Confident Sailor/Reluctant Sailor 2 - COLREGS essentialBy Rob MacLeod

In this second of three parts, we will explore preparing for a longer cruise from the people side. Later, in the third instalment we will look at final preparation of the boat.

Since the first instalment of Confident Sailor / Reluctant Sailor appeared in the June issue, Mary and I have had to postpone our Bahamas departure for one year. At issue is emergency medical insurance. There are many people who choose to go cruising without insurance. Some put aside a sizeable emergency fund ($10 – 15,000) in a readily accessible account and some – like Mary and I – choose emergency medical insurance.

In preparation for departing this year, Mary researched insurance coverage for extended cruising. Our plan was to leave in August, with a return home in both September and October for prior commitments. That meant we could travel on an annual policy with trips of up to 30 days until the end of October and then contract for coverage for November 2016 through to May 2017. Most emergency policies require provincial medical coverage in place. We found online quotes were high and varied widely. After going to several individual sources, including the auto club and our bank, we went to a travel insurance professional who had access to many other options. A good broker will help find the best policy for you and guide you through the fine print.

The trick for those of us who are old enough to collect CPP, is we are also subject to the ‘6-month stable’ constraint. Most policies have a stability clause it is paramount that you read and understand it. For example:
Any conditions or Changes in Your Health (except Minor Ailments) that have not been Stable and Controlled for a period of three (3) months before the Departure Date for an Insured Person aged 3 months to 55 years and for a period of six (6) months before Departure Date for an Insured Person aged 56 and over, unless specified otherwise in writing by the Insurer.

Part of Mary’s self-classification as a ‘reluctant sailor’ is her aversion to risk – and travelling without adequate insurance is a risk. As in our original trip in 2009 we were willing to accept some risk – including an additional $10 – 15,000 in unexpected expenses – but not the risk of a major medical emergency requiring US hospitalization and / or transport back to Canada. It was a change in medication that made us medically un-stable until December – leading us to postponement our departure.

That said, the preparation continues.

Confidence Does Not Equal Competence
In the 90s, I worked for a marketing firm as VP of Training and Development. One of the divisions conducted extensive research on the ability of people to apply training to their job. The research looked at two factors of performance – confidence and competence. Competence is defined as the knowledge, skills and experience to do a particular task. Confidence is defined by having the ‘trust’ in yourself to perform that task.

Confident Sailor/Relucant Sailor 2 - Power boat docking lessonsThey found approximately 20% of people being trained (across a large array of skills) had the competence (ability) and the confidence (trust in self) to do the job. They found that roughly 60% of trainees had the competence, but not the confidence to act. The final 20% of people had the confidence to do something but lacked the ability.

As a certified SailCanada Intermediate Instructor, I have trained many people to sail and handle a sailboat under power and sail. At the Basic level, after 18 hours of on-the-water training we send our students out on their own from the dock that they know and in waters they are familiar with. I watch from shore as they struggle through things they know and have experience with until their confidence catches up with their competence – and then they go sailing.

SailCanada (Sailing.ca) recommends 10 daysails for practice and experience before taking the next level – Intermediate (Bareboat Skipper) level. What does this have to do with this article? When you learn something, you are in the middle 60%. Only time and practice will get you the competent/confident stage.

At the intermediate level, we spend at least five days living aboard a 35 to 40 foot sailboat – about the size you would charter. We teach all of the skills necessary to handle this sized sailboat, anchoring for two or three nights, docking for one or two and handling on a mooring if we can find one. Each student prepares a meal, getting used to smaller galleys and propane grills. Everyone takes their turn completing engine checks, maintaining and otherwise treating the boat as if they chartered it. By the end of the week, all of the requisite knowledge and skills have been covered. Would I say my students are competent? No - not until they actually take a boat out on their own and go through the same week. Intermediate Standard:

To be able to cruise safely in familiar waters as both skipper and crew of a sailing yacht of 9 to 12 meters, sloop rigged with an inboard engine, in moderate wind and sea conditions by day. The standard emphasizes on-the-water skills at a level acceptable for bare boat chartering for extended cruises in coastal waters.

