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Old 04-26-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
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Hello, Questions, I've got questions.

I have thoroughly enjoyed your forum here for about a year now. I don't have a boat, so I am a wannabe owner at this stage. I think having a nice trawler, and the cash to maintain and operate it makes you all some of the most clever and resourceful people on the net. Quite an achievement, if you ask me.
Anyway, some questions have been bugging me for months so I registered to ask them. I imagine other lurkers are out there, hesitant to register like me. They are out there, gang.
Anyway, thanks for having me, and I will behave myself.

Here are a few questions that have bugged me for a while, that aren't mentioned very often (probably because the answers are obvious to experienced yachtsmen.)

Passports-
When cruising beyond US waters, should everyone aboard have one?

Firearms.
What is the legal policy vis a vis having a pistol or shotgun to defend the crew on a boat in US waters? Is this a big deal?
I know you can't in Mexico, so everyone is unarmed down there?

When you are on the hook off some populated island, and you go ashore, do you leave someone aboard to keep an eye on the boat?

Are there thieves and burglars trying to gain entry in the marinas where you dock?

How does the water taste out of those tanks, and do you have to rinse them regularly, or what?

Ya'll get seasick much? (I know you have to get your sea-legs, but without stabilizers.. I might lose my lunch anyway)

I have a lot more, this is the most interesting thing in the world to me. If my 'rich uncle' ever croaks, I'll be looking for a little ship myself, I assure you. I love boats and being on the water, ever since I was a kid.
The sea calls to me, brothers and sisters.
Well, thanks for any response, and thanks for having me.

Sorry about the 'no boat' thing.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:48 PM   #2
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Hi Bluto, I'll try to tackle a few of your questions:

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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Passports-
When cruising beyond US waters, should everyone aboard have one?
Yes, everyone on board the vessel should have a passport when traveling beyond US waters. When entering Canada, Mexico or other countries, immigration will ask for the numbers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
When you are on the hook off some populated island, and you go ashore, do you leave someone aboard to keep an eye on the boat?

No, but we usually lock the doors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Are there thieves and burglars trying to gain entry in the marinas where you dock?
While there are thieves and burglars everywhere, in truth, most marinas are very safe and boaters tend to look out for each other.

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Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Ya'll get seasick much?
Almost everyone will get seasick if it gets rough enough. If you watch the weather, it is usually possible to avoid water so rough that the whole boat is seasick. Scopalomine or other medications can help as well.

Good Luck,
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:55 PM   #3
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I'll take the seasick question.

After decades on lots of different boats in lots of different conditions, I've come to realize a few truths about seasickness.

First, it's real. Second, it's absolutely miserable when it hits. There are a few people who never get seasick, and they don't believe this.

There are a few people who always get seasick. They just can't be around boats.

Most people fall somewhere in the middle. They CAN get seasick, under the right conditions. There's a wide spectrum, and different people respond differently to the same motion. But for the most part, most people get sick at around the same point.

There's a moment when you notice that all the other people on board are in about the same state you are. It's just a question of who loses their lunch first.

There are a million remedies, and about as many opinions on what works. I won't go there. Pills and ginger seem to be most helpful, but not 100%.

The long-term fix is to spend more time on board. The longer you're out, the less affected you are. Most people settle down after about 24 hours underway. Some take longer, some less. After a few days most people can handle just about anything.

The short-term fix is often vomiting. Not always, but a lot of people feel much better after they've parted ways with their stomach contents.

And, with persistence you can always fix "the no boat thing." Somewhere out there is a boat you can afford to fix up and use, no matter what your budget. You just have to want it bad enough.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Interesting questions.

I'll give my opinion on a couple:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
Passports-
When cruising beyond US waters, should everyone aboard have one?
Yes, absolutely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluto View Post
When you are on the hook off some populated island, and you go ashore, do you leave someone aboard to keep an eye on the boat?
Not if we are just going to shore for a few minutes to stretch our legs or let the dog do his business. But if we are leaving for an extended period of time we lock up -- we have a combination lock on the slider : One of the best purchases ever. We never worry about forgetting/dropping/losing keys, and can just tell any guests what the combo is if they are heading back before us.

