Sailing South? Avoid Being a Sloop John B.

Tips for a Safe Voyage from Cruising Compass and Others

“The first mate he got drunk
And broke in the Cap’n’s trunk
The constable had to come and take him away…
…I want to go home”
— “Pet Sounds,” The Beach Boys

Sailboat in CaribbeanSailing south for the winter? Whether this trip is your first winter migration or you’re an old salty dawg at making the southern passage, below are some good tips from the experts at making the voyage safe and fun — and avoid any Sloop John B. moments and that feeling of “I want to go home.”

1)   Is your vessel big enough?

Pearson 30 - Sailboatlistings.comIs your sailboat or powerboat big enough for a winter crossing to the southern area of your choice? Capt. Jack Morton of the Maryland School of Sailing writes for BWsailing.com’s blog, Cruising Compass, that at minimum a 30-foot vessel is ideal for most. Of course, there are always exceptions, but he writes most people will feel safe and comfortable on at least a 30-foot boat if not larger. If your vessel is a sailboat, make sure it has sails for a variety of wind conditions, either for while underway or for while heaving to.

A good point raised in forums, too: Make sure your boat has a heater. If staying within a temperate/mild climate but an area that still has a ‘winter’ season, you’ll need a heater to keep the boat warm and comfortable — especially while it’s surrounded by colder, if not cold, water.

2)   Filters and fuel are of the utmost importance.

“The engine is critical and should have adequate spare parts to enable you to be self-sufficient for the most common problems like impellers or belts.”  — Capt. Jack Morton, for BWsailing.com’s blog, Cruising Compass

Globe Marine's Run-dry Impeller 270We couldn’t have written this sentiment better ourselves. Make sure you engine is flushed and clean. That means removing any gunk or buildup that may have collected over the warmer months and that can gum up your engine potentially. Replace the fuel filter. Do a full systems check and tune-up. You won’t want to waste time waiting for a tow or worse a rescue.

Globe Marine Run-Dry Impellers, variousBring some essential spare parts. Here’re some basic spare items to be sure to bring. They may seem like common sense, but it’s best to have a checklist:

  • an anchor
  • Spare fuel filter
  • A spare impeller or two for each pump on board

For a complete list, see “Essential Spare Parts to Keep On Your Boat,” by Mike Smith for Power & MotorYacht.

3)   How much crew and which crew members do I need?

Dana 24, Interior - Dana BrochureHow many crew members you can take depends on how many will fit in your rig. Be aware that sea-faring vessels get knocked about much more than coastal cruisers. So, make sure all of your crew berths will keep them snug in their perches, not ending up on the cabin floor.

As to whom you should bring? Bring the best team you have that works and gels together the best. With space at a premium, on a longer journey for some, privacy and personal space will be out the porthole. So whomever you choose for your team, they’ll have to be able to work as a team at all times.

4)   When’s the best time to go?

Fall is the obvious choice, but who wants to makeway during hurricane season? This razor’s edge leaves everyone planning this trip with the difficult question of when to leave. September whether in many places is ideal probably, except for the hurricanes. But, waiting ’til hurricane season is over completely runs the risk of running into freezing winter conditions in many places.

5)   Plan for weather, adequate time, and then some.

Yacht in Rough Seas - YachtPals.comAll of the blogs and forums we’ve read here at Globe Marine stress the importance that you’re going to run in to weather and probably nasty weather — be it hurricanes or nor’easters. So, plan a couple extra days into your travel timeline, just in case. Even leaving from a more southern port, like Florida, to head even further South, you’re going to run into some crazy weather possibly out there on the open ocean. It’s unavoidable, especially in winter, so be prepared for it.

This last point really hammers home point #2. You don’t want to get stuck out on the open ocean without an extra part, like an impeller. To find the right Globe Marine impeller for your boat, just click the red button below and use our handy cross reference to find the perfect fit.

Find a Globe Marine Dealer Find the Right Impeller Find the Right DRIVESAVER

References:

Winter Is Coming …

Getting Your Boat Ready for the Off-Season

Boat And Engine Covered In SnowDepending on where you live, it may be time to think about winterizing your boat for the off-season. Those of us on the east coast of the United States know how gentle…ahem… winter can be on your boat. Here are five basic tips for getting your boat ready for the off-season because “winter is coming …”

1)   Wash and dry your boat before storing.

Winter Boat StorageHopefully, you wash and dry your boat regularly, especially if you cruise or sail in saltwater. Definitely give it a good thorough wash at the end of the boating season. We’ve all seen what road salt can do to a car; saltwater can do the same to your boat. A soap formulated for marine boat wash is best, but car wash soap can be used just as well. And, completely dry your engine if it’s outboard.

2)   Change the oil, check the coolant, and flush and drain the motor.

Mercury Marine Engine FlushChanging the oil and checking the coolant lines almost goes without saying — just like with a car — but flush and drain the motor as well. Be especially sure to flush outboard engines whether they’ve been run in saltwater or fresh. Lastly, drain any fuel still in the engine before storing for the end of the season. Leaving the fuel in the engine to stagnate can potentially damage the engine. Also, be sure to dispose of any old fuel, coolant, or oil according to your local waste or recycling regulations.

3)   When the boat is stored for off-season, remove the engine impeller.

