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Old 07-04-2020, 09:16 AM   #1
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Maiden Voyage Questions

I need advice and guidance.

I have 25 years of boating experience operating a 20' stern drive runabout. I am a serious operator and have read a lot about the rules of the road, buoy colors, etc.. I have maintained my boat myself (780 hours).

I have experienced a late midlife crisis and purchased a mainship 390 that I need to bring home from Louisville, KY to Nashville.

The owner and his wife passed so i was not able to get information from him. His slip neighbors and the mechanic said he spent what it took to maintain the boat and loved it. I can certainly understand that.

Here is what I know.
1. Engine seems to be good, cooling system pressure check was good, oil analysis good, sea trial went well. No bad smoke, full strong power to 2600 rpms. CAT 3126 1020 hours. Oil and filter changed. Near instant cold start.
2. Transmission oil was good, analysis good, fluid changed.
3. Genset oil good, analysis good. Near instant cold start.
4. Electronic are old old. The radar works but no base map found (raymarine RL80C). Depth sounder works, VHF Radios work.
5. Fuel filters will be changed this week. Diesel fuel is about 18 months old. Tanks will be topped off.
6. Batteries all tested good but they're certainly not new.
7. Anchor chain and rode seemed fine.
8. Waste tank will be pumped and water tank will be drained and refilled. Plan to drink bottled water.
9. New bottom paint going on this next week.

Here is what I plan to do and take:
1. Buy a Garmin handheld GPS with blue charts.
2. I have the latest Corp charts of the Ohio and Cumberland.
3. Tools and filter wrenches, purchase three extra fuel filters.
4. Buy extra fenders for locks. Boat has 3.
5. Two handheld VHF Radios.

I am smart enough to go about close maneuvers slowly but I don't have any experience with a boat this size and configuration. Bow thruster works well. I am smart enough to read buoys and watch the depth sounder. I am smart enough to plan to stay overnight in marinas if at all possible. I am smart enough to be about half scared to start this trip!

It's a 500 mile trip. I hate to start this way but shipping it here would have required removal of the bridge and I just did NOT what to do that.

I plan to take a friend who's experience level is just like mine.

I know it's a lot to ask, I welcome anyone's advice here.

Thanks,
Hawk
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:22 AM   #2
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It sounds to me that you have it pretty well covered. Half scared?
That's a positive sign that you will be a good skipper!
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:33 AM   #3
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I agree with Codger - you are on the right track. Don't be in a hurry, and enjoy the trip. Your comfort level will go up in leaps and bounds. Good luck and keep us posted.

Cheers, Bill
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:37 AM   #4
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You sound very capable to me. To bad about the previous owners as it is always nice to be able to ask them questions. You will probably feel a little anxious the first few days but it will get better as the days go by. Just pay attention and practice good situational awareness.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:39 AM   #5
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You will do well. Remember that a 500 mile trip is just a string of day trips.
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayview View Post
You will do well. Remember that a 500 mile trip is just a string of day trips.
Good advice!
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Old 07-04-2020, 10:51 AM   #7
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I've done this trip a couple of times. In fact our maiden voyage was from Watts Bar Lake to Cincinnati. You'll have plenty of time to learn about your new boat during this trip.

You'll want to be sure the boat is as prepared as possible and it sounds like you have that well in hand. If the survey didn't turn up any red flags there isn't much more to be worried about. Things can happen any time but you just do what you can to be ready. Sounds like you are stocking spares and tools as needed so it should be an enjoyable trip without stress.

One suggestion would be to take a several hour day trip upriver before heading south. Maybe Madison IN. for lunch and back? This will give you a better chance to learn the boat and make sure nothing pops up. Once bellow Louisville help and marinas are pretty far apart until you get to the Cumberland. Basically Evansville is your best bet for fuel and a "real" marina but there are areas to anchor or free docks along the way. Check Active Captain for ideas. This time of year with more daylight and some luck with locks you should be able to cover some longer days going downhill.

Since you have the charts I'd be fine using Aqua Maps or Navionics on an iPad or similar for backup. Just make sure it's cell capable so you have GPS. Also check the local notices. I seem to remember that Barkley lock has some closings coming up in July and August.

