Tips to make cruising easier and to prevent potential problems:

To learn more about the free OpenCPN chart plotter software you can download and view my PowerPoint presentation   GETTING STARTED WITH OpenCPN     with this link or see our video coming up.

Alcohol stoves = The flame is hard to see and the heat output is low. Some people experience seasickness when breathing alcohol stove fumes.

Batteries, house = Flooded, Lead acid batteries are relatively inexpensive but can be safely discharged to only about half of their capacity, 11.6 Volts,   Gel batteries are sealed and need special charging, AGM batteries are also sealed and have high discharge cycles, Lithium-Ion batteries can discharge the deepest and are becoming popular but require very specialized charging and are expensive. Consult a battery expert about your specific needs.

Bedding compound = Poly-sulfide remains flexible and is UV resistantPolyurethane is a strong sealant but susceptible to chemicals and is UV sensitive.  Silicone will not accept paint.

Chart names and numbers = Traditional (being phased out) paper charts were listed by a number. A small number of digits like 411 covered a large area like the Gulf of Mexico and more digits like 11390 covered Panama City, Florida. These charts are being discontinued and replaced with NOAA Custom Charts  that you can build and download in PDF format or purchase from a chart agent. Electronic Charts (ENCs) can be located at  . A search for Panama City, FL provides  “US5FL67M“. In OpenCPN’s Chart Downloader, charts are listed by name only. Panama City is covered by “Intracoastal Waterway East Bay to West Bay”  but you would have to know that in advance. You can narrow your search somewhat by downloading a Chart Catalog for a specific state.



Clothing = Below 25 winter jacket & layers, 25-44 jacket or winter coat, 45-50 light to medium coat, 50-60 long sleeve and jacket, 60 – 65 long sleeve and sweater, 65-79 short sleeve, 80 and up shorts. It normally feels cooler on the water and don’t forget wing chill. In cold weather if you feel warm you have too many layers on.

CO = Carbon monoxide, a byproduct of incomplete combustion, is deadly and you should have at least one CO detector installed on your boat.

Eggs / No eggs = If you are out of eggs try making pancakes by replacing the eggs with unsweetened applesauce.


Medical advice = Look at becoming a member of and download a copy of . My old hard-copy is 460 pages long.

Navigation training = Take courses with Americas Boating Club (formally the Power Squadron)   or download and study  , over  1,300 pages .

Propane stoves and heating = LPG or propane is an efficient source of hear but it is heavier than air and leaks accumulate in the bilge and can be explosive. Make sure your system is  installed in accordance with ABYC Standard A-1 and is inspected and maintained on a regular basis.

Prop check = Use your GoPro camera on your boat hook to check your propeller, keel and rudder.


Sailboat Sizes and Uses = 

Downloadable PDF from our YouTube Channel Boat Sizes and Uses Web

Time from WWV =

Varnish = Traditional varnishes tend to fill and level with repeated coats. Polyurethane varnishes leave a hard surface but tent to wick out of voids onto sanded surfaces making the voids even deeper.