For several weeks now, the migration of cruising yachts headed north has been underway. Here at the Waggoner Cruising Guide Managing Editors Lorena and Leonard Landon left during the middle of last week with an intentional slow start through the San Juan Islands where they continue to test systems on the boat like their new Rocna anchor system. A new system can mean new procedures. Even with an anchor. In their case, they found the anchor “grabbed” the bottom much faster and they needed to adjust by feeding out more chain as they back down. Otherwise, the anchor grabbed and jerked the boat enough to throw the crew on the bow off-balance.

Preparing Your Boat: Getting Searaven Ready

On my boat, Searaven, a Tollycraft 30’ sedan, I am in the final stages of prepping to leave with our flotilla. How do I know I am in the final stages? My lists are getting shorter and there is little to no money left in my account. Last week, we brought the boat out of the yard at North Harbor Diesel in Anacortes with new bottom paint and zincs. I installed a new transducer for my Raymarine Downvision CHIRP sounder system. I really have a problem drilling a hole through a perfectly good hull.

Over the last couple of weeks, I needed to do the following:

  • Survey for a new insurance policy while the boat is on the hard. She passed with no issues.
  • USCG Auxiliary Courtesy Inspection (for my marina)

 Preparing Your Boat: What’s Left for Searaven

  • US Customs Decal – Whoops. I should have done this months ago. I have registered online and I have my number and a copy of my registration application printed out. I will need it in a month when we cross back into the US in Ketchikan, AK.
  • I need to apply for my Canadian fishing license this week.
  • This past week I had to renew my subscription plans for my now Garmin InReach system and the Globalstar sat phone. The list goes on…
  • I am in the process of replacing my spare filters, oil, etc. which were used during the spring maintenance.
  • All fuel spares need to be replaced. Outboard gas goes bad very quickly.
  • The new AB dinghy system still needs a few adjustments.
  • A new Raymarine es78 chart plotter and Quantum color radar were installed this spring and tested. The new Class B AIS system is transmitting and you can search Marine Traffic and see where we are. The other day, friends asked what I was doing turning in circles in Fidalgo Bay. I was testing systems on a sea trial. There is no privacy on the water anymore. (I can turn it off.)
  • While it may be overkill, in order to test different navigation and information systems, I have installed a touch screen, all in one PC with the Coastal Explorer navigation software. I will be reporting on the contrast between a PC-based system, Navionics on the iPad, and Raymarine and Lowrance chart plotter systems. Watch for the story on this in an upcoming Waggoner eNews.
  • Provisions and clothes are still coming on board and getting packed away. I must be getting near the end of packing. Space is getting limited on the boat. I am also taking unused gear off the boat.
  • We will also be reporting on the use of the now popular Instant Pot for cooking quick meals on the boat while underway when we have plenty of AC power through the high capacity Balmar alternator and my inverter system.
  • Oh, I just remembered, I still need to test the anchor system to make sure it works since last season.

In truth, I could leave tomorrow, but I still have a few more items on the checklist, a few more boxes of food and I will be ready to go.

I suspect you still have a few things that need to be completed on your boat before you leave also. The lists keep me up at night and it will feel really good to get underway. I will sleep better at night too.