is a real TRAGEDY:-) I have one of those milkbox-type containers that keeps it in one place.

For normal anchor-anchor day sailing, I have a list of stuff to get up on deck pasted right next to the companionway. Things like charts, binoculars, compasses, etc. are on that.

A little off topic but one thing that might be helpful to other singlehanders is a little gimballed propane stove. I have a mount right on the pedestal so I can make hot coffee without having to get below. It works pretty well as long as the wind is not too strong. Thermos bottles just don't keep coffee hot for very long.

For offshore, a good idea is a watermaker. I got a surplus manual unit that is one of the things that goes in the ditch bag along with a small jug of water. One thing I've also thought about is filling up some soda bottles with water and putting them right in the main tank. I don't have a split tank and worry about losing all the water from the main tank. I also keep three 5 gallon drinking water containers, lashed down. Running out of water is one of the scariest things to me.

Killarney, that's interesting about your SSB. What kind of counterpoise do you have? Have heard that the counterpoise is the key. I ran 4" copper through the hull, picking up every metal part I could. It seems to work well. I can pick up stations 1500 miles away and use them to transmit/receive over Sailmail. I don't have a Ham license to use Winlink but the Sailmail seems to work well. If I get to head across the Pacific, will be depending on it.

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post #17 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Isn't funny how there is always one or more folks need to degrade another for some reason. Would it be more human to say "thanks for your insight and input ". Next, here is MY list and what myself and/or loved ones use when we go sailing. I believe he is sharing his personal insight on what he uses and what works for him. This is not written in stone and is not forcing anyone to abide by his checklist.
Maybe in post your personal or professional checklist for us to read and share with our community for our safety and future benefit.
Thank you all for your personal input and shared experiences.
Hope you all have an awesome day !!!
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post

Keeping a lot of stuff on deck IS a PITA but singlehanded, it really is impossible to go looking for stuff sometimes. Looking at that PBJ sitting down there just out of reach when you need to keep both hands on the wheel in a following sea is a real TRAGEDY:-) I have one of those milkbox-type containers that keeps it in one place.
Needing to keep both hands on the wheel and unable to go down below even to grab a sandwich suggests a problem with self steering systems. Either windvane or an AP that can handle significant following seas would be a must, IMO.
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post #19 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
Since I sail single-handed almost all the time, having things in the cockpit is the only option. Often there is no way to get below to retrieve anything until/if I can get the windvane set. You can imagine why the bucket is on deck:-) The anchor would only be stowed below if doing a major crossing. I think getting it out of the way is a good idea so that there is no possibility of it breaking loose and to clear the foredeck to use the sea anchor if necessary. Great idea about the bungee cords on hatches! Think I will do that instead of using the screws. You're absolutely right about it not being the best idea to cut off quick access to the bilge. It has always bothered me to screw them down but I have so much stuff down there that keeping it from getting out and flying around in a knockdown has been the priority. Items on the list can surely be adjusted depending on how far "offshore." I guess my idea of offshore is anywhere out of sight of land where you will be out over night(s). Killarney_sailor, if you use a SSB/Pactor/Sailmail, would be interested to know how your reception and transmission has been way out in the Pacific.
Smurphny, please do not take my comments as disparagement, Single handers tend to do thing a little different to others. My main comments were directed to your apparent need to surround yourself with unneeded items, just in case. Where I would take the opposite tack and clear the decks of just about everything, except the bucket and fishing gear. My longest single handed non stop trip was 23 days and some hours, this would have been impossible without a good wind vane auto pilot. In fact I do very little hand steering, setting the wind vane as soon as I am out of the leads and sometimes sooner. I work on the theory that everything has its place and it should not be moved to a new location, as when the excrement hits the proverbial and you need get that item right now you will automatically go for said item where it was normally stored.
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post #20 of 27 Old 07-10-2012
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Re: Offshore Checklist

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Smurphny, please do not take my comments as disparagement, Single handers tend to do thing a little different to others. My main comments were directed to your apparent need to surround yourself with unneeded items, just in case. Where I would take the opposite tack and clear the decks of just about everything, except the bucket and fishing gear. My longest single handed non stop trip was 23 days and some hours, this would have been impossible without a good wind vane auto pilot. In fact I do very little hand steering, setting the wind vane as soon as I am out of the leads and sometimes sooner. I work on the theory that everything has its place and it should not be moved to a new location, as when the excrement hits the proverbial and you need get that item right now you will automatically go for said item where it was normally stored.
Well said, I could not agree more. [are you back in Moreton Bay ?]

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