Now prudence becomes about keeping the odds in one's favor. Gather weather information from several sources, such as SSB weatherfax, real-time satellite photos, professional weather routers, and evaluate the data they are using to make their predictions. Off Cape Horn, for example, the Valparaiso weatherfax is very good, but it helps to know their analysis comes almost exclusively from cloud patterns—there are few local data reports from the west of the Horn. When using professional routers, be sure to give them enough lead time to familiarize themselves with your local situation.
No matter how good your forecasts are, watch your barometer, wind trends, swell direction and intensity, and the sky. Since all the crew may not be as savvy, it is often helpful for a skipper to leave written instructions describing specific criteria of concern, such as a change of wind speed or direction or rapid barometer changes.
Pay attention to the local currents, through published tables and chart notations. A wind against tide or current can turn a gale into an emergency.
If it looks as though the wind may head us during the passage, we work up to weather (or what will be "weather" after the shift) to put miles in the bank, just as though we were racing around the buoys.
Reef early, shake out late. Keep the crew warm, fed and rested in case something does go wrong. Go immediately into the watch pattern and sleep whenever you can—a bit of banked sleep can mean the difference between a dangerous situation and a merely annoying one if gear breaks or the weather requires hand steering.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.