Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Checklists/Standing Orders

In response to a question on the Latitides and Attitudes forum I’m posting the document I use on Scamper for standing orders and for emergency checklists.  I stole some great ideas from this page that is attributed to John Neal’s website, which I originally found on the Lats and Atts forum. 

I also made up a single page that contains Scamper’s accomodation plan with arrows pointing to various emergency and safety gear.  I have both of these documents, along with the VHF mayday procedures, posted at the nav station.

Crew overboard
  Shout "crew overboard" to alert everyone
  Throw cushions
  Hit "MOB" button on GPS
  Everyone not specifically doing something must keep an eye on MOB
  Disable autopilot
    Lift tensioner
    Hit "standby" button
  Head into wind
  Toss LifeSling
  Circle MOB
  Free winches
  Release mainsheet
  Free main halyard, mainsail will drop
  Check carefully for lines in the water before starting engine
  Engine idle in neutral
  Drop boarding ladder but don't open gate until necessary
  Use spinnaker halyard for lift if necessary, route to cockpit primary winch.

Flooding below decks
  Slow the boat and get it level
  Taste water, if it is fresh there is no danger.
  Make sure electric bilge pump is on (switch on panel over nav station)
  Get bucket out of starboard cockpit locker
  Don't bail to cockpit (cockpit drains could be letting water in)
  Get bilge pump handle out of port cockpit locker
  Close all through hulls except engine intake and electric bilge pump outlet (both on starboard
    side of engine compartment) unless they are the cause of the problem
  Use wood plugs if a through hull has failed
  Use cushions, locker covers, sails, or towels to shore up a crack

  Shut down blower
  Shut down engine
  Stop boat
  Locate extinguishers
  If fire is aft crew gathers on foredeck after moving dinghy from stern, otherwise gather in cockpit

  Drop sails/stop boat
  Locate deep water
  Check for lines in the water
  Engine at idle in neutral
  Check for damage/flooding

Heavy weather
  Secure deck
  Coil halyards
  Stow loose gear
  Latch cockpit lockers
  Latch anchor locker
  Seal head vent
  Seal engine dorades
  Secure dinghy
  Secure cabin
  Stow loose gear
  Close seacocks (except engine intake)
  Lock stove gimbal
  Stow stove top
  Latch icebox lid
  Latch locker tops
  Latch companionway ladder
  Stow table, secure tops
  Secure lamp
  Check bilge
  Close cabin vent
  Close and dog foredeck hatch
  Life jackets/harnesses
  Fill thermos w/hot water

Standing orders
  Log entries every hour
  Check to make sure head is secure (not filling)
  Harness on deck after dark and whenever a reef is tucked in
  Always keep a 360 degree lookout, includes looking astern
  Monitor a change in wind or weather
  At least two crewmembers on deck for sail change

  On watch change
    Communicate course, vessels, lights or land, in sight
    Understand the sail plan
    Tidy sheet and halyard tails
    Check bilge
    Look at engine
    Check gauges

  Alert skipper (wake him up if necessary) if:
    Lights, ships, or objects are sighted
    You notice approaching weather, lightning, or dark clouds to windward
    Increase in windspeed or change in direction
    Unidentifiable sounds
    If in doubt at any time for any reason

The Real Wish List

It's common to make a list of things to do on the boat. I keep mine on my Treo phone using ThoughtManager. It has a desktop component too and is pretty useful for many other things besides the boat list.

But the real list needs to be the voyages and adventures I want to get to in the upcoming season.

Swiftsure - I'd really like to do Swiftsure but there are several issues I need to tackle. I'm mostly done with modifications and gear purchases that make the boat conform to the race requirements. I still have to work out a crew and then the logistics of everyone getting time off, getting the boat to Victoria, back home, etc.

Olympia - We had a great time in Oly last Memorial day. We'd like to do it again but that gets in the way of Swiftsure.

San Juans, Victoria - For the last three years we did our "big" summer trip in a chartered powerboat. This is a nice change and is very comfortable for the entire family. Two years ago we took my parents and that turned out to be a very memorable trip for us all. This year we will very likely do this in Scamper and, since there's now the relatively slow leg north from Tacoma, the trip will be in sections which present their own logistics to work out.

My "week off" trip - The wife and kids usually go to the Oregon coast for a week in the summer which leaves me time to do a "carefree" sail trip. I'm torn between a trip to some busy and interesting port like Port Townsend, versus a trip to some quiet, out of the way spot like Cutts Island in the South Sound.

Mid Sound - I have really enjoyed Eagle Harbor the few times I've been there and would like to get back. Maybe I'll fold that into another trip and make it a stopover enroute to Port Townsend or further north. The ports behind Bainbridge are nice too - Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo. An overnight at Elliot Bay or Bell Harbor marina might be fun too.

Vancouver Island Circumnavigation - Someday, but not this year.

Vic Maui - Even better!

More on V-Berth Fan

Leslie Paal asked "I saw in your blog a part about putting fan under the V-berth. Could you give a bit more information how did you do it and what areas could you ventilate." Here's more:

When the boat was new to me I washed out the area under the v-berth with a hose and bleach, etc. To dry it I put one of those round dehumidifiers from West Marine over the step, aimed downward, so that it would blow warmed air into that area.

There's a 6 inch inspection port, the kind with the screw-on cover, in the side of the hull liner, just under the nav station. Unrelated to cleaning out the v-berth area, but while the dehumidifier was still in place, I removed the cover and noticed quite a bit of air flowing out of the port. I tracked it down to the dehumidifier.

I thought this might be somewhat useful since the space between the hull and liner, where I could see it, was somewhat moldy and I was using a lot of bleach and elbow grease to get it cleaned out. Being an occasional pipe smoker I used the opportunity fire up a bowl and use the smoke to see where all the air was going.

I took a straw and blew a bit of smoke in front of likely openings and observed the air currents. Turns out there was a bit of air coming out from the finger-holes in every locker door, from under the stove, and from the bilge when I took off the floorboard.

The water-tank area under the port settee was always pretty cool and damp and I wanted to ventilate that area anyway so I bought several 1 inch Perko "locker vents" from Defender. I installed them in several places such as the sides of lockers that were only accessible via under settee cushions (no doors) and also in a couple dead air spaces like under the nav station seat/quarterberth and under the galley's pan.

After installing the locker vents I did the pipe-smoke test again and could see that some air was moving out of all the new vents. Not much in some places but there was still a bit of air movement in areas that were probably pretty stagnant for a lot of years.

I spent last winter and last summer going through the ritual of opening the step and laying the dehumidifier on the opening every time I left the boat for more than a day or two. Everything stayed real dry in the lockers.

To make it more permanent I bought a 5 inch, AC-powered, computer fan from Radio Shack for under $10 on clearance. I wired it in to the AC outlet in the v-berth's aft bulkhead and changed that receptacle to a single outlet with a switch.

The boat is always in a marina when it is not being used, not many moorings up here, so the thought is that if I'm not plugged into shore power I'm probably using the boat and that kind of ventilation is not an issue. There are 12-volt fans available at Radio Shack (and many other places) that use very little power. One of these could be wired directly up to a solar panel or even to the boat's batteries. I had pretty good luck with my catboat using only solar power to keep the batteries charged through our gray winters.

McMaster-Carr has 200 watt and 400 watt heaters that mount over the computer fans. These would be, I assume to keep equipment, mounted outside in a box, warm. The West Marine dehumidifier has a 100 watt element in it and I'm not sure how much the heating element, vs. the fan, contributed to the success. If necessary I'll add one of the 200 watt elements at around $35 but I'm hoping I can avoid that.