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Old 06-23-2020, 08:55 PM   #1
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Curmudgeon 𝐀𝐥𝐞𝐫𝐭 - Being prepared before leaving the dock

Is it me or are there too many people who get “surprised” once away from the dock and end up with stuff thrown all over their salons and galleys because of . . .

I’ve recently seen far too many videos of people, some apparently experienced with a decent on line following, who suddenly find themselves With lamps, canned goods, dishes, and other bits and bobs all over the place when “surprised” by weather, wakes, rip tides, etc.

Do most of you try to secure loose items before or right after shoving off? How can anyone not expect to have stuff thrown around while cruising even on calm sunny days?

So tell me, does your formal or informal check list include securing loose items, furniture, etc and checking to see that all locking cabinets and drawers are secured? In the past 3-4 days I’ve been amazed at what I’ve seen so called experienced boaters experience. Yes, we miss the occasional item, etc....

Rant off, but the question still stands - do you secure loose stuff and doors/drawers before or as you are undocking more or less without exception?
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:26 PM   #2
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Our usual "leaving the dock" plan does not include securing things that might bounce around because we usually only cruise around 9-11 kts and the boat doesn't bounce around.

We up the ante if we're going to get on plane. I let my wife know that we're getting on plane. She puts things away, lays breakable stuff on the couch, etc.

When she has put all the breakables into places where it can't fall over she calls me on the radio and lets me know.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:13 PM   #3
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Our departure checklist includes “securing the interior”. The few times we’ve broken an interior item were when we left on an easy, short cruise only to be tossed by a tanker wake.
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Old 06-23-2020, 11:37 PM   #4
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I am constantly amazed by how little things move about on our boat. Admittedly we cruise in SE Alaska on the Inside Passage with little boat traffic to create wakes. Our boat has a rounded chine and, although she rolls, it's not a snappy roll. In 14 years of cruising 4-5 months a year I don't think we have ever had anything slide over the fiddles on the shelves, table or counter. We have had a few drawers and galley doors open from pitching, but no losses (all could have been locked). In our raised wheelhouse I occasionally (once a year?) have to cinch down the helms chair to the padeye to make it more stable. As I mentioned, we do have fiddles and we do use non-skid on the shelves. We also try to avoid going out in winds over 15 knots especially with big currents. However, we have been caught in winds of 25-30 knots with 6-8 chop.

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Old 06-24-2020, 12:56 AM   #5
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Yes to the secure loose items. Venture past the inner harbor and the wakes will find any item you missed. Once we're offshore habit kicks in and things are put back in the right place after use. Glass on the boat is verboten to the maximum extent possible.
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Old 06-24-2020, 04:34 AM   #6
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Depends on the weather forecast. If there's the least bit of concern in the forecast, we stow things that can fly about BEFORE leaving the dock. Most importantly, the Nespresso Pixie machine ;-)
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:02 AM   #7
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Underway..... glass coffee pot goes into the sink
Listen for the shifting of the pots and pans.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:28 AM   #8
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Never leave a ripe avocado on a paper plate when going out the inlet!

Made that mistake once. It launched and made a god-awful mess.

Loose stuff goes in drawers, the sink or on the deck when rough offshore. We've gotten better at prepping since the avocado incident.
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Old 06-24-2020, 05:50 AM   #9
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My philosophy through 3 liveaboards was if when in normal use it didn't have a spot to sit securely for normal days including huge wakes....then it didn't belong or stay aboard.

Sure maybe a half dozen things that were easy to toss some place safe...like a knife set into a sink ( I should have made a holder that was attached somehow).... but most things live in a stored place.

Now, that didn't mean the boat was ready for a long offshore passage....but I never do those..