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Are there thieves and burglars trying to gain entry in the marinas where you dock?
Yes and no... Mostly thieves are looking for a quick and easy grab. So bring fishing poles into the cabin overnight, and put a cable on your dingy outboard for example. Very rarely do you have an actual breaking-and-entering situation, and people (marinas, liveabords, etc) would take that situation very seriously.

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How does the water taste out of those tanks, and do you have to rinse them regularly, or what?
We don't drink the water out of our tanks. We do use it for cooking, cleaning, showing, and brushing teeth, though, and have not found a problem. We do a full empty and cleaning of the tank every spring.
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:41 PM   #5
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Thanks, guys. That certainly was quick!

get the passport- check.

Sea legs grow on you- cool. And don't drink the water. All good advice.

Other boaters watch out for your stuff, like good neighbors.
This is a big help.

I appreciate you all taking time out to write these up.

Great forum you have here!
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Old 04-26-2013, 03:46 PM   #6
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I wanted to add, that I, the mighty Bluto, got sick-as-a-dog on the Guff of Mexico in a 20-odd foot center console fishing boat. It was the rhythm of the swells and the way the thing would wallow as it went up and down the hills that got to me.
This was a real concern, because I was sooo sick at the time.
After throwing up it was a lot better, but definitely messed up the fishing trip for me.
Thanks again!
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Old 04-26-2013, 04:05 PM   #7
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The long-term fix is to spend more time on board. The longer you're out, the less affected you are. Most people settle down after about 24 hours underway. Some take longer, some less. After a few days most people can handle just about anything.
I use to get really sick, no matter how big the boat. (Well, that's not exactly true...I was on the USS Enterprise's first cruise and didn't get sick then.)

The cure for me was the statement above.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:40 PM   #8
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Passports-
When cruising beyond US waters, should everyone aboard have one?
Yes, although in some places, Canada being one that I know of, you can use a so-called enhanced drivers license for the purposes of clearing customs.

Quote:
Firearms.
What is the legal policy vis a vis having a pistol or shotgun to defend the crew on a boat in US waters?
There isn't one unless you plan to carry it concealed on your person in which case whatever carry permit requirements apply to the state you're boating in must be complied wtih.

Quote:
When you are on the hook off some populated island, and you go ashore, do you leave someone aboard to keep an eye on the boat?
No but we do lock the boat.

Quote:
Are there thieves and burglars trying to gain entry in the marinas where you dock?
Very rarely. Much more common are theives-of-opportunity who might enter a boat to steal electronics or take the motor off the dinghy if it's a small one. So we take steps to make it more difficult for these folks to gain access or take stuff and so send them on down the dock to an easier target. A person who is determined to get into your boat will do so no matter what steps you take to deter them.

Quote:
How does the water taste out of those tanks, and do you have to rinse them regularly, or what?
The water out of our 40 year old stainless tanks tastes fine although we do have a filter mounted on the sink faucet. So we use the water from our tanks for everything. We do not flush them out periodically as we have had no reason to except when we were winterizing them with "non-toxic" antifreeze. But after a few years we stopped winterizing the tanks so that is no longer an issue.

Quote:
Ya'll get seasick much? (I know you have to get your sea-legs, but without stabilizers.. I might lose my lunch anyway)
I used to get seasick when I lived in Hawaii and did a lot of fishing there. Mostly when I went into the cabin for some reason. As long as I stayed outside and could see a horizon I tended to be okay. With me it was purley psychological. We'd be out 30 or 40 miles and I'd get queasy. But as soon as we called it a day and headed back I got to feeling better and better until by the time we got back to the dock in Kaneohe Bay I'd be ready to go out again. So far as I can recall I have not gotten queasy or seasick on our GB or our fishing boat on the inside waters in the PNW and BC.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:37 PM   #9
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Thanks, Marin. Fishing off Hawaii- wow, I would be one happy dog.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:42 PM   #10
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One last thing, how do you all avoid under water outcroppings, junk, or big rocks in the shallows?

If I had a trawler I would be a little paranoid going up in those inlets.
Do you just rely on charts to show these snags?
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:12 PM   #11
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"One last thing, how do you all avoid under water outcroppings, junk, or big rocks in the shallows?"

Bluto,
Good charts(up to date) be they paper and electronic on a plotter show most bits of reef etc but there is always the unknown for which one must be on the look out for when navigating in new known to be shallow waters.


