Akuna Bay Cruising Club

"Tips & Tricks" from Mike & Wendy

Tuesday 22 February, 2005

Since buying their first boat ever in April 2004 Wendy and Mike McLaren have been gathering Boating "Tips and Tricks"
various "Tips and Tricks" from other boaties. Knowing these may be of interest to other members of ABCC we wish to share the following with other club Members.

Many of you in ABCC have been significant contributors - so please forgive us if you recognize something you have passed on to us. We have found these ideas work for us - it does not mean this is the only way to accomplish the task.


This can be a really useful forum to pass on information and suggestions to others. If you have some suggestions please forward them to Wendy and Mike at themacs9@bigpond.net.au and we will compile them into a complete and updated document for all members to share. We will also add alternates (and corrections) to the suggestions we have put forward when possible.

Anchor and Mooring lines
1. Use (for example) colour ribbons on your anchor chain/line to mark of set distances - say each ten metres. It is then quite easy to gauge how much anchor chain/line has been deployed. (Our boat has 10 metres of chain then 40 metres of rope so we have marked off each 10 metres of rope. We use a red - warning - ribbon just before the end of the rope which lets me see from the helm when I am nearing the end.)
2. Occasionally run out the entire length of you mooring chain/line then bring it in making sure all "kinking" is out of the line. Recently our line was damaged when bringing it in on the capstan because of a kink.
3. When bringing in the anchor line get someone on the bow give you clear directions on the direction and angle of the line. Then you focus on keeping the boat aligned with the anchor line, and let the person on the front bring the line in if your boat is equipped with windlass controls on the bow.
4. If you have a number of non-boaties willing to help you dock add color ribbons to you mooring lines. We added green to the springer, yellow to the stern and red to the midships lines. And we put a color code on the cleats which means we can then tell guests to simply attach "green to green, yellow to yellow then red to red" - simple!


Docking, Mooring and Rafting-up Hints
1. There should be very few occasions when you need to advance the throttle at all when mooring or docking. All that should be necessary is to engage forward or reverse (or a combination of these) with the throttles at idle. Obviously this is for boats with twin engines.
2. When mooring and docking use the steering wheel to basically "line up" with the target then do not touch the wheel again. Simply "steer" by using a combination of forward and reverse gears.
3. Always have mooring lines ready, with one end already attached to a cleat on your boat. If someone is waiting on the dock simply throw them the line - this makes it very easy to help stabilize your boat and to pull it in. (If you are pulling on a line make sure that it is firmly attached to the boat. Recently a mooring line slipped resulting in a heavy fall onto the dock.)
4. When planning to raft up to another boat have a mooring line attached to a cleat on the bow and throw this to the other boat where it can be tied off loosely, then lines can be attached at the stern.
5. Always carry on board one or two large (not standard size) fenders for rafting-up and deploy these before rafting up.
6. In very high winds, unless you are experienced, do NOT try to raft up. Recently in Refuge Bay during high westerly winds and very choppy seas it took me three attempts to get the bows close enough for us to pass over a bow line. As soon as we did get bow lines set the wind and seas swung the boats together and could have caused substantial damage. In high winds simply find another mooring and get together using a tender.
7. When attaching to a mooring buoy most of us attach the mooring line to the bow. There can be good reasons for attaching the mooring line to your stern.


Cooking
1. On stainless steel BBQs use Canola oil rather than Vegetable or Olive oils. Canola has a higher "burn" temperature and therefore will not blacken stainless steel as quickly as the other oils.


General Hints
1. Before disconnecting mooring lines from the dock make sure that your gears actually will engage and give you power. It is all very well to have the engines running but if forward and reverse will not engage disconnecting the mooring lines could see some frantic endeavors to stop you drifting onto the boat in the next pen.
2. Want to wash your boat - legally? Recently we checked with Sydney Water - it is quite legal to run a high pressure water blaster on your boat if it is attached to a water source on your boat. As long as there is no direct water source such as a hose attached to a tap it IS legal to fill up your water tank, remove the hose, connect a high pressure cleaner (we use the transom shower) then clean you boat. And yes, after finishing you can then refill your water tank!
3. Consider adding a wheel to the corner of your dock. For less than $200 this will guide you past the corner of the dock without you sustaining damage to your hull.
4. Keep your bilges clean - spotlessly clean. This will make it very easy when you look into the bilge to see if something has gone wrong - like a leak.


Security
1. Many of us leave outboards visible. For around $30 plus a padlock you can buy a locking bar which means the outboard cannot be removed from its mount.
2. Although most of us carry gear in external lockers few have fitted locks to these. It is relatively simple to fit some hasp and clasp locks and use keyed alike padlocks.


Tenders
1. Tenders come in all sizes - and weights. Many of us have to physically pull the tender onto our boat every time after we finish using it. Consider therefore buying a light weight tender rather than a heavy weight. (Our tender is 16 Kgs against an average of 27 Kgs. You may think this means it is less durable - in fact it comes with a warranty 25% longer than its competitors!)
2. For around $20 you can buy a web "safety strap" which you can attach to your outboard and you wrist when putting the outboard onto your tender. If there is an accident it saves the outboard going for a swim - or to the bottom of the harbour!
3. Recently a member had their tender flipped over at a mooring - with the outboard attached. It may be a bit of a hassle but do not leave the outboard attached to your tender in high winds - unless you want to go into a rebuild.
4. When looking to attach your tender to your boat you can spend over a thousand dollars on stainless steel clips - or simply use webbing straps which cost around $20.