Let's start this book off with some simple rules you can put to work immediately to make maintaining your boat less frustrating.
Maintaining a Cruising Boat
When we think of voyaging, we think of tradewind passages and beautiful landfalls. But what will really govern how much fun your cruise will be is much more mundane: It will come down to how good you are at maintaining your boat.
In this book, Colin and John share knowledge gained from a combined 100 years of maintaining offshore boats.
Table of Contents:
Let's face it, cruising boats are horribly unreliable, and gear failures are the most common cruise-ruiner. But we can reduce the problems a lot by thinking about fault tolerance. Here are three real world examples you can use right now to make your boat better.
There is not a lot of point in writing about maintenance without addressing the 800-pound gorilla in the room: what it really costs to maintain a cruising boat. Get this wrong and your cruise will be miserable and short. In this chapter we give you a simple, but surprisingly accurate, tool to estimate what maintenance is going to cost.
A chapter that will give you a whole new way to think about boat maintenance, including an easy-to-use gear selection method that will save you a bundle as well as untold grief.
We in the offshore cruising community talk a lot about the right way and the wrong way to equip and maintain our boats, but that's all meaningless until we have answered one basic question...
You will never get everything done on your boat. This we guarantee. So one of the most important skills you can have as a boat maintenance technician is prioritization. In this chapter John tells a story of when he got his priorities wrong, and what he learned from that.
We all want to maintain our boats at the highest possible level, but on the other hand if we do every job perfectly we will never go cruising. Here are some thoughts on maintaining a sane balance.
Having the right spare parts aboard is one of the biggest contributors to a fun and stress free voyage. But how do you decide what to buy and then keep track of what you have? John answers those questions and provides downloads of our parts list and the program we use to keep track of them on "Morgan's Cloud".
Some thoughts from Colin on vital training for voyaging sailors. Taking the steps he suggests could save your cruise.
Unstepping the mast for winter storage is a royal pain in the neck...but it's the right thing to do.
Unstepping the mast is one of the most stressful tasks we sailboat owner's face, but here are some tips to make it a lot easier.
A quick read that can make a huge difference to the reliability of your engine.
Colin has some great tips that will help you maintain your engine's raw water system.
When you have decades of experience running commercial research yachts where downtime is not an option, you learn how to make repairs while "out there". Colin shares information that could save your cruise, and maybe even your boat.
Your engine mixing elbow can damage your engine. Here's how to prevent that.
You should lubricate your seacocks every year before launching, and here's an easy way to do that.
Here's a simple easy-to-build gadget that will make a huge difference to the effectiveness of your freezer, by circulating the air so the stuff at the top and farthest from the plates does not thaw, while the food at the bottom and against the plates remains frozen, particularly when the freezer is packed tight.
Propane is an intrinsically dangerous fuel to have on a boat. Here are 10 tips to ameliorate the risk of an explosion.
Lightning strike! Just the words can make us cruising sailors, who sail around the ocean with the highest thing in hundreds of square miles sticking up above our heads, nervous. In this chapter Matt, AAC Engineering Correspondent, will help you understand how lightning strikes happen and what you can do to reduce the associated risks.
"Morgan's Cloud" with a cockpit enclosure? Can it be true? Yes it is, and here's the why and the how. This will help you decide if you want one too.
Considering a cockpit enclosure? Building one that a real sailor can love takes a deep fixation on getting the details right.
Andy's a big fan of Dux high modulus rope standing rigging. He takes a look at what Dux is and some really interesting uses for it.
Andy takes a deep dive into when, if and how, to re-rig with Dux high modulus Dyneema rope. Techniques, advantages and disadvantages, it's all here.
We have been deep into cool gear and stuff in the last few chapters of our Online Book, Maintaining a Cruising Boat. Now it's time to take a step back and remind ourselves of the vital stuff that will actually get us out there voyaging.