Most cruisers/liveaboards I know tend to not keep things "lines off ready"...so if they get anything other than a "slow pass wake" when underway....they get angry because of the cabin they now have to clean up.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:06 AM   #10
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Greetings,
Got "caught" twice many years ago. SOP is similar to above. Loose stuff stowed, cabinets/drawers/fridge etc. latched and secured. Loose bits in sink. So far, so good.
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:23 AM   #11
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We always secure the boat, but exactly how much varies a bit depending on conditions. At a minimum, all drawers and lockers get locked, and anything that's not on non-skid gets put away.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:08 AM   #12
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We always secure the cabin before departure. Fridge latched closed, any non-attached items stowed unless they're known to survive a decent bit of pitch / roll without moving (we do have a few that meet that criteria). I have dumped a few plates out of a cabinet once or twice due to nasty wakes at anchor though. Unfortunately, my sliding cabinets don't latch closed.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:11 AM   #13
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True confessions - the avocado story - I t’s our BBQ sauce in a Rubbermaid container story. We each thought the other one of us stowed the container in the fridge. Not. Left out on the fiddle-less solid surface counter. Big boat wake in the San Juans and a loud thud. I found spots two weeks later in places I could not imagine a splatter could reach.

For us the lessons learned were in protected areas within the San Juans and Gulf Islands in the PacNW. A 4788 has a very soft chine and likes to roll if not at an off angle to wave action. Larger wakes, if not properly anticipated (“Hey! Turn off the autopilot and steer!”) can cause quite a bit of roll and the subsequent surprises. Consequently Patti does a “secure items” walk thru Before all but the shortest legs. Simple insurance against the “oh sh*t” moments. Much easier than cleaning up or worse, having to replace an item or repair damage.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:33 AM   #14
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Don't feel too bad...on almost every USCG deployment I made...the first set of heavy waves sent dozens of sets of cheap Navy china to the decks.


Breaking in the "kids"......even the pros have to work though common errors.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:38 AM   #15
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Yes, we definitely had a checklist protocol for securing things before leaving on any open water or otherwise extended cruise, a more rigorous one for offshore, or for snotty conditions on bays and sounds. The stabilizers and size of boat made wakes and the like pretty much non factors. We had this protocol pretty precise after a couple of quite literal shakedown cruises, including a couple items that needed some modicum of permanent securing. This part of pre-departure prep took about 5 minutes, if that, depending on how much loose stuff we had left out.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:41 AM   #16
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We don't have much loose on the boat. A couple of lamps is about it. The TV is strapped. The boat came with two bar stools that are now in the house! The things that tend to get tossed around are the things I have out for the trip, my camera, binoculars, chart book. Which are usually beside me at the helm.

When on the ICW and rivers we don't usually stow for sea. If I see a large wake coming I flip the stabilizers and she handles them well.
Everytime outside, we go through the boat and stow the lamps and put an extra d-clamp of the fridge freezer. Even though the FF has lock clips they do tend to bounce open in heavy seas - when you lose the contents of your FF all over the galley floor in seas you learn a very quick lesson.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:46 AM   #17
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Interesting point about bar stools. I have a pair on my boat, but with very heavy, weighted bases. And they sit on carpet. So as long as there's not a person sitting on them to make them top-heavy, they're very hard to tip. The previously mentioned cabinet-dumping rolls aren't enough to move the stools. Based on tipping the stools around by hand, I'd estimate that it would take around a 30 degree roll to tip one, maybe 20 degrees of pitch where the movement would tend to be fairly sharp and momentum may tip it.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:51 AM   #18
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We try to organize the boat in such a manner that it doesn't require a large amount of effort to 'secure' things to begin with. Everything is stored and/or secured in such a way that the boat is relatively ready to make way in calm conditions immediately and in rough seas in about 5-10 minutes.

Our readiness consists of securing hatches, securing anything that is loose on counters, a few toiletries in the head. I also lash the cooler on the deck.

Still we have been in very rough seas and, after anchoring, found the couch and coffee table on the other side of the salon.
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Old 06-24-2020, 07:52 AM   #19
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Another thing we learned. Our lockers around the boat and on the galley have those two-position push button locks. It is critical to have them pushed in to a true lock not just the popped-up closed position, as then they can work open.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:50 AM   #20
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We always secure everything before engine start. You can get waked early on a trip.
Most things are always secure but some items are moved to unsecure locations when at a dock. At anchor is depends on the location.

It is a boat after all so everything that can get tossed around will.
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