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DeFever 47 - Communications are Key in Trawler Training

Living the Dream - Onboard Your Own Boat!

Seminars - Trawler Training - Rendezvous - Boat Shows

Sea Ray 440 Sedan Bridge Owners Build Their Confidence with Captains Chris and Alyse

Safety Seminar at the Vero Beach Power Squadron

A Looper Learns About the Florida Coast

Transition from a Cheoy Lee 47 Ketch to a 41 Tiara Express Cruiser

Efficiencies in Boating Education

Mainship 43 Training Before Starting the Great Loop

Captain Chris Yacht Services
Mainship 43 Training Before Starting the Great Loop
Sitting so stately at the dock on the west coast of Florida.
Additional Images
This sweet Mainship 43 is ready to start the Great Loop and now thanks to Captain Chris her crew is ready too!

A few months before beginning the trip of a lifetime, this couple found their perfect boat. Having spent most of their boating life aboard sailboats, catamarans at that, they recognized how different cruising under power is from sailing. As members of America's Great Loop Cruisers' Association they had researched a great deal about the journey ahead of them. But just reading wasn't enough to allay all concerns so we were invited to come aboard to help with that and more.

Learning together as a couple really does build confidence all the while keeping it fun with hands-on practice. So we build on their foundation of boating experience starting with a review of the boat systems below and above deck.

To change things up and keep it interesting we moved on to navigation and a little trip planning. Working with charts and GPS/chart plotters is a good refresher for them and we are able to share a few tricks to make navigation easier.

It is essential that all crew know how to use all safety equipment and where it is kept- life jackets, flares, first aid kit and more. A fun safety technique to practice includes the VHF radio especially when the SeaTow marine traffic channel (26 or 27) is available. Calling for a radio check on channel 16 creates unnecessary radio traffic or chatter on an important channel that should only be used for hailing and distress. Switching to another channel keeps 16 open. Switching to the SeaTow channel allows you to hear a recording of what you sound like to others, if your signal is strong and how clearly you enunciate. Pretty cool!

Before we head out for the open water we must first be sure everyone knows their knots, then check lines for wear and prepare enough fenders for the just-in-case dockings in our not so distant future. It's amazing how a simple knot can become a problem if it is not executed properly. A previously choked line over both bow pilings creates a bit more make ready work for the deckhand. So learning to tie a bowline is very important (click here to learn about Cruising 101 classes that include all these skills and more).

A few days aboard allow us time to practice, learn a bit more and evaluate how the team is progressing. It's an eye opener when you realize how far you've come by building today on the mastered skills of the previous day. When you are in the learning phase don't forget to assess your progress. That can be a real morale boost!

Our last day together ended with a check list of sorts. Our training time together was a bit of a shake down cruise for these future loopers and their Mainship 43. Before this couple leaves their home port for a few months or a few years, they are having some maintenance items addressed. Then they will take a short trip to be certain all is ship shape when they set their course for the Great Loop....and all the other meandering side trips that most loopers find too tempting to resist.

If you are considering becoming a looper, a cruiser who takes their boat throughout the waterways of America's Great Loop, but aren't sure where to begin...just Ask Captain Chris! or 772-205-1859  

 

This terrific couple is more prepared for starting the Great Loop because they invited Captain Chris aboard for training. Amazing what you can learn in just a few days to build your cruising confidence.
When both skipper and mate are familiar with below deck systems the teamwork takes on new meaning. Captain Chris explains how it all works together.
Important to understand what your navigation aids can look like. This shows an intersecting channel, one is the ICW with the yellow reflective sticker. We can help make sense of your charts and how to use them with ease.
Red is on your right when the numbers are rising. This red is a navigation aid for the Intracoastal Waterway or ICW as we call it. The number is faded and from a distance this bird may have seemed like a light so use your binoculars to be certain.
Green is always square and an odd number. S-O-N-G Square, Odd Number, Green. and notice that the boards are made of plywood so they may not always show up on your RADAR. This one will as it has some metal fixtures for the light.
Now it's time for a turn at the helm.
When picking up the anchor it's important that the deckhand and helmsman can easily communicate even if it's just using arm signals. We teach you how!
The role of deckhand is essential. Even more important is for the skipper and crew to be able to share information. These headsets (or marriage savers) are perfect for the task at hand.
A happy skipper on the flybridge of this magnificent Mainship. Ready to do the loop!
Another use for your temperature gun. Roughin' it while we grill using the summer kitchen on the flybridge deck. Long days filled with learning deserve scrumptious dinners as we enjoy the cooler evenings aboard.
Wonderful walk around side decks make this comfortable for locking through and line handling too. Let's start the Great Loop aboard this Mainship 43!
 

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