Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trivial Preparations

I follow blogs of people preparing to leave, more or less, forever; my preparations for our first one week cruise of the season pale in comparison, but there is always a list:
  • Non-skid added to cockpit steps. The lower cockpit seats have caused more than a few slips when wet in wild conditions. We decided to add 4-inch wide 3-M abrasive tape. That should do it. The steps inside as well. 
  • Spray curtains for the sides of the dodger. I don't like the full enclosure, but a bit more was needed. I made them from light nylon and they roll-up forward in a very small space.
  • AC unit stability. We have a Cruise-N-Carry and like to keep it on-deck. The adjustable leg slips, so I made 9/32" FRP pins to hold it. Also 1/2-inch EVA foam on the bottom to reduce sliding. A prior post described carrying the AC unit on deck: Keeping Cruise-N-Carry AC Unit On-deck
  • More PFDs. Why, we never wear them? Well, we often have as many as 10 people on board at anchor and I only have 7. Fortunately, we have a great marine thrift store nearby.
  • Oar broke when stepped on - fixed that.
Pretty short, really, and getting shorter each time. I'm running out of projects and risking boredom. I guess I'll just have to suffer through and relax in the shade with a book and a beer. I'll throw in some swimming, fishing, and socializing if it gets bad.


  1. Question: Do you need to have a pfd for every person on board, even if you are not underway?

  2. Does the US Coast Guard consider being anchored to be "under way"? I have been visited a number of times by the Maryland Department of the Environment, and they believe that anchored is "underway." Some states only refer to persons "on board", but clearly that requirement would be ridiculous at the dock. The US Coast Guard site says "underway means not at anchor, made fast to the shore, or aground" when addressing PFDs.

    So it is unclear and varies by state. It wouldn't be hard for the enforcement agency to argue that however they got there, with the main boat or by dingy, there should be a PFD for each person. I chose to have that many PFDs.

  3. I had just not considered that before, not that it has ever been an issue of to this point. We just don't have that many friends. :)

  4. What is unclear to me is how a state agency charged with protecting the environment has acquired the authority to count your life jackets, usurping the authority of the Coast Guard.

    Perhaps they are concerned that if you fall overboard and drown, your decaying corpse will pollute the estuary.

  5. Drew,

    We're on our first weeklong trip of the summer right now. The heat has been brutal, and my wife is about to mutiny. What are the power requirements for the AC unit you are running? I'm assuming you need to keep a generator running to support the AC. I've learned a lot from your blog by the way. Thanks for taking the time to do the posts.


  6. If they got there by dink it should be BYO PFD :-)


  7. I just got back from a 4-day cruise, and I don't take the modern age on-board....

    Mike: I don't have that many friends... but my teen-age daughter does!

    Bob: Is it because the Coast Guard is now focused on drug related law enforcement instead of SAR? I think so.

    Chris: I have a Cruise-N-Carry that draws ~ 9 amps running and perhaps 1.6x that at start-up. No, we do not carry a generator, so we only use it at the dock. Also, I can tell you that it can't manage a PDQ 32 on a hot day unless you can shade the deck. It does OK at night, depending on how bad it is. Also, it help (efficiency and reduced dripping) if you insulate the fabric hood by covering it with a beach towel.

    BTW, the pin worked well; we sailed through some 20-knot conditions without any issue.

    Anonymous: Yup, that's the idea!