Final Details- Trip Planning

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
I feel like I'm not very organized for this singlehanded trip to Maine so I'd like to run a few things by you guys.  Chime in if I've left out anything major.  Here's what I've done or plan on doing before departure:

  • A simple will (Legalzoom), adequate life insurance
  • PLB (I'm singlehanded so an EPIRB seems useless if I fall off the boat)
  • Rocna Vulcan 33lb for my 33 foot boat, 25lb Manson spare anchor
  • All navigation lights clearly visible and tested
  • Propane system properly installed, sniffer and blower functional
  • SPOT tracker (I already had this, I just re-activated my subscription)
  • New plotter, fresh charts, some paper backups. Multiple GPS backups
  • VHF w/AIS and DSC, handheld VHF w/DSC as backup
  • Reasonably functional auto pilot
  • Engine health checked (oil analysis, new transmission, new HX, fresh impeller, fresh hoses, new exhaust elbow)
  • Fuel system is clean, spare filters onboard
  • High capacity electric bilge pump and dual action manual pump installed
  • LED headlamps
  • Powerful "sun gun" spotlight
  • Fresh boat batteries, solar and shore charger
  • Bilge, toilet, holding tank transfer and fresh water pumps all freshly serviced
  • Standing rigging inspected (no meathooks, no visible cracks on any fittings, cotter pins all secure, spare blocks onboard)
  • Running rigging in good condition, (furler line is fairly new which I consider important)
  • Boom brake/preventer installed
  • A reasonable complement of mechanical and electrical tools and repair parts
  • Working jib and Genoa onboard, all reefing lines rigged
  • Steering gear inspected and lubricated
  • All hatches seal tightly and securely
  • Jacklines will be rigged
  • Line cutter will be installed
  • 6 gallon water jug independent of the boat's water system stowed in the V-berth notch
  • Packs of batteries
  • LED "flare" as well as conventional pyrotechnic flares and orange distress flags
  • Ship's bell, air horn w/spare cartridges
  • New radar reflector
  • Emergency underwater curing epoxy repair kit
  • A variety of auto-inflating PFDs w/harnesses are onboard as well as an orange, solid Type I offshore PFD and 2 Type II orange PFDs.
  • Harnesses & tethers, crotch straps for the PFDs
  • SOS inflatable Dan-buoy
  • Lifesling
  • 3 fire extinguishers, fire blanket
  • 2 first-aid kits plus ordinary daily medicinals (Tylenol, Ibuprofin, band-aids, motion sickness patches)

On the human side:

  • New offshore grade foulie jacket is enroute (my 8 year old jacket finally gave out last weekend)
  • Wet suit for emergency dives to cut away pot lines
  • Wool sweaters, fleece tops and thermal undergarments
  • Hot weather clothing, wide brimmed hat
  • Foulie boots, deck shoes, sailing gloves
  • One-handed, pre-prepared snacks as well as a variety of dry/canned easy to prepare provisions
  • Insulated water bottles
  • Secure stowage under the helm seat for food and water in case I cannot leave the wheel.

Some stuff I haven't done:

  • I have failed to install some sort of washboard retention system
  • I have not devised any kind of system to secure lockers and bilge boards in the event of a complete inversion
  • Radar not fitted
  • No wind steering fitted
  • I need to make a ditch bag



Thoughts?

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,694
1,411
Canada
Looks very thorough to me, Ajax.  A nice checklist for just about anyone doing a offshore passage (but what do I know - never done one singlehanded). But this one immediately caught my eye.

”Reasonably functional auto pilot”

Reasonably.  I know you’re not crossing a full ocean (i don’t know your route), but I think I’d want to be pretty confident in my self-steering, especially re: fatigue.

 
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Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
Looks very thorough to me.  But this one immediately caught my eye, Ajax

”Reasonably functional auto pilot”

I know you’re not crossing a full ocean (i don’t know your route), but I think I’d want to be pretty confident in my self-steering, especially re: fatigue.
It's a wheel pilot.  You know how they are.  It always holds a course reliably. Under heavy rudder loads the belt will slip once in awhile but that's my fault for not trimming the sails properly. If I relieve the weather helm, it never fails.  It is definitely reliable with sails down, motoring.

I have several bail out points (Cape May, Sandy Hook/LIS, Block Is/Buzzard's bay).   I don't have to do any long legs if I don't feel up to it.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,694
1,411
Canada
It's a wheel pilot.  You know how they are.  It always holds a course reliably. Under heavy rudder loads the belt will slip once in awhile but that's my fault for not trimming the sails properly. If I relieve the weather helm, it never fails.  It is definitely reliable with sails down, motoring.

I have several bail out points (Cape May, Sandy Hook/LIS, Block Is/Buzzard's bay).   I don't have to do any long legs if I don't feel up to it.
Cool - I actually don’t know wheel pilots, but I understand your description.  Just looking out for ya, man! :). (Was going to ask if you had a tiller or wheel - tiller handy for sheet/tiller steering, where/when possible.). And, BTW, thanks for sharing your list - great food for thought/mental list for me for future solo plans.  Lots to think through.

