Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ask a question - get answers

I just love the cruising community.  If you have a question, they will not only answer you, but they will give you great information.  I posed the following question on a few forums the other day.

What would you have done differently?

Here are some of the responses.

From Jeffrey Siegel  on Cruiser Forum came this response

1. I would have realized earlier to never make plans or schedules and just move when the weather is perfect and you want to go. We now happily wait a week or more for better weather and never, ever push. In the beginning we were so interested in seeing everything and getting to the next place. It's a bad way to cruise.

2. I would have learned much more about weather including places online to get good predictions and experience to know when the predictions are suspect.

3. I would have gotten a bigger and better anchor. We never had issues (except once) but having the bigger anchor made sleeping better.

4. I would have installed the most powerful saltwater washdown available. It took us 6 years to do it. Having it makes anchor retrieval more enjoyable.

5. I would have realized that there is an expense to anchoring and it's often the case that a monthly slip rental isn't much more than that baseline cost. Being at a marina for a month is a nice treat although I like keeping the marina-to-anchoring ratio near 50%.

6. I would have learned and practiced much more with epoxy, gelcoat, and other finish products.

...and I would have done it all earlier.

From some other responses came these:

I would avoid like the plague getting a storage unit ashore. We got one for "just a few things" ... now the damn thing is full and we need to get rid of everything so we can finally move on. Once you have one, and sometimes they are unavoidable, the tendency is to hang on to stuff that you wouldn't otherwise.

1) Before leaving learn all you can about all your boat's systems.
2) Keep boat as simple as possible so you'll have better chance to fix those systems.
3)Carry large anchors but of different types as well (Danforth, CQR, even a Fisherman if in rocky area). Different designs work better in different bottom types. (During our 16 months cruise we spent one week at a dock)
4)Slow down; seeing "deeper" is often more rewarding than seeing more. 

Keep it SIMPLE. Any electronics are for fun, not necessity. Go NOW. You will learn on the way. Be observant and (silently) critical on other people's boats. Try not to have ANYTHING on your boat that you cannot fix yourself,- in mid ocean, you're the only repairperson. If you're going cruising, the fun is sailing and travelling, not repairing and trying to have spares shipped to exotic destinations. For me; no inflatables, they're all rubbish, and no windgenerators,- too noisy, use solar. Navigate celestially,- you'll get a far greater sense of achievement from your landfalls. Use the engine as little as possible, it will improve your sailing skills so that one day when you HAVE to sail out of a situation you are competant to do so. Read OLD books of cruisers,- they will illustrate just how simple a boat can be. GO. And have fun.!

Good luck to you and yours!


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