No Worn Impellers

No Worn Impellers – an impeller that’s “taken a set”

This step may sound like overkill, but almost all impeller manufacturers recommend replacing the impeller at the beginning of each season. Leaving the impeller in the engine during the off-season, especially in colder climates, can cause the impeller to take a “set” and decrease water or diesel flow when next used. That’s not to say the impeller will no longer work; you simply won’t get the most out of it.

To get optimal use out your boat’s engine, replace the impeller at the beginning of each season. Globe Marine makes 82 different models of Run-Dry® Impellers, the most popular of which come with matching gaskets and O-rings for easy installation. To find the impeller that’s right for you, simply use our handy impeller search tool. Globe Marine Run-Dry® Impellers can be purchased at a dealer near you.

4)   Store your boat in a covered dry space or in dry-dock.

Snowing On SailboatsWhether you have a small boat or a yacht, store your boat in a covered dry space. Depending on the size of your boat, that dry space can be as simple as covering it with a tarp or as elaborate as a real dry dock. Regardless of the size of your boat, here are a few tips to winterize any boat:

  • Open any drains and openings to prevent damage from freezing.
  • Boat trailers that hold the boat should have some support for the boat hull as to not damage the trailer’s tires.
  • Remove any accessories, electronics, cushions, etc.
  • Put moisture absorbent packets in the cabin and lockers.
  • For boats on blocks, check stands and blocks now and then to make sure they’re secure.

5)   Before next season, install a DRIVESAVER®

Globe Marine DRIVESAVERsIf you have an inboard motor, before launching your boat next season, consider installing a Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®. Sometimes called a flexible marine coupling, Globe’s DRIVESAVERs® can create a barrier between your transmission and your propeller shaft to reduce drivetrain vibration, absorbing extreme shock and torque to help optimize your transmission and engine power. If you strike an unseen rock or log, Globe Marine DRIVESAVERs® are designed to break apart, leaving your engine and transmission intact.

Find a Globe Marine Dealer Find the Right Impeller Find the Right DRIVESAVER

References:

Globe Marine’s Seasonal Tips for Boat Engine Care

For those of us in a four-season climate, Fall is upon us. It’s time to start thinking about off-season boat engine care. Here are 5 basic tips for keeping your boat engine, whether outboard or inboard, in tip-top shape for many seasons to come.

1)   Wash and dry your boat regularly.Boat Cleaning

Not just at the end of the season, but throughout, wash your boat regularly — especially if you boat in saltwater. We’ve all seen what road salt can do to a car; saltwater can do the same to your boat. A soap formulated for marine boat wash is best, but car wash soap can be used just as well. And, dry off your engine if it’s outboard.

2)   Change the oil, check the coolant, and flush and drain the motor.

Changing the oil and checking the coolant lines almost goes without saying — just like with a car — but flush and drain the motor as well. Be especially sure to flush outboard engines whether they’ve been run in saltwater or fresh. Drain any fuel still in the engine before storing it for the end of the season. Leaving the fuel in the engine to stagnate can damage the engine. Lastly, be sure to dispose of any old fuel, coolant, or oil according to your local waste or recycling regulations.

3)   When the boat is stored for off-season, remove the engine impeller.

Globe Marine Run-Dry Impellers, various

This step may sound like over-kill, but almost all impeller manufacturers recommend replacing the impeller at the beginning of each season. Leaving the impeller in the engine during the off-season, especially in colder climates, can cause the impeller to take a “set” and decrease water or diesel flow when next used. That’s not to say the impeller will no longer work; you simply won’t get the most out of it.

To get optimal use out your boat’s engine, replace the impeller at the beginning of each season. Globe Marine makes over 100 different models of Run-Dry® Impellers. The most popular of these impellers come with matching gaskets and O-rings for ease of use and installation.Globe Marine Run-dry Impeller 270

To find the impeller that’s right for you, simply use our handy impeller search tool or check our list of impellers including gaskets and O-rings to see if your model is listed. Globe Marine Run-Dry® Impellers can be purchased at a dealer near you.

4)   Store your boat in a covered dry space or in dry-dock.

Winter Boat StorageWhether you have a small boat or a yacht, store your boat in a covered dry space. Depending on the size of your boat, that dry space can be as simple as covering it with a tarp or as elaborate as a real dry dock. Regardless of the size of your boat, here are a few tips to winterize any boat:

  • Open any drains and openings to prevent damage from freezing.
  • Boat trailers that hold the boat should have some support for the boat hull as to not damage the trailer’s tires.
  • Remove any accessories, electronics, cushions, etc.
  • Put moisture absorbers in the cabin and lockers.
  • For boats on blocks, check stands and blocks now and then to make sure they’re secure.

5)   Before next season, make sure to install a DRIVESAVER®

Globe Marine DRIVESAVERsIf you have an inboard motor, before launching your boat next season, consider installing a Globe Marine DRIVESAVER®. Sometimes called a flexible marine coupling, Globe’s DRIVESAVERs® can create a barrier between your transmission and your propeller shaft to reduce drivetrain vibrations and absorb extreme shock and torque optimizing your transmission and engine power. Even better, Globe Marine DRIVESAVERs® are designed to break apart if you strike an unseen rock or log, leaving your transmission and engine intact.

 

References: