Captain Chris Yacht Services Captain Chris Yacht Services
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Five Days Aboard Training Trawler Sandy Hook

Captain Chris Yacht Services
Five Days Aboard Training Trawler Sandy Hook
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So you've been planning your cruise for months and on departure day the winds are howling 25 steady and gusting in the high 30s. What do you do? Come aboard with Captain Chris and we'll fill your head with possibilities.

(NOTE: We no longer charter our boat but are pleased to come aboard YOUR boat anywhere for personal training with you and your mate)

Although we had plenty of sunshine, the first day with this Upstate New York couple was WINDY!! When your experience is only with small lake boats you might consider doing some of that maintenance you've been putting off for a rainy day.  Fortunately for this eager couple, we had plenty of shore side and below decks training to do while we let the howling winds settle to a dull roar.

Line handling practice on the dock prepared us for when we left the pier the next day and it also helped this couple adjust to the increased weight of lines for a boat this size. A boat yard tour rounded out our first day of weather-accommodated training. This helped them appreciate full displacement vs. planing hulls, skegs, keels, barn door rudders and active fin stabilizers, all important designs and options to consider when purchasing your perfect cruising boat.

Day two was considerably calmer and much less gusty but still a breezy 18 knots so we carefully selected our route to provide appropriately protected anchorages along the way. Out into the waterways of the ICW we go...regardless of the 4-6 foot seas still roiling in the nearby ocean. The wind continued to be a factor in our maneuvering, crabbing as we worked to stay in the channel on our southerly trek. Other boaters weren't so skilled and wished they had watched both the nav aids in front AND astern, a talent Debbie & Dennis developed quite proficiently with all the clocking winds encountered during our time aboard. Almost like having eyes in the back of your head!  

Lots of skills learned and practiced during this fun five day cruise including docking at fixed and floating docks, anchoring, navigating and trip planning. We discussed making smart decisions based on weather reports vs. actual observed weather and how much to rely on forecasts. Scroll down and click on the photos to enlarge them and to see some of what we experienced in the wonderful waterways of the Treasure Coast. 

Is it your turn to start Living the Dream?

Down in the engine room- Let us show you our shocked faces! So much room to do basic maintenance...
It's all about safety. Personal floatation devices of all sorts, in shore, off shore and deck suits on display. Let's have what we need and hope we never REALLY need any of it.
Heavy as these lines are, the winds make it interesting to toss very far....unless you coil it correctly in the first place. There are tricks to everything!
Follow through is important and it will go right where you want it. Alyse stands by and works in tandem to help with timing.
Practicing a cleat knot. Do it until you don't even think about it. Like learning to tie your shoes!
Welcome aboard NEXT TO ME, a Jefferson Sundeck Trawler and neighbors on our dock....When they heard we weren't leaving right away they invited us aboard for cocktails. Cruisers are always so friendly.
Everyone on the back deck of NEXT TO ME....Hurry with the picture Captain Chris or we'll eat all the crawfish before you sit back down.
It's time to take off lines and go! Check out the wind...
....Last line. Remember, boat poles don't float.
Whoo-hoo! We are underway!
Navigating our way south starts to make so much more sense.
Uh-Oh! What's that ahead? Binoculars are essential equipment, one for each person in the cruising team.
Captain Chris confirms what we report: there's a sailboat aground up ahead. Look between Chris and Dennis and you'll see an unfortunate event. Bet he wished he'd purchased TowBoat US.
Not sure how he got outside of the channel but as he waits for high tide he shouldn't drag any further. Notice the two anchor lines coming from the bow.
Use your burgee on the bow to see how strong the wind is and where it effects the boat. In this case we had to keep crabbing to port to stay in the channel. Wild wind!
Time to anchor...always head into the wind before lowering the hook.
Much calmer in the morning when it's time to pick up the anchor.
After docking practice (and a fuel stop) we prepare for a front line heading our way. Get out the rain gear for a little Florida liquid sunshine!
We are made of sugar and might melt but fortunately the rain was momentary. This quick but powerful front gave us an opportunity to appreciate RADAR and slow trawler speeds.
We shared the waterway with many beautiful yachts....this one also trying to avoid the darkened skies.
Nothing better than a great waterside restaurant...too bad we just had lunch. Maybe next time!
Time to find our anchorage for the evening.
Another success deployment of our Ultra anchor. Peace of mind is a wonderful thing when you are swinging on the hook.

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