 

Whinging Pom

Super Anarchist
Chamois leather.  Just the job for drying hands, oilskins etc so you don't drip on the chart table.  Plus it never runs out of the ability to dry things.  

My don't go to sea without list includes a couple of builder's rubble sacks and a la Tilman, onions.

 
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Bryanjb

Super Anarchist
4,390
196
Various
We like Sandy Hook, beautiful spot.  Going threw NYC up/down the East River is very cool.  Long island sound is lovely, Manhasset Bay, Port Jeff and Gardener Bay are worth a stop.  It's fun going along the coast, different then offshore jumps but interesting.  Either way you'll have a good time.

 

Jud - s/v Sputnik

Super Anarchist
5,694
1,411
Canada
where's the fun factor and ffs STOP over thinking it .
I’ve posted this vid somewhere in CA before - fun watch.  Singlehanded 4,000 miles in a Wayfarer 16 open dinghy all around Greece, across the Med, up the Nile to Cairo, back to Greece. (May help you get in a singlehanded frame of mind, Ajax :) )

He goes over his list of gear starting at around the 9:00 mark.  You’ll be surprised at what he considered one of his most important pieces of gear.  The fun factor - the yellow thing he brought. :)  (I suspect for many, me included, the fun factor is simply successfully executing the solo journey, day by day.)




 
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Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
where's the fun factor and ffs STOP over thinking it .
Well, I didn't want to state it publicly but I did pack the blow up doll.  Your comment is encouraging so I'll start to relax.

wifeinabox.jpg

 

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,256
2,330
Pacific Rim
Because foreign seafarers attract the authorities please prepare your head Y-Valve for the inspection. Plus everything else on their short list. Like one totally official yet uncomfortable PFD that is never used lest the rating label wears off — stored openly. Oh yeah: the placards and waste plan. 

 

blunted

Super Anarchist
1,501
326
Toronto
Quality list. Might I suggest...

Spare impeller and belt for the engine, and some extra oil and coolant as required would be on my list.

Oh and tons of sunscreen because who wants to feel like they were set on fire after a long day on the water.

Hope you have a good adventure with managable dramas.

Oh and a vinyl repair kit lest your hostess springs a leak from well....., from whatever.

Do you have your wood plugs lashed next to your thru hulls?

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
Because foreign seafarers attract the authorities please prepare your head Y-Valve for the inspection. Plus everything else on their short list. Like one totally official yet uncomfortable PFD that is never used lest the rating label wears off — stored openly. Oh yeah: the placards and waste plan. 
Great points. I will have lockwire for the Y-valve.

I already have the oily discharge warning placards and waste plan. I will store the Type I PFD openly.

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
Quality list. Might I suggest...

Spare impeller and belt for the engine, and some extra oil and coolant as required would be on my list.

Oh and tons of sunscreen because who wants to feel like they were set on fire after a long day on the water.

Hope you have a good adventure with managable dramas.

Oh and a vinyl repair kit lest your hostess springs a leak from well....., from whatever.

Do you have your wood plugs lashed next to your thru hulls?
Thanks for pointing these out.  I have everything you mentioned except for the vinyl repair kit for my "travel wife."  In addition to the wood plugs, I have one of those large Forespar foam plugs. I also have a spare quart of transmission fluid along with the engine oil and coolant.

 

climenuts

Anarchist
662
251
PNW
Looks like a quite complete list to me, Ajax. I think you can relax w.r.t. the boat, watch weather, and set out confidently.

Once you get the sails set and the engine off you'll forget the what-if's and the anxiety will melt away.

 

Black Sox

Super Anarchist
2,981
1,053
Dublin, Ireland
Disclaimer: I have single-handed but only a 15' boat and not very far.

I didn't see a life-raft on the list, was it considered and rejected?

Passage plans for the various legs, including bailout options.

Music and/or books.

Treats for self-rewarding (chocolate, rum, cigar, whatever works for you).

Apologies if I'm presumptuous.

I'm envious, you'll have a great time.

 

Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
@Black Sox  I've decided against a life raft because I'll be coastal nearly the entire trip. I have a wet suit which I can don. I do have the PLB. The wet suit will provide warmth and buoyancy along with my PFD.

  • Passage plans- Yes, I have them.
  • Music/books- Yes, on my smartphone. I decided against a Kindle for now. Just more shit to cram onboard.
  • Movies- I'm bringing my laptop for navigation purposes so I'll download a few movies for quiet nights at anchor or in marinas but I don't expect to watch them.
  • Rewards- I have rum. I'm trying to abstain from stuff like chocolate. One reward that I want, is a lobster roll which is a local sandwich made from the bugs.
 
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Ajax

Super Anarchist
14,376
2,726
Edgewater, MD
I forgot to mention-

I think that I've decided to forgo the hard dinghy for safety reasons. It only fits on the foredeck and I'm nervous about it hogging the entire foredeck if I should have to go forward to unfuck the furler or a snagged jib sheet or something.  I've only ever stowed it on deck once. If I had more experience dealing with it by myself, I'd bring it.

I'll be deflating and stowing my inflatable dink on the cabin top or in the Q-berth. I'll bring my little electric trolling motor to supplement the oars.  The inflatable dink has a hard floor made of removable panels, so it's not terrible to use.

 
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