On Board water, I have stainless steel tanks on Tidahapah and the water is fine, nah perfect, I have a carbon filter on the galley sink inlet and we don't carry bottled water on board, actually I don't allow it.
Have cleaned the tanks out 2 times in 17 years and even then there was just a bit of silt in the bottom


Sea sickness, I for one have never been sea sick but it is what I do for a living. My daughter does but swears by the acu bands, small wrist bands that have 1/2 a bead that presses on a pressure point. She puts one or 2 on as soon as she steps on board.

On board security. Depends on where you live. I am in Australia and I think things are a bit safer here. I never lock up my boat even when I come accross the country to come to work for 4 weeks. Never bother when we go ashore and all my fishing gear is left in the rod racks under the aft canopy.

Passports . mate you should just have one , you never know when you just want to up and leave and it is also the best form of identification.

Firearms, Don't even mention that down our way.

Cheers
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:36 PM   #12
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One last thing, how do you all avoid under water outcroppings, junk, or big rocks in the shallows??
Today we have charts which for the most part are very accurate, and we have GPS chart plotters which show the position of the boat in relation to everything around it. Now that the security skew has been taken out of GPS its accuracy is within just a few feet.

We also plot our routes and course legs in advance on the plotters so we in effect have a very accurate path from where we are to where we want to go. If your boat has an autopilot it can follow this path automatically, or if, like us, you prefer to hand steer the boat, the person at the helm can follow the path.

Most of us also have radar that helps pick out navaids, other vessels, and terrain when the visibility is bad.

Up here there is a fair amount of debris in the water from crab trap floats to logs escaped from log booms to branches and stuff carried down by the rivers to big kelp and eelgrass mats to other stuff like old pallets and whatnot. You have to keep a vigilant eye out so you don't run into or over this kind of thing. When negotiating an area where there are a lot of commercial crab pots it sometimes takes both of us peering ahead to make sure we don't miss seeing one and run over it and its line. They can be easy or hard to spot depending on the water and light conditions.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:45 PM   #13
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Passports: We are leaving next week for Alaska and will be traveling through Canada for a month. The Canadian folks probably wont want to see them but US Customs will look at them for sure!

Firearms: Really no different than having a gun in your home. We have a shotgun with us and will need to fill out some paperwork when we clear Canadian Customs.

Problems with theft while anchored out: Never had a problem

Water tanks: This is not a big problem on most boats. Our boat is 42 years old and we can drink the water out of the tanks. A bigger problem for us is pumping bad water into the tanks at some out of the way location. We are now filtering the water when we put it in and there is a filter installed on the outlet of the boats water pump. The water we drink we filter on more time by running it through a Britta Filter.

Seasick: I have been sick twice over a 50+ years of boating, but never when I have been running the boat. I think it's because there are other things to keep your mind busy. One thing that's really nice about being retired is that there is no schedule to keep to. If it's blowing, stay in port until the weather improves.

Navigation: That's what charts and depth finders are for. Charts will show you where 99% of the rocks and shallow water is.

If you want to get a feel for what this lifestyle is like I would suggest that you look into going out on a charter for a weekend or longer. Here in the Northwest there are companies that operate small charter boats and take out smaller groups, usually less that six. They will skipper the boat for you and I'm sure will answer any questions you can think of. Also, the US Power Squadrons have boating courses for beginning boaters that are very worth while taking. They don't cost much and everyone is usually a newbie.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
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One last thing, how do you all avoid under water outcroppings, junk, or big rocks in the shallows?
Slow down. It's a trawler after all.

If going into a new inlet, anchorage, or marina, I am almost never above idle. Hitting a rock at that speed will do some damage, but unless you hit it just right, it most likely won't be catastrophic. There is a saying when docking to "Never go faster than you are willing to hit something". I think that applies to this situation too.

