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Old 12-07-2014, 11:16 AM   #1
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Wink Nightmares... of a new trawler owner

Well... the keys finally exchanged hands yesterday. The day couldn't have been more beautiful on the west coast with crystal clear skies and calm seas. A short 45 minute cruise up the coast to put her to bed at an interim marina until we can move her to her new home port. After a quick run to West Marine for a couple items, a "to-go" order of food - we settled down on the bridge to eat and enjoy the sunset. Ah... this is what we dream of and the justification of the past month's worth of stress; and the huge hole in our savings account.

Too soon it was time to close up and head for the long drive home. A final walk through. Double check all the switches on the panel. Check bilge. The locking of the doors. Checking all the lines. Adjusting the lines that were less than perfect. Re securing a couple bumpers. Rinsing her off. Checking the shoreline. Re checking the docklines. Again. Back on board. Unlock the door. Look inside. Just in case. Recheck the panel. Close door. Relock. Wife reminding me we need to get home. Sigh. Walk up dock. Look back to reassure myself she isn't sinking. Head for home.

During the three hour drive I mentioned that I probably should have checked the bilge one more time. My wife politely looked away when she rolled her eyes. We're soulmates. I know what she is thinking.

Further contemplation. Maybe we should have arranged for grandma to stay all night with the kids so we could stay on the boat. Just in case. Wife didn't even look up from web surfing on her phone. Only a mumbled "uh-huh". And a pat on the arm.

At home, I finally passed out around midnight. Less than an hour later I was startled awake. I should have checked the bilge. Again. Thoughts raced as I stared at the clock. What is the capability of those 3 bilge pumps? I should read up on that.

I must have fallen asleep, because now the clock says 0300. The WATER HEATER! It was off, right? I mentally replayed the admonishment from the PO regarding don't turn it on until you were sure it was full of water. Watching the clock again. It's ok. She's insured. Just relax. Hmmm... I wonder if there is an exemption for stupid first time owners? Need to check the policy after the sun comes up.

0600. Awake again. Mind racing. Hmmm. It's only a 3 hour drive to get there. Seriously. This is worse than having a baby.

This is normal. Right?
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Old 12-07-2014, 11:54 AM   #2
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Checklist for leaving the boat? I mean literally, a paper one? You could look at it at 3 a.m. and be reassured. Or take photos when you leave, using the cell phone camera, of the switches in the right position, knots tied, etc.

I think fretting after a big investment is pretty normal.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:11 PM   #3
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Put the checklist on your soulmate's phone. That way she can be a bigger part of your drive home...
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:13 PM   #4
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Totally normal, it will subside over time. The good thing about having this paranoia is that you will be a great conscientious boat owner! Congrats! The dock master at our marina walks the docks every morning and listens out for bilge pumps, water flowing, and waterlines on boats.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:16 PM   #5
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We have a written, laminated checklist for the basic to-dos on the boat. One side has the "pre-start" list and the other has the "before going home" list. We use it every time despite having had our fairly simple cruiser for over 16 years now. It's something we brought over from our flying, and we have never had (to my memory) a "did we do this" thought after leaving the boat.

We keep the list just inside the main cabin door secured to the window next to the helm with one of those suction cup paper clamp things.

We live 100 miles from it and we realized within days of taking delivery of the boat in 1998 that an aircraft-type checklist would make things a lot less worrisome.
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Old 12-07-2014, 12:17 PM   #6
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I'm sure we have all been there, It usuallly takes me a couple of walks back from the car to check or bring something that popped up in my mind.
Congrats on the new boat!
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:02 PM   #7
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I have a startup/shutdown list that I laminated, glad to email a copy if you want.
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Old 12-07-2014, 01:24 PM   #8
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I have 2 list in my iPhone in the notes, #1 is when I get to the boat and #2 is when I leave the boat. I liveaboard 9 months of the year since I retired and the lists are handier than when I was a weekender. I haven't yet but I should include 2 additions, 1 on summarization and another on winterizing. I haven't forgotten anything yet but having all the steps on a list should help to keep that record intact.
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Old 12-07-2014, 04:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyrcooler View Post
Well... the keys finally exchanged hands yesterday. The day couldn't have been more beautiful on the west coast with crystal clear skies and calm seas. A short 45 minute cruise up the coast to put her to bed at an interim marina until we can move her to her new home port. After a quick run to West Marine for a couple items, a "to-go" order of food - we settled down on the bridge to eat and enjoy the sunset. Ah... this is what we dream of and the justification of the past month's worth of stress; and the huge hole in our savings account.

