Cruising Tips

Some helpful ideas…

Need more room? Take some of the stuffing out of throw pillows and put stuff like blankets in there. Seal with a zipper for easy access.

Bottle socks: That’s what we call them. Worn out socks that can go on to good use. Put them around bottles to protect them from breaking. If you have been living on the boat while getting ready to cruise, you are likely to find the cabin sole covered with broken glass and a mixture of spaghetti cause and beer (and how do I know?). Many cruisers underestimate the power of six foot waves to shake stuff loose on their first offshore adventure.

Call yourselves co-captains. If one of you gets stuck in jail, is disabled or dies, and only that person is listed on paperwork as captain, the other person is considered crew and will not be allowed back on the boat!

Instead of trying to carry every size bolt, get some threaded rod and nuts. With that and a 4 1/2 inch grinder (with cut off wheel) you have every bolt in that diameter. In the same vein, a piece of 2 X 4 can be very handy; use as a wedge, a spacer, a tool to soften the blow of a hammer, a place to mount that clamp on vice (boy that handy!).

Wire nuts are not allowed, as per the ABYC, but they sure are handy for temporary wiring. I had some temporarily connecting wires for many years. Put some grease in there, and point the small end up.

You can equipment that is designed to use dry cell batteries, powering them from your boat’s 12 volt system if the equipment has 8 batteries in series. Each battery is about 1.5 volts, and so in series the thing is running at 12 volts. We used a boom box for FM radio and CDs, powered from a cigarette lighter outlet. Wooden dowel can be inserted into the battery holder to take up the space originally held by batteries, and screws on the ends with the wires attached transmit the power.

Fishing while underway? Big fish spewing blood all over the place? Put some cheap alcohol in a squeeze bottle (like a dishwashing soap container). Squirt it into the gills. The fish is paralyzed/dead.

Nigel Calder’s Boat Owners mechanical and Electrical Manual. Do you know everything there is to know about all the systems on your boat? If so, you don’t need this boat. If not…