Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Boat Info

It seems I haven't sat at my computer and written a post for so long ... over a week!  Ken and I have been really busy lately, so I can't say that I have any new completed boat projects or sailing experiences to talk about.  So, while scanning my brain for something to write about today I thought about all the little random bits of information I've learned over the past year or so in regards to cruising.  I thought I'd share some of these little tidbits with you, in no particular order.
  • Don't bring cardboard onto your boat ... always empty the contents into a baggie or plastic container.
  • Pigs do swim, and you'll get a warm welcome from them in the Bahama waters.
  • Beware of local island remedies ... a cruiser recently died from an anti-malaria potion that she drank.
  • Do have plenty of spare parts on your boat ... something is always in need of repair.
  • Do check to see if your boat engine is comparable with tractor parts.  Our Universal diesel uses Kabota tractor parts, which are much less expensive.
  • Print some business cards with your name and the name of your sailing vessel for sharing with other cruisers.  It's also a great place to put your web site if you have one.  We just ordered some from and they were really inexpensive. 
  • If you decide to carry firearms on your boat, be prepared to turn them over to the authorities while visiting some countries. 
  • If you have a pet, be prepared to show documentation from your veterinarian that your pet is healthy.  Also be prepared to pay an extra fee to the authorities for their own exam ... which may not be an exam at all, just another fee.
  • Anchor out as much as possible to save money ... I think this is a no-brainer for most. 
  • Catch rain water from the bimini to use for showering, washing dishes, etc.
  • Put dirty dishes in a mesh bag and pull them behind the boat to help clean them.
  • A bucket and a plunger can replace a washing machine every now and then.  Just hang to dry.
  • If hauling out your boat and doing the work yourself, expect it to take twice as long and twice as much money as you budgeted. 
  • Working on a boat is not an exact science ... everybody has their own opinion and their own way of doing things.  Just go with what makes sense to you.
  • If you need sheets to stay put on your v-berth, just get a large flat sheet and tie the two bottom corners together.
  • A shoe holder hung in the head (bathroom) makes a great place to store toiletries or other small items.
  • If you don't have a/c, a wind scoop and several little fans can really help.
  • If you don't have refrigeration, a well insulated ice box filled with frozen two-liter bottles of water can help keep the box colder longer.  The less room there is in the ice box, the more cold it will remain.
  • Learn how to fish and learn to enjoy eating it!  Get used to eating what you catch, no matter how tired you get of it.  This will save you money!  We also need to learn how to identify what we catch ... we have no clue!
  • When on other islands, get to know the locals and eat what they eat (well maybe not everything).  That's the only way to really experience what an island is all about.
  • Don't be in a hurry!  When meeting other cruisers, you're more likely to start a friendship if you don't tell them you're leaving in a day or two.  Tell them you'll stay as long as you're enjoying yourself!
One other thing I noticed when we spent 2 1/2 months in the boatyard ... there are no women there!  I still like to remind Ken that I was the only woman there working my butt off.  =)

Anyway, I could go on and on and most of this is probably not new to most of you, so I'll stop here.  We'd love to hear any random bits of info that you've picked up along the way. 

Hasta luego ... until then.  Mid-Life Cruising!


Sandee said...

All so very true. Especially about the sheets for the V-berth. Hubby made fitted ones for our boat. We love them.

Today starts our annual bay cruise. From our home port Willow Berm to the San Francisco bay with many stops in between. A great time every year.

Have a terrific day. :)

Ken n Cheryl said...

Sandee... have a blast! Sounds like such a beautiful place for boating. Looking forward to pictures. =)

Mike said...

Nice list.


Patricia Daspit said...

Cheryl, even though I am not a "cruiser" I found this post very entertaining, as well as thought provoking. I love your sense of humor! Keep writing, girl, you're really good at it.

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