If you know (from charts, local knowledge, crusing guides, internet forums ) that there are rocks or piling in the area, it never hurts to put crew on the bow and/or steer from the flybridge.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:59 PM   #15
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"One last thing, how do you all avoid under water outcroppings, junk, or big rocks in the shallows?"
As previously stated, the charts, whether they are paper or electronic, keep you abreast of most of the dangers but not all. I still use a new adaptation of a device sea captains used in the 1700s. It's called a "Reef Grappler" and is towed by the dinghy. The big boat stands off from the desired cove while the dinghy goes in to survey the cove. We don't cover the entire cove, just the desired entrance/ exit path and the area we wish to anchor at. The "Grappler is set to 1 foot more than the draft of the boat and if it doesn't encounter a reef, junk or any other underwater hazard, an "all clear " is transmitted to the mother ship and she enters the cove unimpaired.

Reef Grappler" 5-10 (Surveys 5-10 feet under the water & is adjustable)
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:31 PM   #16
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I see, the electronics and charts are very advanced. I knew about the GPS and plotters, but didn't know they were so accurate and detailed.

Australia sounds like the perfect place for cruising.
And taking a charter ride over the weekend would be great fun, I will think about that. I could spend a weekend just rummaging through the bowels of a cruising trawler, tracing pipes and studying what's there.

Thanks again, to all above. I didn't think I'd get answered quite so quickly.
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:36 PM   #17
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[QUOTE=CaptTom;152475]I'll take the seasick question.


There are a few people who always get seasick. They just can't be around boats.

Not always true - In the early 70's I worked on a sportfisher out of San Diego. We had 10-12 regular customers that came out almost every week (not all together and not necessarily the same day). Well, hard to believe, but 4 or 5 of them would get horribly seasick every damn time! They'd start heaving as soon as we left the bay. Ask them why they always tortured themselves and they'd swear it's the last time and they would never do it again. As soon as we re-entered the bay, or, they set foot on the dock, all was miraculously better. And sure enough, they'd be right back the following week for more punishment

The reason, the fishing was just that good in those days.
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:59 AM   #18
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Canada has some very strict laws on what firearms are allowed to be brought into the country. For the most part, handguns are strictly prohibited. Rifles are allowed if you're coming in to go hunting and for some other limited uses.

Shotguns are pretty much allowed but have to be declared, must be stored unloaded but the ammo can be nearby.

Do some google searches for more on that subject.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:46 AM   #19
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I probably used up my quota on the seasickness reply, but let me vote a +1 for drinking the water on board. IF you use your water regularly, and refill from city water that's been treated, and do a treatment once or twice per season, the water will be fine.

I resent boat owners who let their water get so bad that it's become common knowledge never to drink boat water.

I have to keep bottled water on board in the summer or passengers and crew will become dehydrated rather than try the water on board. Even though there's a filter right on the faucet. Instead they drink the filtered tap water that comes in a plastic bottle. Go figure.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:55 PM   #20
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OK Bluto... and hello!! Welcome to TF with all its cool ongoing oddities as well as a bunch of straight shooten mariner discussions. I believe you’ll fit right in.

Seems that your beginning questions have been well addressed by some TF members. Most of their answers I agree with. Soooo, and not to try and hijack this thread, but because I believe it is the natural segue from your initial question segment...

Give us the description you currently fantasize you’d like to have become your first Trawler / pleasure cruiser / self contained power boat. Ya know, stuff like this:

LOA / beam / # of staterooms / up or down galley / 1 or 2 or 3 heads / single or twin screw / gasoline or diesel / wood or fiberglass or aluminum or steel / sedan or fly bridge or pilot house / displacement or semi displacement or planing hull / gen set / headroom needed.... ???

These are just some of the high points in knowing what you want before purchasing; as a matter o’ fact you should have many of these and other boat particulars well in hand before going on a physical look-see boat expedition.

I recommend you go into Yachtworld.com and spend many hours researching many boats that basically fit your fantasy wishes. By doing that you should be able to pretty much narrow it down from there as to what you really would feel good about owning. A lot of the final decision has to do with where you will be docking and/or cruising.

I believe that several in TF, hopefully me included, will answer most of your questions as your boat search intensifies. Be aware that many here are super committed boaters and many not quite that committed... all in all I believe that TF carries the most eclectic well rounded boating bunch on the net.

As one member intoned in an earlier post, and, I paraphrase – Don’t worry about boat-cost right now... just get into position by knowing what “style” boat you want... then the boat has much better chance of appearing, at affordable cost too!

Happy Boat Search Daze!!
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