It is common throughout the cruising community for friends to watch each other's yachts as one family or another journeys home or inland. This is fine for short periods, but we feel that it is better to have a professional relationship with the caretaker if the period away from the boat is going to be long-term.

Aside from checking on chafe, and airing and washing the boat on a periodic basis, we feel more comfortable if the caretaker has the experience and initiative to deal with any minor problems that may arise.

Some cruisers choose to fly out sailors from home to stay on their boats when they are away. In some ways, this makes the best sense. The boatsitter (this could be a local cruiser too) cannot only take care of the boat and reduce the potential for theft, but he/she can keep an eye on the anchorage and make sure no one anchors too close or fouls the ground tackle.

Dry storage is usually the most secure way to leave a boat. You don't have to worry about chafe on docklines or electrolysis. However, flooding, and boats tipping over from earthquakes or severe wind storms are a risk.

Before we leave this section on anchoring a word is in order on electric windlasses. This is one of the most important pieces of safety gear you can have aboard. With a powered windlass there will be less hesitation to pick up the anchor if the set isn't just right, and you'll be more likely to leave at the first hint of trouble. A powered windlass makes it easier to kedge yourself out of trouble and to go aloft.

Using electric windlasses:

□ Keep voltage high by running engine for 10 to 15 minutes before hoisting to charge batteries.

□ Use windlass in short bursts

(which allows the electric motor to stay cool).

□ In a breeze use the engine to relieve strain powering slowly ahead.

□ Have a chain lock to take any surging load off the windlass.

□ Keep windlass clutch lubricat-ed.The clutch is designed to slip if the windlass becomes overloaded, preventing damage to the gear box.

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How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

How To Have A Perfect Boating Experience

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.

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