Although it is not necessary to take a “cruise and learn” vacation to gain the necessary skills, I do highly recommend learning everything that is contained in the Intermediate Standard before chartering. Then to take your boat further afield – say to the Bahamas and back, you need the knowledge and skills covered in the SailCanada Coastal Navigation and Advanced Cruising Standards:

-To be able to act safely as skipper and crew of a sailing cruiser of 10 – 15 meters, any modern rig and inboard engine, operating within 100 miles of shore by day and night in coastal or inland water in any weather.

Confident Sailor/Reluctant Sailor 2 - Crew Overboard

So what else should you know and be competent in to take on a major journey? The SailCanada Basic, Intermediate and Advanced standards cover:

Crew Overboard – Remember, it may be the confident member of the team that goes over and the more reluctant partner has to be able to execute the COB manoeuver to ensure a safe recovery – and that includes getting the person back onboard

Anchoring – knowing the correct ratios for differing conditions – selecting the most appropriate anchor, setting the ‘hook’ and recovering the anchor, finding a suitable anchorage (see Staying Put in CY April 2015 for a detailed article on Anchors and Anchoring)

Living Aboard – galley procedures, cooking systems, proper electrical management (both 12 and 110 volt), effective use of refrigeration, fresh water and waste water management

Handling the Boat Under Power – docking and undocking, including in a current or tidal waters

Handling the Boat Under Sail – reefing, heaving to, use of the traveller, using a cruising spinnaker

Navigation – Getting marine forecasts (yes plural), charts reading, chart plotters, VHF Radio with digital selective calling (DSC) and piloting in unfamiliar harbours

Safety and systems – filing a sailing plan, checking all of your boat’s systems – galley, water, waste, electrical, sails, rigging, first aid and safety

Add to all of this, understanding and the COLREGS (International Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea – 1972)

Confident Sailor/Reluctant Sailor 2 - Rob is a certified SailCanada Intermediate InstructorBeing a competent confident skipper requires gaining the knowledge and experience to be able to handle your boat in varying situations – situations you may never face in your homeport. If you are considering cruising – either for a few weeks, a few months or for several years, take the time to acquire the knowledge and then practice your skills to build your confidence.

So, where do you get this training? We are very fortunate in Canada and the US to have several well-respected organizations that provide excellent on-the-water (skill) and classroom (knowledge) training.

On the water and classroom – SailCanada (sailing.ca) for Learn to Cruise Standards. Look up your provincial sailing association for a Learn to Cruise instructor or school near you.

Classroom instruction – the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (cps-ecp.ca) have taught boating safety for decades.
In the US, look for US Power Squadrons for classroom-based training or American Sailing Association and US Sailing for hands-on training

In Part 3, we will look at some of the technical aspects of getting ready to cruise, including charging systems (alternator, solar and shore power), heads and waste management and tips on provisioning for extended coastal cruising.

Photo Captions:
Photo 1 – It's essential to have an understanding of the COLREGS (International Rules for the Prevention of Collision at Sea – 1972) when navigating with commercial shipping.
Photo 2 – Power boat docking lessons in progress. Practice builds confidence and teamwork.
Photo 3 – Returning to a crew overboard using Lifesling.
Photo 4 – As a certified SailCanada Intermediate Instructor, I have trained many people to sail and handle a sailboat under power and sail.
All images credited to Rob MacLeod

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
At the 2019 Vancouver International Boat Show I had the pleasure of meeting up with Allyson and ...
Following the harsh impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, The British Virgin Islands is making an ...
For the adventurous boater Bunsby Marine Provincial Park is a special place, situated due south of ...
There is good anchoring in Cowichan Bay and nearby, and salt water enough to make any boater happy. ...
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...


