Carrying night vision on your boat offers great utility, and is great fun. It makes night travel a lot safer, providing you with the tools to see in the dark. Highly recommended equipment, more affordable than ever before.
The question of single engine versus twin engines has been beaten to death many times over, in my opinion. It really doesn’t matter which you choose, as a single engine with a bow thruster can perform as well as a boat with twin engines. But given how the marketplace has evolved, many buyers are looking at older trawlers, and the age factor somewhat changes the discussion.
The best way to have a trouble-free cruising season is to perform a thorough sea trial after you launch the boat. And be sure to run the boat at full throttle, which will surface equipment and components that are ready to break, clog, or disintegrate.
Here is my version of a traditional chain hook with locking gate, custom made of 3/8-inch stainless steel plate. It is super strong and will never separate from the anchor chain, so I can sleep soundly, knowing the snubber/bridle will do its job even if we are in shallow water.
Installing these MTU engines is not your everyday boat yard scene, so everyone came to watch it happen. Rent a crane, hire some professionals to oversee the operation, and we're done by lunchtime. Of course, hooking it all together takes weeks.
Brian Calvert is still enjoying life in the Philippines aboard his Selene trawler, Further. His adventures continue, but after so many miles and eight years of wandering adventure, it's time to take care of business on the boat and its systems. His experience is worth reading as you plan your own passage to paradise.
Adding a second, remote fuel filter vacuum gauge at your helm is another tool worth considering as you plan for extended cruising. It takes some of the guesswork out of running your boat, and you will feel more confident that things are well in your engine room.
Do you know about Sea Tow's Automated Radio Check service? It should be part of your normal operations routine, and used often to ensure your radios and antennas are working as well as you hope they are. Far better than the traditional radio check of throwing out a call and hoping someone will respond. And let's leave "10-4, Good Buddy" ashore, please.
Conversation with industry specialists often drifts into other related topics. In this case, we talked about how best to size a propulsion engine for a new boat, and then selecting the right size generator for the boat's electrical demands.
Reviewing some notes from my travels, and finding the comments are as relevant today as they were a few years ago. It is refreshing when engine guys speak the truth even if it goes slightly against the company party line.
The value of an engine survey can't be overstressed when looking for your ideal cruising boat. A separate effort from a general boat survey, an experienced mechanic's skill at judging the overall health of a boat's engine(s) and generator gives you the ability to decide if the boat is right for you, or if you should keep looking. More so than any other element of a cruising motorboat or trawler, the engine room is the most important space on the boat.
Rather than guess what speed you should run your boat, it is important to develop real-world numbers of the speed and burn consumption your boat reaches at various engine speeds in open water. Depending on how your boat is equipped and loaded, and the propeller(s) you have, it is a straightforward process to develop a speed/fuel burn performance curve that will identify the sweet spot for running your boat at cruising speed.
Along the way of determining this ideal speed envelope, you will also get an sixth sense of when the hull and engine is in harmony as she glides through the water with maximum efficiency and reasonable fuel burn. This is a satisfying project every boat owner should create for his or her boat.
Knowing how to properly run your propulsion engine is the key to long term health care in your engine room. I share great advice from Alaska Diesel that relates to all pre-ECM diesel engines, both power and sail.
Finding ways to make your trawler or sailboat better capable of traveling offshore. All of these efforts result in a better seaboat, even if you are not planning to cross oceans. And these upgrades will better familiarize you with the many systems on a cruising boat. And that brings confidence.
We continue our look at how to prepare your boat for going offshore in a powerboat or trawler, and what you should address to make sure things go as planned. The stresses of offshore travel are different from running in protected waters and preventative effort can help ensure a trouble-free passage, which is what we all aim for.
Rapid advances in many technologies provides opportunities we have not seen before. While recreational boat lags behind other industries in adoption, we will see future boat choices that have a significantly lower carbon footprint, and allow us to enjoy cruising without impact on the environment.
Putting together a fuel delivery system is best done by taking a high level view and making it as simple, as accessible, and as futureproof as possible. Eliminate unnecessary fittings, use fire rated, CG-approved fuel hoses and high pressure fittings, and your system should be reliable and trouble free for the life of the boat.
So much has happened in our lifetime, so why should anyone be surprised that paper charts are going away? Modern electronic charting and navigation systems at so much better in all ways, whether you are a commercial, government, or recreational mariner. Change is coming...
All the what-if scenarios one can dream up due to lack of experience are best handled by managing one’s fears of the unknown. This is the crucial step in safety at sea for yourself and your crew. Too many people are lax when it comes to saying alert and situationally aware, and then are surprised when things happen to them that could have been easily avoided.
We look forward to spring boat projects in my house. Getting the boat ready for the season, fixing what no longer works, and getting familiar with the boat again. But it is already June, postponed after many long weeks of spring rain and other distractions.
It is finally coming together, however, and soon we will be back on the water.
For all the years I have been around cruising boats, there has always been the debate about carrying firearms. I still read neophyte questions by people looking for answers by asking others in social media forums and groups. It is most troubling.
I hope to present you with some facts surrounding guns on cruising boats. Not the legalities of doing so, but the very personal decisions and commitments required if you decide to bring them aboard.
I found a cool product that effectively and instantly relieves the swelling and itching of insect bites, in my case, mosquito bites. The German product really works, so I’m telling you about it as I have not seen it before. With all the rain we’ve had this spring, the mosquito problem will be terrible this summer.
What to do when a small boat approaches you from behind? How do you determine whether it is a friend or foe? A potential intruder comes aboard in port, what do you do? Let’s take a look at these situations, and discuss how to make sure the odds are on your side. Eliminating opportunity keeps you safer at sea and in port. Here are some ways to make that happen.
Today is the 150th anniversary of our country’s Memorial Day. Instead of simply enjoying a long weekend at the beach or backyard grill, or buying that new mattress on sale today, take a moment to reflect on the real purpose of this special day. On Memorial Day we honor our nation’s soldiers, sailors, Marines, airmen, and others who lost their lives defending our country.