ASA-106 - Offshore Boat Prep
Wednesday, Sep 8, 2021 (9:30 am - 5:00 pm)
Thursday, Sep 9, 2021 (9:30 am - 5:00 pm)
In the months prior to the beginning of the offshore sailing season will be servicing and doing major prep for both of the offshore boats. The purpose for these 2 days is as a final check and to orient the students to the boat used to build confidence in sailing a 24 hr period with not more than 2 on deck.
Through the Sea Legs outing and we pick which boat is going - both a mono or multi-hull will be reserved till Sea Legs outings for the ASA 106 group.
On the chosen boat, will spend these days to go over everything aboard. Service check for sails, running rigging, standing rigging. If need replacement of running rigging get it done. If need to tune rig then tension and adjust as needed. Check standing rig cotter pins and chafe covers, use bronze 000 wool and as needed Fliz, 3m oil or rigging tape where needed. Might send someone up the mast to inspect the upper rigging, attenas and lights.
Engine service: ensure no leaks, verify oil change was done, check date on updated fuel filters, coolant. Make sure there are the right kind of spares for all engine fluids and any parts likely to foul or fail. Check there is a complete tool and electrical repair kits with easy access, proper storage for all.
Pump out head then test, trace, clean and flush lines of the head system. Have a rebuild kit for the hand pump aboard.
Flush and refill the water tank. Load aboard back up water in gallon and pint bottles. If so equiped, verify the water heater is working. Check the foot pump for the galley or/and head. Have a back up rebuild kit for all manual bilge and hand/foot water pumps.
Check function of the windlass. Load offshore anchors (take 4 to 6 anchors). Check all anchor gear for chafe. Ensure there are, or install, ways to count shots of chain or lengths of line without having to pull out and measure. All must be in good working order with siezed shackles and 2 bitter ends tied..
Test dinghy engine for function. Load aboard choosen dinghy and engine,
Put aboard offshore safety equip including COB and storm gear. If a mono-hull load life raft.
Check electronics and look at the maintenance log to see if the nav lights are switched over to LED. Do a radio check and make sure the manuals are aboard for all electronic aids.
Wash down the boat. Check for leaks at the ports. Check all bilge pumps are function, where and how to use them including hand pumps.
Trace battery systems and learn how to check them. Make sure there is a good electrical cable with 25 to 30 and 30 to 50 amp converters aboard.
Make sure the CNG or propane tanks are full. Check how all function. Make sure you know how both stove/oven work. Load back up cooking option(s). Check all galley gear and inventory. Plan provisions for the trip and identify where to put those supplies. Check the fridge system. Electric or dry ice.
Check electronics including scheduling a Diver to clean the bottom while checking that the knot-meter functions prior to the trip.
Offshore requires a much more comprehensive pre-cruise planning and preparation than bay or benign coast sailing. Can spend a day or two of the 106 course going over the boat vs sailing south, but why? Best the crew is knowlegable of the boat and her systems for use in day or night. Ensure all is ready, weather check done, menus planned, provisions needed on a list and ready for purchase with awareness of where it can go when put aboard. All specialty offshore gear checked and loaded in advance to the day to cast off for offshore.
To prepare a boat for offshore sailing the first time can take 1 year to 6 months depending on it's prior purpose and use. We have all the toys but do not keep these on the offshore boats. Students of ASA 106 need to know how everything works on the boat in the daytime before going for an 18-24hr steady run offshore. What and where offshore gear is. Go over everything prior to offshore sailing. Learning what to do to prepare is part of the ASA 106 course.
You will work hard to participate in the preparation of the boat. Boat systems we go over and the kind of checks needed are on the essay portion of the 4hr, 200 point, ASA 106 test. These days help in many ways to eliminate undercurrents of worry that might cause nervousness (root of all sea sickness). Get comfortable with the boat. Work as a team so you can be comfortable with those you are sailing with and it can be a fantastic experience vs a trial. Worth it. Then have a weekday and the weekend to get any issues dealt with prior to the morning cast off. The actual ASA 106 start time is determined by group study of the currents. Tide waits for no one.