Author: Story and photos by Jeff Merrill

Enabling your boat to talk

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?”

Ship’s papers

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.

Suck it up

When you have a mess to clean up, sometimes the best solution is to take matters into your own hands and suck it up.

The Noah’s Ark approach

“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.

Tasteless bilge water

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.

Safety minimums?

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.

Alarming considerations

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.

Common senses cruising

What is that? That’s a new and different smell/sound/vibration/leak … something doesn’t seem right. What happened?

Trawler hand tools

One frequent question I hear from my trawler clients is, “What hand tools should I have on board?”

Spare me the trouble

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on making sure you have the spares you need for your power voyaging boat.

A trip to the ER: Part 1

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.

Keeping current

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.

In charge

The battery bank on your trawler is the foundation for your ship’s electrical system and is equally important at rest or under way.

Sea safety

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.

Night running

Nighttime voyaging in the pilothouse of a trawler gives you a front-row seat to another world.

Dinghy dynamics

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.

Wanderer’s water

The freshwater system on your power voyager probably ranks in importance right behind your fuel and electrical systems.

Steering straight

The hydraulic steering installed on your power voyaging boat is one of the most reliable systems aboard.

Anticipating anchoring

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.