The Marina at Blind ChannelOne of my favourite places

By Marianne Scott

Sailing north of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and the Broughton Archipelago offer cruisers a bevy islands with ample anchorages. Tides cause swift currents to run through the islands’ waterways. Few marinas are found in this large, sparsely populated region but one that provides all the services boaters need and especially enjoy is Blind Channel, a marina and resort operated by the Richter family located on Mayne Passage on the east side of West Thurlow Island (50 24. 82N, 125 30. 00).

Read more about the Blind Channel Resort...

 

Lifestyle

  • Prev
At the end of last month, Canadian sailors gathered on the Palma Beach in Palma de Mallorca, Spain ...
In 2019, C-TOW celebrates its 35th anniversary of providing 24/7 “Peace of Mind Boating” for ...
West Vancouver Yacht Club reports that following an independent certification process the Georgia ...
It has been hot in the Abacos this winter. Whoever said this area was cool this time of year must ...
Unfortunately this is not a picture from a boat but was taken on the evening of February 27, 2019 ...
On March 1, Tom Ramshaw of Stoney Lake Yacht Club was honoured with the most prestigious National ...
Vero Beach, aka Velcro Beach, lived up to its reputation again. Our original plan was to be there ...
My husband and I were visiting the Bra d'Or Lake from Newfoundland in our 39 foot Sea Ray ...
After an autumn in Canada, we arrived back in northern Florida at Adamant 1 on January 3rd and with ...
This issue, to kick off 2019, we have an unofficial Photo of the week and this, the unofficial ...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
ILCA is seeking new builders to complement its existing network of manufacturers, the International ...
Nelson Gilbert (1854-1921) began building canoes in Brockville in the 1890s, a time when the sport ...
I have heard a lot of talk lately about trends in yacht clubs where senior membership is getting ...
To get you in the mood for cruising the Boat Show then launching in spring, here’s a boat that ...
Quite simply, the styles of boats have changed. Where in past years a buyer might have been looking ...
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...

Swift Trawler 47By Andy Adams

You might look at the pictures of the new Beneteau Swift Trawler 47 and think that this is not a “performance boat”, but I think it certainly is, and here is why; it can top out at 30 mph to get you from A to B quickly or to beat the weather in, so it’s pretty fast, but it can also loaf along doing 1,250 rpm making 9.3 mph and at that pace, it travels 2.4 miles on a gallon of fuel. That’s great performance in my books!

With a light displacement of almost 28,000 lbs, this is a big boat. In fact, it looks and feels more like a small ship than a big boat.

Read more about the Swift Trawler 47......

 

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1By Andy Adams and John Armstrong

Beneteau Oceanis 46.1When Beneteau introduced their new Oceanis 46.1, they were inspired by the fact that their previous Oceanis 45 was one of Beneteau’s best sellers and the new 46.1 had to be a clearly superior boat. The Oceanis range is about space and comfort for cruising while still delivering strong performance.

The yachting world has now recognized the Oceanis 46.1 as being just such a worthy successor. On January 19th, 2019, the Oceanis 46.1 won the highly regarded title of European Yacht of the Year in the “Family Cruiser” category.

Read More about the Oceanis 46.1......

Marine Products

  • Prev
The Walker Bay Venture 14 claims to be the world’s first luxury Explorer Sport Tender. It is ...
Mercury Marine is pleased to announce the launch of the new MerCruiser V8 6.2L 370hp Jet Ready ...
My history with the Cayenne goes back many years, as I was at the launch of the original vehicle ...
Last month, Mercury Marine has announced the launch of the 400hp Verado outboard engine, the ...
Featuring advanced, intuitive 3D controls, Zipwake Dynamic Trim Control Systems deliver a more ...
Gina de Vere approached me at the Canadian Yachting booth at this year’s Vancouver International ...
A revolutionary “assisted docking” system that provides a glimpse into the future of boating ...
After developing the Figaro Beneteau 3, the first production foiling sailing yacht, Groupe Beneteau ...
You most likely operate your vessel with batteries that are rechargeable. Rechargeable batteries ...
This past decade has been a real up-and-down ride for the companies who make boating equipment. ...