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Cruise - Sailing

Updated on April 21, 2010

Cruising has become more comfortable, but it still represents a dramatic change from shore life.Living aboard most boats is like camping than living ashore .Shore life and sea life is to very different things. The transition in it's self is very demanding. In mastering different skills you also must convert your vessel into a dependable, offshore home that is comfortable and a capable vessel, any boat heading out for several years of coastal cruising an short offshore passages should be very well equipped with a strong and reliable electric autopilot complete with a range of spare parts.In addition,any boat that will be making long offshore passages should have a backup system in case the autopilot fails.

Cruising boats should be equipped with tackle that is one size larger than that recommended by the manufacturers. If your boat is longer that 35 feet, install a windlass

Most major cruising routes are downwind.If the wind shifts by 20 degrees or so. At a minimum, the boat must be equipped with a bulletproof easy to use preventer and an easy to handle pole for setting the head sail to windward.Dedicated downwind head sail combinations mean not having to use the mainsail at all.

Boats go through a teething period when they first start being used hard and sailed off shore,after that things do get better with experience and regular maintenance.When boats get tossed around the the ocean swell, any sediment in the tanks will clog fuel pumps o injectors. Seawater can flood the engine if the anti- siphon valve in the exhaust system gets clogged with salt water or if the exhaust loop is below the water line when the boat is rolling. Air can also work its way into the fuel system. I an accessible place, install a water separator/ fuel filter between the fuel tank and the filter on the engine. Monitor and change as often as possible.It is very important to be very familiar with the boat and equipment aforehand,because you might have to fix things on the boat where services aren't available.

Reception out on sea, is one more thing you might have to do without. Cellphone reception unreliable, and large areas have no reception at all.The only way to ensure daily e-mail and access to the weather, set the boat up with a ham or S.S.B. radio, a pactor modem, Sail Mail or Winlink. A Satellite phone is a great purchase. G.P.S is just an aid. Before heading off, learn coastal navigation, posting your position on paper charts, taking compass bearings on identifiable landmarks After mastering that turn off G.P.S and go for a daily sail.

Keeping the boat moving in ocean swells with winds that light requires easy to use light- air sails, (asymmetric spinnakerin a sock and a lager drifter on a removable furling system) But even more it requires good sailing skills and alot of patience.At some point all cruisers have to deal with forced winds.Many boats are capable of handling what the sea can throw at them.But the crew will be more comfortable if they have mastered to heavy-weather techniques.

Among these is heaving( the rise and fall)when the boat is set so that it is more or less stationary with the bow between 30 and 60 degrees to the wind and waves.

When a boat is going to be laid up for awhile, give the sails a good cleaning and inspect them before you stow them. Correctly in stalled propane tanks have their own locker that is sealed and vented overboard. Never store gas bottles in a regular locker.

No matter how much you take with you; make sure the entire system works before you start your journey.Adjust your expectations before you leave. Sailing is fun and will make your life different and rewarding from life ashore.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Storing the Boat


Clean and inspect sails

Stow deck gear

Rinse sheets and halyards

Cover boom

Rinse anchor and chain and leave on the hard

Remove master unit

Grease seacocks

Inspect bilge

Clean boat

Pack valuables


Submit a Comment

  • skipper112 profile image


    6 years ago from Sydney Australia

    good read ty I do agree, and you make sence Skipper

  • SwiftlyClean profile imageAUTHOR


    8 years ago from Texas

    Thanks for the comment; I love the water so very much.Sailing is so peaceful.

  • Coolmon2009 profile image


    8 years ago from Texas, USA

    Nice article and nice pictures. Makes me wanna go sailing thanks for sharing


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