Cooper Boating Blogs - boating tips and tricks
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Subject: docking tip right out of TOP GUN
(Posted on Aug 12, 2012 at 11:00AM by Colin Jackson)
think back to the movie and remember how those f14’s barreled towards the rolling deck of the carrier and came to a sudden halt with the assistance of an cable they call an ‘arrestor’ wire? 
 
that little piece of imagery can work for you as well
 
you see boats have gotten wider – especially in the stern – and getting a line off the back corner with some forward pull can spin the boat alongside all on its own
 
we’ve watched our founder cruising his 64 footer with only his wife aboard and what they work with is basically their own ‘arrestor wire’ ~ two people ~ one gigantic boat ~ 55 years of marriage in tact ~~ how?
 
let’s say they want to be alongside portside to the dock ~ MR. COOPER gets the port aft corner of the boat safely to the dock and MRS. COOPER steps ashore and ties her one magic knot (well, nothing magic about it ~ just a proper figure eight cleat knot)
 
once secure, MR. COOPER can put the starboard engine in slow ahead and the boat will pull forward and in alongside the dock ~ it is so effective that if one were to leave the boat this way overnight, providing she has enough fuel, the boat will still be sitting there in the morning ~ lots of time to properly secure the balance of the lines and adjust fenders with ease
 
this example works for twin engine boats and can be used effectively with single engine boats as well, especially when some rudder angle towards the dock is added to the equation
 
magic docking ~ be up there with the BEST OF THE BEST!
Subject: think of a battery like a JERRY CAN
(Posted on Apr 3, 2012 at 08:21AM by Colin Jackson)
when charging batteries, remember how we fill a jerry can and understanding is easy

we just returned from a series of YACHT EXPO SEMINARS and our good friend JEFF COTE with PACIFIC YACHT SYSTEMS shocked the groups with little known facts about batteries and marine electrical

one participant said it was hard to start asking questions because his brain was completely full and the quality and quantity of great information at the event was LIKE DRINKING FROM A FIREHOSE

to take a quick note from JEFF'S ELECTRICAL 101 session, think of topping up the batteries as you would filling a JERRY CAN



when filling one of these, you can initially open the nozzle right up and fill quickly - think of this as BULK CHARGING

as you get past 85%, one needs to slow down or it will spill everywhere - this is ABSORPTION CHARGING and trickier to do when you are out cruising, so some cruisers will bring the batteries up to around 85% and then start using them again

topping off a near full battery - replacing the gas that evaporates so to speak, is called FLOAT CHARGING and newer battery chargers are able to do this without damaging the batteries - what JEFF called not killing the batteries with "DEATH BY 1000 PAPER CUTS"

for more helpful tips - check back or check out the PACIFIC YACHT SYSTEMS BLOG
Subject: Changing to Catamarans
(Posted on Dec 27, 2010 at 10:47AM )
For many years we watched sailors switch over to power vessels and thought it might be an unstoppable trend.  Then came a period of time in 2008 when fuel prices came close to doubling inside 6 months.  The tidal wave of sailors moving towards power vessels in both courses and charters ebbed.  At the same time, a new trend picked up - one towards catamarans - and why not?  When compared to a trawler style power boat, these boats go the same speed under motor and can go faster than a trawler in strong winds.  There is nearly twice as much room and the visibility is excellent. They also use a fraction of the fuel and the ride is very comfortable in a wide range of conditions.



A few pointers if you are joining the crowds that are heading towards catamarans:

1) Handling - take a course or arrange private instruction at the time of your charter or separately.  These boats are easy to handle and most people pick it up quickly - but it is different and therefore not automatic.  Don't be fooled by their size - moving a pair of engines far apart makes for quick work of turning and once you have the hang of it, you'll have trouble going for anything else in the future.

2) Moorage - book the boat early and then call ahead for popular times in our top marinas.  These boats don't exactly tuck well into corners of the marina.  Every marina has spots suitable for catamarans, but you need to plan early to make for easy work of your evenings ashore.
 
3) Sailing - because the boats don't heel, it is important to reduce sail as the winds pickup so as not to strain the rig excessively.   Watch the wind strength and were there are forces that would normally cause excessive heeling, take those to mean it is time to shorten sail.

4) Anchoring - as the windlass is positioned at the forward end of the bridge deck, it is important to transfer the load while anchoring to the bows with the use of an anchoring bridle.  Our crew will be pleased to show you how to do this.



Featured here is the Lagoon 400 - and you can book onto Amritha - this new model available out of Port Sidney - but act soon to avoid disappointment. 

Be sure to contact the office for the article written by our Lagoon owner who took his vessel to Alaska.  It is a great read.


Subject: Casting off - tip from Bob Doiron
(Posted on Apr 22, 2010 at 08:34AM )
Bob Doiron of Alberta sent in the following tip to share.  He refers to it as a "Jamie Johnson special."  Bob took a course with Jamie a few years back and has gone on to charter and then purchase a quarter share with One 4 Yacht Fractions.

SELF RELEASING LINES
 
We were taught to pass the lines through the dock cleat, rail or whatever mechanism is there and bring the line back to the boat cleat to tie it off. The trick is to pass it under the cleat or rail from the boat side so when it is released you flop the line on the dock and avoid having the end drop in the drink as you reel it in. If you pass it over the cleat or rail and fop the line on the dock
it wraps and binds. It works really slick and has the following advantages:


    * It is simply easier and quicker to tie off.
    * It can work well when getting assistance from well
      meaning dock hands as you can control the degree to which the bow or stern
      is pulled in because you get them to pass it back to you.
    * It is safer for the crew because lines can be released
      while on board; no jumping on.
    * When you are checking your lines it can all be done on
      board and easily adjusted. This is particularly true under windy
      conditions. (New Years Eve 2008 tied up at Ganges with 60 - 70 KM winds on
      our starboard beam the docks were rocking quite hard as was the boat.
      Having our lines self releasing enabled us to check and adjust as needed
      very safely.)
    * It works equally as well with spring lines as others,
      even with rails, as you are virtually always able to find stops all along
      the rail to hold a spring in proper position.
    * If you must do a bow 'spring off' it is virtually
      essential to have a self releasing line unless you have someone on the
      dock to assist.



In the five years we have boated there have been only a handful of times when we haven't been able to do this because of the dock or lack of cleats. Even if you don't have enough bow line you can release it while on the dock and then board and release the remaining lines in a safe and orderly manner. If there is a line that won't work It's usually the bow line because of the distance from the centre line of the boat to the dock.



THANKS BOB for your submission!
Subject: Heavy Weather Sailing Tips
(Posted on Dec 6, 2009 at 10:06PM )
To one sailor heavy weather sailing is anything over 15 knots while another might think the fun does not start until the winds exceed 25 knots.

The best strategy is to sail the boat to the comfort level of the crew - that is unless you like looking for new crew each time you go sailing.

One of the most important skills to be developed is the ability to interpret and apply what you hear on the vhf Wx channels. Does it matter what the wind speeds are at Ballenas if you do not know the location of Ballenas?  Also remember to listen for any updates.  This time of year, frontal systems can change speeds and something expected tomorrow could arrive today or vice versa.

If you are not sure of the weather or your ability, it is best to stay put even if it means arriving a day late. Some of the best days sailing are done from a seat in the pub.



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