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Trailer Sailing — Trip Preparation Tips and Tricks Part III of III

By Gary W. Dickinson


hus far I have shared tips so your boat arrives without mishap and you have learned how to rig her in record time. The suggestions I have shared so far can make your boating more enjoyable and less stressful, but the element that will have the greatest impact on your cruising is the preparation and research you do before your trip begins. I have to admit that in my excitement to begin an adventure, I have launched my boat and let go of the mooring lines before I even knew what course I should steer. I do not recommend sailing by the seat of your pants as it were. It is so much nicer to know what your first destination will be—what course you should be heading, what time you will arrive and what you expect to see when you arrive. I will make suggestions of things you can Trailer sailing allows you to go to places that most cruisers go to, like this do before your next adventure that will guaran- anchorage at the Exuma Cays Land and Sea Park in the Bahamas. tee a more enjoyable, less stressful voyage and the “People Passage Notes” interesting as well. It is nice to help prepare you for whatever “Murphy” throws your way. know what your cruising area will look like. So do not forThe list you make will depend on where you will be get Google, a renowned source of information, maps and sailing, what services will be available, how long you will more. Go to, then click on the be gone, how many people will be going with you and any appropriate link for satellite view to get a bird’s eye view of special needs they might have. your cruising destination. Before I start, remember essential things you need such You have talked to fellow sailors and have completed as safety equipment. I could review what all that includes, your research, and now the real fun of preparing for your but all of you who have spent any time boating or have trip can begin. taken a Coast Guard course realize what is considered safeOne of the easiest things for me to do is figure out the ty equipment. P.S.: Do not forget a basic first aid kit. food for the voyage. I actually use something like a planner We trailer sailors have a big advantage over our fellow to list the food for each meal. From that list it is easy to make sailors whose boats can’t be easily moved. Because of that, it sure I will have the ingredients for each day and, of course, opens up more cruising destinations than ever before. Places plenty of snacks and refreshments, too. One of the special others can only dream of visiting someday can be on your things about cruising is sharing food and drink with fellow bucket list. I have been able to cruise Magic in Canada, Mexico adventurers. You may want to bring a special bottle of your and the Caribbean, not to mention all of the places in between, favorite beverage to share with others when the sun goes because I can easily trailer my home away from home. down. This whole adventure is about having fun. Take a For me, one of the things I most enjoy is talking to felgood book to read, bring your favorite music to listen to and low sailors about places they have cruised. You do not have socialize with others. to plan a destination thousands of miles away, even though The majority of our vacations last only a week or two, you could, because there are many adventures right here in which is never long enough. Here are a couple of items I use our own backyard. that will make a big difference in your being able to keep A good resource and starting point for places you want your stores fresh and cold during your cruise. Techni-ice, to visit is to use cruising guides. There are numerous guides made in Australia, helps keep food cold longer than ice (and available, and you can do a search on the Internet for inforhas other uses), as the following video will show. Go to mation about the area of your choice. It will amaze you to YouTube and search for “How to use Techni-Ice.” I have a discover sailing blogs from people just like you who have small freezer on Magic, so each night I replace a Techni-ice paved the way for your next adventure. Go to cruisingsheet from my cooler with one from the freezer. I can’t tell, which is a good resource. Scroll down until you you how nice it is to hear the clink of ice in my drinks when find the link for blogs, and once at that site you can select it is hot outside. tabs on different subjects. In addition to the blogs, I found


May 2014