Miscellaneous Cruising Tips

We had half a dozen books on board Callipygia listing assorted ideas to solve common boat problems. We went to these when we had an issue to resolve and we needed some fresh ideas. Here are some of the ones we tried and used, either from our own or other cruisers' ingenuity, or from these books.

1. Boat Cosmetics 2. Stowage 3. Provisioning
Table of Contents for this Article
4. Cooking Fuel 5. Rigging Tips  


1. Boat Cosmetics

          Keeping a boat clean and looking good requires much work. We did better with this at some times than at others. It was always easier if we kept on top of it, rather than letting it go until it was a big job. Callipygia had a lot of deck teak and metalwork above, and lots of lovely woodwork below (see the Photo Album). Here are some handy shortcuts we used to try to minimize the amount of effort this took.

2. Stowage

          While Callipygia had a great deal of room for stowage, we finally ran out of space. Here's some of the ways we used to create quite a bit of additional and convenient space.

2. Provisioning

          When we first moved aboard and left our home port, we provisioned as if we were never going to find another grocery store or place to eat for months. Big mistake. After two years we still had cans left, and we'd thrown out a bunch of the dry stuff because, after a year, we got a weevil infestation. So we learned the hard way. We found that in the tropics, we often ate lunch out--especially in places where it was cheap. We found it was too hot to do a lot of cooking. We found we liked buying what the locals were eating. We missed a few things (maple syrup) that we couldn't get, but other than that we found we could get what we needed by going to the local grocery every 3-4 days, finding where/when the local market was, and taking a periodic bus trip to the nearest supermarket. Since we weren't doing passages of more than a few days, and were spending much of our time at anchor near a town or village, we therefore changed our approach. We no longer kept a lifetime supply of cans and dry goods on the boat. We always had enough so we could get by for a couple of weeks, but that's all.

          When we began planning our ocean crossing, however, we had to go back to the drawing board. We made a list of broad food groups, figured out how many servings of each of those one person would eat each day (or each week). Then we figured out how much a serving was. We multiplied the number of servings of each group by the number of crew we'd have, to get an amount we'd need for each week. We multiplied that by 6, to get us to the Azores comfortably. Then we looked at the list and thought about where on earth would be we put/keep all this stuff. We made a storage plan. We' planned to restock for fresh items in Bermuda. Based on what we learned about our eating patterns on that first leg, we would then do a little restocking.

          We expected that food would be a big deal during the Atlantic crossing--although we figured we wouldn't eat that much for the first couple of days (proved to be true). We found that on night watches everyone would hunt up a snack. Also, that in the late afternoon (weather permitting) a light social time with a small glass of wine or beer and a munchy was a very welcome addition to the daily routine.

          Here's the list of food groups, with the number of servings we estimated for one person for a day or week:

          Next we inventoried what we already have on board, and tossed items that were a year or more older. We cleaned out each area (including the refrigerator) with vinegar and water solution, then a mild clorox wash before we started provisioning, which we did in several trips. Cans first, then drinks, then dry goods, and fresh items the day before we leave. We discarded as much packing as we could, and pack dry items in (double) ziplock bags. We made an inventory of where everything was, with backup supplies in harder-to-reach places.


4. Cooking Fuel

          Here's a few ideas to save on cooking fuel:

5. Rigging Tip

          Somehow the stopper knot at the mast end of one of our jiffy reefing lines came undone-and the line disappeared into the boom one day as we hoisted the sail. With the help of Steve of FKG Rigging in Sint Maarten, we got it back. Here's how.



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Bill Dillon (KG4QFM)
Pat Watt (KG4QFQ)
This page was last modified on August 9, 2009

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