Too soon it was time to close up and head for the long drive home. A final walk through. Double check all the switches on the panel. Check bilge. The locking of the doors. Checking all the lines. Adjusting the lines that were less than perfect. Re securing a couple bumpers. Rinsing her off. Checking the shoreline. Re checking the docklines. Again. Back on board. Unlock the door. Look inside. Just in case. Recheck the panel. Close door. Relock. Wife reminding me we need to get home. Sigh. Walk up dock. Look back to reassure myself she isn't sinking. Head for home.

During the three hour drive I mentioned that I probably should have checked the bilge one more time. My wife politely looked away when she rolled her eyes. We're soulmates. I know what she is thinking.

Further contemplation. Maybe we should have arranged for grandma to stay all night with the kids so we could stay on the boat. Just in case. Wife didn't even look up from web surfing on her phone. Only a mumbled "uh-huh". And a pat on the arm.

At home, I finally passed out around midnight. Less than an hour later I was startled awake. I should have checked the bilge. Again. Thoughts raced as I stared at the clock. What is the capability of those 3 bilge pumps? I should read up on that.

I must have fallen asleep, because now the clock says 0300. The WATER HEATER! It was off, right? I mentally replayed the admonishment from the PO regarding don't turn it on until you were sure it was full of water. Watching the clock again. It's ok. She's insured. Just relax. Hmmm... I wonder if there is an exemption for stupid first time owners? Need to check the policy after the sun comes up.

0600. Awake again. Mind racing. Hmmm. It's only a 3 hour drive to get there. Seriously. This is worse than having a baby.

This is normal. Right?
First Congrats

Yes the part that is not normal is I think your to wake up at 15 after the hour

you will find a system that works for you wether paper or digital list and when that fails call the dock master and of course get on here and share your stress with us these guys are the best learning tool on the internet especially for someone like me ( not the brightest sometimes)
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:05 PM   #10
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Congrats
And YES, this is normal.
Do like Marin suggested and make a Pre-flight and Post Flight Check List.
I am most guilty of doing things by habit and then not remembering doing it.
My shop was typical. Most times I could never remember locking the door. I would head home and 5 minutes later be turning around heading back only to find the door was locked. I had a shelf unit just outside my office and right next to the door. I posted my "Good Night List" so I could see it as I was closing the door. It had listed things like all lights out, exhaust fan off, compressor off, etc, But locking the door - I could never remember.
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Old 12-07-2014, 06:35 PM   #11
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Welcome and congrats. You definitely need to live aboard as quickly as possible. Then you will be able to get up in the middle of the night to check things. BTW, did you turn off the domestic water pump? You should have a high water alarm so you can wonder if you left it on or not.

BTW, I always sleep in the engine room and set my clock to wake me every 30 minutes to check things out. I set it every 15 minutes at anchor because, I'm embarrassed to say I have the wrong one for sure.

All is normal, relax and enjoy the ride. You have great experiences ahead. Speaking of heads---oh never mind, you'll find out for yourself. Good luck, Howard
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Old 12-07-2014, 07:01 PM   #12
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Congratulations. You're as normal as anyone can possibly be that owns a boat.

The written list will help make it all routine. And even then a list is helpful.

P.S. - We want pictures.
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:10 PM   #13
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Ha! I woke up the other night at 4:30am wondering if I should have turned off the battery charger last time I was on the boat. I've owned mine for a couple of months now.
Get used to the feeling!

Lets hear some details about the new boat.

Congrats!
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Old 12-07-2014, 08:26 PM   #14
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It's normal.
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Old 12-07-2014, 09:49 PM   #15
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Congrats on boat purchase!!

Make the two lists mentioned. Best to have printed laminated one on board for entry and one for exit. OK on phone too... But... When you first board and then leave it is great to have printed copy in big letters for instant review - Of What Cha Gotta Do!
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:07 AM   #16
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Nightmares... of a new trawler owner

Make friends with the nearest live aboard and any local owners tied up near you. Leave them your contact info and let them know it's okay to go on board if they see anything unusual. I have many out of state/town dock neighbors and do this for them.

Congratulations on the new boat!
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What kind of boat is that?
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:43 AM   #17
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After a few months living aboard and slepping like bilge Bob you will be fine
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:37 AM   #18
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Congratulations. You're as normal as anyone can possibly be that owns a boat.
Good one!
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:41 AM   #19
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Good one!
we should say it is normal not that he is normal

not very often I am accused of being normal
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Old 12-08-2014, 07:42 AM   #20
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Make friends with the nearest live aboard and any local owners tied up near you. Leave them your contact info and let them know it's okay to go on board if they see anything unusual. I have many out of state/town dock neighbors and do this for them.

Congratulations on the new boat!

Great idea- we always try to do this.


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