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For centuries, mariners have depended on a compass to provide direction.
A concerned seller who could not attend the survey and sea trial of his trawler called me, his voice laden with concern: “Jeff, I keep getting text messages that the bilge pump is going off. Are you guys sinking?”
Most of the more experienced power voyagers I work with have a system and a plan to look after just about every aspect involved in the management of their boats.
When you have a mess to clean up, sometimes the best solution is to take matters into your own hands and suck it up.
Watch-standing is a shared responsibility with all who take the helm.
“One if by land, two if by sea.” We have all heard that phrase before. It’s a rallying call more than 150 years old, and I believe it also applies to distance cruisers heading offshore.
How much do you know about your trawler’s manual bilge pump?
You could argue that there are many “most important” systems on your trawler: diesel fuel delivery systems, firefighting systems, head and holding tank systems, electrical systems, etc.
Elvis Costello’s song “Accidents Will Happen” is a catchy tune and, as it relates to boats, I like to focus on the “will” part.
Every morning, I awaken to Hawaiian music that provides me with a smooth transition from deep sleep to facing the day. This sure is more pleasant than the shrill alarm that used to scare me awake and have my heart pumping.
What is that? That’s a new and different smell/sound/vibration/leak … something doesn’t seem right. What happened?
This is the second of a two-part series on making sure you have the spares you need for your power voyaging boat.
One frequent question I hear from my trawler clients is, “What hand tools should I have on board?”
This is Part 1 of a two-part series on making sure you have the spares you need for your power voyaging boat.
Like all good chores, your ER checks should follow a routine and be consistent.
In part one of a two-part piece, Jeff Merrill examines the importance of making regular engine room checks and how to set a system to catch the most important information.
Previously we touched on some of the details involving staying in charge of your trawler’s 12V DC battery bank system. The next step is to develop a working understanding of how your ship’s 120V system is designed and installed to help ensure you keep current with your AC power demands.
The battery bank on your trawler is the foundation for your ship’s electrical system and is equally important at rest or under way.
There are many things that can go wrong when you are far from shore, so it’s best to think ahead and anticipate not only what can happen, but how you will handle various situations.
Nighttime voyaging in the pilothouse of a trawler gives you a front-row seat to another world.
When you arrive in a new harbor or cove and anchor or pick up a mooring, you have established a temporary waterfront residence. I like to think of your trawler as your home afloat, which means your tender is your car.
The freshwater system on your power voyager probably ranks in importance right behind your fuel and electrical systems.
The hydraulic steering installed on your power voyaging boat is one of the most reliable systems aboard.
The freedom to explore remote cruising grounds and to anchor out overnight or for days at a time is one of the great attractions of the trawler lifestyle.