Skippering is about more than navigation. Taking care of your crew, your boat and yourself comes first when it comes to life at sea.
Skipping as a lifestyle
Navigating and handling a ship is all well and good, but if you overlook the practical aspects of food, heating, crew safety and health, you run the risk of causing great damage to morale and putting yourself in danger.
Everyone on board has a role to play. The crew member, the assistant skipper, the “treasurer” (responsible for the monetary side of the journey and supplies) and, in fact, the skipper - everyone should be in their place. And to fulfill the tasks assigned to him, in order to eventually become one with the yacht.
It all comes down to recognizing the fact that thoughtful use of resources, space and careful planning can help improve crew morale and safety. And the main controller and planner, as well as mom, dad and teacher on board is the skipper.
Food for thought
When it comes to food on board, everyone has their own preferences, so we will not give any recipes. However, you should think about it beforehand.
A menu check can be arranged at a crew gathering or at a family dinner (if you are sailing with your family). For long trips, don't forget about special occasions. Candles and small gifts can be stored on board to celebrate birthdays.
There can be many such things. And physically the skipper will not be able to remember and control everything. Therefore, it would be nice to delegate authority. That is, give the crew their roles. This will help you save the necessary mental strength for other important things.
Keep in mind that a very good solution would be to study your crew. Find the strengths and weaknesses of everyone and use them so that the team works to the maximum of its capabilities. Dividing responsibilities between crew members so that the strengths of one outweigh the weaknesses of the other (and vice versa) is good practice.
Create a strict daily routine
With a crew of six or more, three watches can be made to ensure constant control of the situation. Then every third day is devoted to cooking, cleaning and providing additional manpower for the deck watch if needed.
Water is the head
Ask any tourist and he will tell you that only clean drinking water should run out last. The obvious answer for a long-distance traveler is an impressive supply of fresh drinking water. Equally important is its economical use.
Water is the basis of life, and without it we simply cannot survive (especially during a long journey). Therefore, potable water tanks, their integrity, and the quality of the water used should be carefully checked. Just so as not to replace each other in the latrine.
Carry a five-day supply of water in bottles that can be easily tossed into a life raft. They need handles and enough air to float. Canisters or bottles filled to the top should not be used for an emergency supply of liquid.
Do not forget about cleaning the water supply system. Make sure you clean all pipes, pumps and faucets before using again. Of course, it is unlikely that your sewer system will be in a catastrophic state, but it is better to prevent a problem than to solve it on the high seas.
The galley is the heart of the boat
A joke is a joke, but there is some truth in this. Make sure all furniture in the galley is well sealed with silicone so there are no breeding grounds for insects and mold. Throw away your favorite wooden-handled knife or questionable cutting board and use plastic cutting boards that vary in color.
Have a few napkins and tea towels and launder them with a weekly boil. Maintain your refrigerator and consider a freezer. Use the fridge for short cruises and freezers for ocean crossings, for example.
The energy consumption of both refrigerators can be reduced by minimizing the number of times they need to be opened. Make sure they are properly ventilated so that the fans can work efficiently.
A grid system is a good idea for fruit - you'd be surprised how long fresh food can last if stored properly. Store bananas separately as they speed up the ripening of other fruits. Vegetables like kale, sweet potatoes, and harder fruits like oranges can last surprisingly long, while softer foods tend to rot and become moldy.
Health and Safety
Have a clear alcohol policy. At sea, it is so important to remain vigilant and avoid stupid mistakes. Alcohol can relax you where you shouldn't relax. In order not to aggravate motion sickness, abstain from alcohol the night before sailing.
While scurvy is unlikely these days, on long journeys where you don't restock regularly, relying on canned and dried foods isn't always smart. Taking a daily vitamin tablet is a great way to keep your vitamins and minerals up to date.
Make sure that the diet for the first couple of days is tasteless and easy to prepare. At least the first lunch and dinner should be prepared in advance. For example, sandwiches or stew.
Give out seasickness tablets and, if possible, anchor the night before sailing to acclimatize the crew to the subtle movement, the smells of the ship, and your bunk.
Usually the smells of diesel fuel, coffee and smoking provoke the disease, so clean the hold to a shine. At first, limit yourself to tea, and limit smoking to the transom, if at all possible.
Learn more about seasickness IN THIS ARTICLE.
Minimize unpleasant accidents
The built-in piezo lighter is a fantastic addition to your kitchen equipment as it ignites gas at the touch of a button. If you do not have such a lighter, then you can use quartz lighters. Matches, alas, suffer from dampness.
In bad weather or rocking conditions, insist that the cook wear culottes over boots. During one of the round-the-world races, a crew member suffered horrific injuries when he accidentally filled his sea boots with boiling water.
It is important to have an emergency bar at the front of the slab to prevent falling onto it. Make sure you have a powder or carbon dioxide extinguisher nearby, as well as a fire blanket, although it should not be placed directly over the stove, otherwise it will be impossible to reach in any fire.
Stock up on an antibacterial cleaner and do a weekly deep cleaning of your galley. There is nothing worse than catching a stomach infection on a ship.
Hand washing is required both in the latrine and in the galley, and safety briefings should include a reminder of hand hygiene before and after using the latrine, and before and after preparing or eating food.
Antibacterial wet wipes are great for basic body wash when you can't shower. For longer treks, you will need to be able to wash your clothes.
Keep insects and bugs out of the yacht during warmer months by leaving shoes in a tender or toys, as cockroach eggs may be in them.
Carton packaging should be removed as it can become moldy while in storage. Fresh fruits should be washed using diluted vinegar or potassium tablets. Install mesh screens on all hatches and try to anchor out of insect reach.
Don't Forget About Trash
Minimize waste by discarding excess packaging so that it does not end up in the holds as garbage. Mark cans clearly with a permanent marker.
Use strong trash bags and have a separate trash locker. Take all rubbish ashore for recycling, throwing items overboard is prohibited in many areas. A can crusher will help save space.
Don't forget to rate the content! You can find other interesting articles on the links below or in the "News" section!
News and articles
Garcia Exploration 60 - the new creation of Garcia Yachts moves to the next stage of work. The first test sample is "polished" and prepared for the first sailing out to sea.Read more…
Servane Escoffier has long dreamed of traveling around the world!Read more…