The importance of alternative power

After reading about the Carnival cruise boat in the Gulf of Mexico CNN 2013 it has got me thinking about the heavy reliance on the engine power.  They have lost engine power.

Their power is out. The toilets don’t work, the air conditioning doesn’t work, lights don’t work. It’s too hot in the cabins so people are sleeping in the hallways on mattresses, they are urinating in showers and defecating into bags. Hardly the image a cruise line wishes us to imagine when embarking on a trip of a life time. There are many unhappy people. For some it will be their last trip. Enough is enough.

After buying my own boat and getting behind the wheel and having control, I don’t want to take a cruise on a cruise liner with hundreds of other people. It doesn’t appeal. This was my feeling before thinking about engine power loss.

I bring the cruise boat saga back to my own quest for a boat. Yachting magazines are full of gorgeous boats and the longer the length the more luxurious the interior and the more modern the conveniences. It becomes like a hotel on water. Everything is fine when the engine is working but if/when it stops what do you do?

The ability to have alternative power sources becomes necessary if planning to sail off shore. Can you fix an engine while off shore? I don’t know. I suppose it depends on the part that needs fixing and the ability of the skipper and/or crew. I know today that I would be of no help in this situation.

I don’t plan to go offshore just yet. Crawling then walking before running is the sensible approach. Coastal trips in the near foreseeable future. I have Coastguard membership and if I need rescuing I can radio for help. I have not needed their help as of yet. It’s more of an insurance. A friendly person only a radio call away. And of course you log your trip with the Coastguard whenever you leave port so someone knows where you are. And when you return. Planning and organisation.

SOLAR
solar

WIND

wind

GEN-SET
gen-set

What happens if the alternative power source also malfunctions? Worst case scenario one: the solar panel catches fire. What do you do? How do you put out a solar panel fire? Can it be put out? Fire extinguisher.

Wind generators. I love the idea of them. They need to be maintained too. How handy am I? Show me how to do it and I will learn. Why are there no wind generators on a trawler? Because they have gen-sets and solar instead.

Gen-set or Marine generator is an alternative source of power. The choices are endless.

I want to be hands on, on my boat. I want to be able to fix things. Not everything. Otherwise I would never leave shore. I know you can never be prepared for every worst case scenario but it helps to be a little handy.

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Safer Boating Week launched

saferboating

©Maritime New Zealand

“October 17–24 has been declared Safer Boating Week this year, in what will become an annual focus on keeping boaties safe in the lead up to Labour Weekend – the traditional time to get boats and gear ready for summer.”*1

“The vast majority of recreational boating fatalities do occur on boats under 6m. It’s simply a fact that you are more vulnerable on small boats.”*2

“A total of 23 boaties died on the water last year. The same number had died this year as of yesterday.”*3

FIVE TIPS FOR STAYING SAFE ON THE WATER:

* Check your boat

* Wear your life jacket

* Take two forms of waterproof communication equipment

* Check the maritime weather forecast

* Avoid alcohol

Maritime New Zealand*1 *2
New Zealand Herald*3

A welcome sight on the sea

birds
Birds on the sea are a welcome sight. It means fish are in the area. Drop those lines off the back of the boat if you haven’t already. You don’t need GPS to alert you on this one. Don’t forget your natural instincts, don’t rely on modern technology, use your eyes, your sixth sense, your common sense. Be safe. Be well fed! Happy Fishing. 🙂

Voyaging Under Power 4th Edition- Book

voyaging

©Amazon.com

Title: Voyaging Under Power
Author: Robert P. Beebe & Denis Umstot
Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press
Date Published: January 16, 2013
Pages: 448 pages (Hardcover)
Price: NZ$40.08 (Book Depository)

Guide to cross the oceans and see the world in comfort and safety.

The Complete Anchoring Handbook: Stay Put on Any Bottom in Any Weather – Book

complete_anchoring

©www.amazon.com

Title: The Complete Anchoring Handbook: Stay Put on Any Bottom in Any Weather
Author: Alain Poiraud, Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt, Erika Ginsberg-Klemmt
Publisher: International Marine/ Ragged Mountain Press
Date Published: 2007
Pages: 256
Price: US$11.49 (Amazon.com) Kindle Version

For sailing boats, planing boats and displacement boats. For everyone who wants to anchor in a bay and sleep well without waking up every few hours and getting up to check the anchor!
Has it dragged?
Will I hit the boat next door?
Am I going to hit the rocks in the night?
Whether you have an anchor on your boat already or you are looking at buying a boat this book will advise you in choosing the correct anchor for the conditions where you are anchoring and how to anchor properly. You may find it encouraging finding that you already have the right size,weight and style but if you have purchased this book or are thinking then perhaps your boat has already dragged in the night. Get a good night’s sleep with the right anchor. How about the chain? I have the kindle version but I may just get the paperback too.

 

Diesel Engine Handbook – Book

diesel_engine
Title: Diesel Engine Handbook
Author: Andrew Simpson
Publisher: The Royal Yachting Association
Date Published: 2006
Pages: 94
Price: NZ$32.87 (Book Depository)
Extras: DVD included

The official course book for the RYA One-Day Diesel Engine Course.
A reference guide to understand and maintain your marine diesel engine.

How the Diesel Engine Works
Fuel
Air System
Engine Cooling
Electrical System
Lubrication
Transmission
Engine Controls
Starting and Stopping your engine
Diagnostics and Troubleshooting
Maintenance
How to do it
Emergency Procedures

Bowline Knot

Image
Knot: Bowline
When: Used to tie a mooring line from a boat to a post, a very reliable knot
A knot that you need to be able to tie with your eyes closed or in the dark. You may arrive at a marina at night.
A knot that you need to know for the Day Skipper Certificate Course,  New Zealand

Is this a left or a right handed knot?
How to tie a bowline instructions here