Friday, December 7, 2012

Boarding Manual

A common Sea Scout practice is to provide a boarding manual before an event to share the necessary information with all the participants. In going over my log notes and emails to the crew in advance of our recent trips I came up with a sort of a standard boarding manual for weekend cruises:

This document is updated from time to time as we get smarter!

LET THE SKIPPER KNOW about any medical conditions or medications you need to take in the event of an emergency.

Packing List:

We may be offshore for up to 36 hours during a weekend passage, plan accordingly.

Sailing gear (also for day races)-
  • Foul weather gear, rain jacket, and pants
  • Deck shoes (boots optional)
  • Gloves - sailing, and/or insulated
  • Sunscreen
  • Safety whistle
  • PFD (life jacket)
  • Knife (folding or small fixed blade)
  • Harness and tether (let me know if you don't have one)
Clothing/sleeping (remember to "be prepared")  -
  • Sleeping bag and pillow
  • Personal hygiene equipment
  • Towel and washcloth
  • Shower shoes - for the marina shower
  • Earplugs
  • Dry change of clothes
  • Pajamas or sleep clothes
  • Watch cap or hat (warm hat)
  • Long underwear, wool or polypropylene preferred
Personal items  (* are required) -
  • Bible
  • Sea time log
  • Flashlight (or headlamp)*
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen - SPF 30
  • Notepad / pen
  • Sea scout manual
  • Camera
  • GPS (handheld)
  • Deck of cards
  • Suduko book
  • Personal Medication
Shared items:

  • Normally on offshore passages, each crew member will be responsible for some food or beverage for the crew.

Watch Schedule:

We will be using a Swedish Watch (5 per day) system for the trip, this is a self-dogging watch - meaning that the individual watch schedule shifts each day. For safety, I require two-person watches, if you are seasick you may need to drag yourself on deck to provide whatever help you can to the watch.

I normally spend the entire trip "on call" and do not stand a watch. If there are sufficient crew, the cook and navigator are also "on call"

0800-1300 (5hr) Friday
1300-1900 (6hr) Friday
1900-2400 (5hr) Friday
0001-0400 (4hr) Saturday
0400-0800 (4hr) Saturday
0800-1300 (5hr) Saturday
1300-1900 (6hr) Saturday
1900-2400 (5hr) Saturday
0001-0400 (4hr) Sunday
0400-0800 (4hr) Sunday
0800-1300 (5hr) Sunday
1300-1900 (6hr) Sunday
1900-2400 (5hr) Sunday

The "On" watch is responsible for steering the vessel on the planned course and keeping a lookout (in all directions), monitoring the radio and answering/making radio calls when needed. Radio calls will be entered in the log. The helmsman monitor depth, wind strength, and direction. When under power checking the gauges at least every quarter hour, when under sail monitoring the trim of the sails. 

Each hour the watch will update a plot on the chart and make an entry in the navigation log. Every hour the watch will inspect the boat, checking for water in the bilge, oil or fuel leakage, chafing of lines or sails, gear that is not properly secured, excessive leakage from the shaft when under power. At night verify that all the navigational lights are working and the proper lights are in use.

Rules Aboard/General Housekeeping:

Know the location and proper use of all safety equipment, seacocks, electrical and fuel shut-offs on the vessel. There is a diagram at the navigator's station if you are unsure.

PFDs are worn at all times on deck while underway. At night or during rough weather all crew on deck (including in the cockpit) will use a harness and tether. 

We have found that cell phone service is available to about 8nm offshore along most of the coast.

When going below be mindful of your wet gear and make an effort to keep dampness contained near the companionway.

Put all garbage promptly into the garbage bag under the galley sink, put all recyclables into the designated basket.

To minimize clean-up we use the starboard aft head while at sea, do not flush toilet paper, put it in the trash bag in the head. Open windows to keep the head from smelling, be considerate of the crew assigned to the aft starboard cabin.

The port head can be used to hang wet foul weather gear as long as it is kept orderly and out of the way of for the crew using the port aft cabin.

If you are assigned a pilot berth, keep your gear at the foot/head of the berth, not on seats in the dining area. Ask the captain if you need more room

Don't waste food, be realistic about how hungry you are, you can always have seconds.

Conserve water, we have a limited amount and letting the tap run without purpose quickly uses a lot of water. That said, please use all the water you need.

Conserve electricity, particularly when under sail, turn off lights when not in use. We have a limited battery bank, we usually charge devices while the engine is running.


If you are concerned, take your medication before we leave the dock, once your are queasy it is too late.

If you feel seasick, even a little: 
  1. Get up on deck and get some fresh air.
  2. Look out at the horizon. 
  3. Stay hydrated - this means drinking WATER, not tea, coffee or soda
  4. Have a ginger ale or some dried ginger to settle your stomach
If you are being sick: 
-On deck: Aim for the downwind side of the boat or the stern, try to get past the deck.
-Down below: If you can't make it to the head, use a bag or bucket to contain the mess
-While you are suffering from seasickness, try to get as much sleep as you can and stay hydrated by sipping water even if you can't keep the fluids down.
- Finally, be considerate of the other crew, once you are able, clean up after yourself.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Afternoon Sail

David and I met Skipper THom, Jim and Sam for an afternoon sail ahead of the Parade of Boats, I arrived at the boat about 30 minutes behind schedule, the rest of the crew was waiting patiently. They had corrected a sagging bumper  that had resulted in a large blue mark on the hull where it had rubbed.

I had left the DC power on to run the various alarms and they had flattened the battery, we hooked up to shore power for about 30 minutes and recharged enough to get the engine started. While we were waiting a pair of dolpins swam by the boat. Our departure this afternoon was much smoother than our arrival in spite of the current and we were soon motoring out of the marina.

The wind was perfect and once we had the sails trimmed we were cruising at 7+ knots with about 15 knots of wind. Everyone but David took a turn at the helm as we made a quick circle of the bay. We saw a few early Christmas boat parade participants out and by the time we returned to the marina things were starting to get busy.

Our slip neighbor helped tend lines while we eased into the slip and tied in. On the way out of the marina the cars were packed in everywhere, I haven't  seen the marina this crowded since last Charleston Race Week.