A few helpful safety tips to aspiring mariners. (1 Viewer)


Feb 22, 2011
VA for now
Hey e'reybody! Been a while since I popped in so I figure I would pass a few simple things boat life has taught me. Feel free to add to this list!!!

First and foremost, attitude is the difference between an ordeal or an adventure. Don't sail with whinny demanding people unless you have god like patience.

The cheaper your hardware, the more spares you should carry. Shit breaks constantly, so be ready for it.

View discarded garden hose as a treasure. It is indispensable as cheap/ free anti chaffing gear.

Chances are your engine is shit. Don't ever depend on it or it will try and kill you. Use your sails, and scull if you have to. Your sails will get you out of most things, or throw as many anchors as you can until you can verify the engine will actually start this time.

You will ground at some point. Don't panic. Just prevent from grounding further and come up with a plan of attack.

If the lifestyle sticks you will find it is almost like a powerful addiction. Embrace it, you will be healthier for it. Instead of tossing all of your spare freedom tokens into beer or other escapist indulges, you will start to worship your vessel as a deity showered with sacrificial gifts of rigging line, block, tackle, and paint.

Fuck alcohol stoves. For real just give it to someone with no stove and go butane. It will make your life cheaper and happier. Look for the cartridges at food supply stores like Cash and Carry, or asian supply stores ect.

Get out there and sail. insurance is cheaper then sailing school ;)
Your first boat will either be your first, or last, but rarely your only.

Buy cheap at first to see if you can cut the mustard then step up to a vessel more suited to your goals.

A trolling motor is great to get you in and out of a slip in no wind conditions. Anything more, drop your balls son and sail in or you will have an incident.

Boats hate going backwards.

Tires are great fenders. NEVER put your body between a moving boat and a fixed slip, dock, break wall, stopped boat ect. Drop a tire with a line tied to it between the two impacting surfaces.

Acknowledge you will most likely never fully understand the secrets of the stars, tides, wind, and general forces that propel you. Strive for sufficiency.

Pay as much as you can afford for rigging and hardware, its money well spent. Bronze and brass options are preferable to steel. Fuck stainless because it is near impossible to find pedigree 316. Get a proper marine bronze or galvanized steel with spares. I only trusted galv. stuff sourced from the Crosby group. Just my $0.02.

If in doubt add extra stays if you can't afford a re-rig.

Once your sailing addiction truly takes hold you will trade all of your other positions for a better suited boat for your goals. Turns out cheap land won at action is worth about a $15000 blue water vessel if any of you are stout trades men and barters. ( Yes, my narcissists paradise has been swapped for a big tubby 1960 sailboat with reputations of success.) Life events have made me an unsuitable match for farming, and I still can not quench my wanderlust.

On an unrelated note, but a lesson I learned recently that some of you may be able to learn from:
Life is finite, so make it a goal to try and be happy and have fun in your daily life regardless of your external environment or trials.

Be kind to one another and I hope this helps someone.
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Dec 27, 2018
Lopez Island
You and I are cut from the same sail cloth my friend. Alll of that is solid, tried and true advice that I myself would give anyone getting into sailing!

Nice work.


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