Since I'm planning a trip up the Ohio from the Tennessee River in a few weeks please keep us posted on your progress. Maybe we'll see you out there. And.....if you stop in Golconda Marina please post the depth...I've heard it's gotten a bit skinny lately.

Good luck with the trip and enjoy the new boat!!
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Old 07-04-2020, 12:49 PM   #8
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I think you are pretty well off. Not knowing the state of the fuel in your tanks I might take more than 3 filters as spares. You probably wonít need them but if the fuel is dirty you will need them. Make sure you know how to change the fuel filters AND bleed the system. I would take a small shakedown cruise. Practice anchoring the boat so you know how everything works and that everything does work. And then have fun and enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-04-2020, 01:18 PM   #9
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You should add a fuel conditioner when you fill up. 18 month old fuel has started to separate. If you pick one that enhances combustion, you'll get a more efficient fuel burn and better mileage out of the old fuel. Also most include a biocide that will kill any organism growth in the tanks.
Carry at least a couple sets of fuel filters and make sure you know how to bleed the air out of the fuel system. There could be some debris in the tanks that gets stirred up with the first boat movement in 18 months.
Since it's a maiden voyage, take a couple maidens along.
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Old 07-04-2020, 04:38 PM   #10
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Unless you are married. She might get the new boat in the divorce.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:01 PM   #11
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You got this!

I agree with several of the others. I recently purchased my 390. Brought it up the ICWW from Georgetown SC to Urbanna, VA on the Rappahannock River. Like you, I had a smaller boat, a 24' Proline. A big step up. I did hire a captain to teach me on the way and that worked well for me. I recommend you carry tools, extra oil and antifreeze. I also had some spare parts on hand like, filters, belts, impeller kit. It turned out to be a great adventure, I hope yours is as good. Best of luck my new friend. Please feel free to reach if you have any questions. Others on this site have really helped me. It is a great group for support.
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Old 07-04-2020, 05:03 PM   #12
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Greetings,
Mr. H. Welcome aboard. TOW INSURANCE!!!!
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Old 07-04-2020, 06:56 PM   #13
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Practice with the anchor and windlass a few times. There may be times you can't dock at a marina. Check off buoys as you make progress, things tend to look the same at times. Also, be alert as to wing dam changes. Have fun and enjoy the trip.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:31 PM   #14
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Take several local day trips first, testing the various systems while practicing boat handling, especially docking and disembarking. Learn the boat first.
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Old 07-04-2020, 07:44 PM   #15
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Carry extra filters and watch out for the current coming in and out of the dock. Bow in docking is pretty easy. Enjoy the trip!
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:54 PM   #16
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Thanks to everyone for your replies. I'll update you all on my progress. It's a big step but it's very exciting. The aqua maps looks like a good option. I'll spend some time this week getting familiar with it.
Thanks again for all the advice.

Hawk
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Old 07-04-2020, 09:57 PM   #17
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I can barely afford this boat. I can't afford this and a divorce!!
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Old 07-05-2020, 05:40 AM   #18
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Great suggestions so far, and I agree that your attitude and approach will maximize chances of success. I can think of two suggestions to add to the list:


- Spend at least one 24hr period on the boat before departure, preferably 48hrs. This will allow you to really test the house systems to be sure everything works, like toilets, drains, pumps, etc. And it will get you more familiar with the boat.


- I don't know the details of the route you have planned, but if it's possible to make the first couple of days short runs, that will allow you to build up your skills, knowledge of the boat, and overall confidence. It's along the lines of doing some practice day trips, but arranging them so that each one takes you progressively in the desired direction, rather than right back to the starting point. You might as well be making progress, if you can.


- Leave early, and arrive early. That way if you develop a need for something over the course of the day, or need to fix something, you arrive early enough to get parts, supplies, and do repairs.


And most importantly, have an enjoyable trip. Try not to make it a delivery run with a tight schedule.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:33 AM   #19
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Agree with others who said, "learn to bleed the fuel system on your engine"

Also, suggest the anchor rode be removed entirely from the boat and inspected.
Before you go. It is your "emergency brake" after all.

Sounds like a fun trip that you are ready for.
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Old 07-05-2020, 07:16 AM   #20
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Welcome Aboard.

You will do just fine. I would only add two points, and they are not rocket science.

1) Crash Slow
2) Stay sober, leave the beer and the bottle at home for this maiden run.

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