The following pages are from the time before I purchased "Mouse Pad" to the present time and place, wherever that may be. I will try to put them in chronological order. It will, hopefully, give you some idea of what it can take to find a sail boat, then get her ready for cruising. I will admit to some of the things I did right and some of the things I did wrong, along with all the things I didn't even think of. I'll try to tell you about what I found on other boats once we actually got out here. One of the things that became evident to me by the time I was half way through getting "Mouse Pad" ready, was that I had learned so much about designing, building, and sailing a boat, I felt I could almost design my own. Well, at least I had a real good understanding of boat design from the cruisers prospective. I had learned about water systems, electrical systems, diesel engines, propane and refrigeration systems. What bottom paints could and could not be mixed together, the best bottom paints available for cruising, etc.. There are very different paints for cruisers than for racers or local stuff. The water is in the 80's most of the time in the South Pacific against the 60's in Southern California. We learned, the hard way, how to rewire the boat's charging system whilst on our shakedown cruise. I learned about anchoring techniques and the different types of anchors needed for different bottom types, as well as chain and general ground tackle configurations. Nearing the end of your preparation you realize that this has become a science project not a simple cruising project. At the end of it all when you are just about to pull away from the dock you think you could be the next Nobel prize winner in physics and/or mathematics. I didn't know a simple thing like sailing from here to there would be so complex!
I will break this whole thing up into manageable sections or chapters of boat purchase, preparation, getting there, and cruising etc. I may from time to time go back and review chapters already covered. When that happens I will let you know where and what I have changed. This is not meant to be a comprehensive, all purpose guide to buying, prepping and going cruising. It is purely my observations and experiences and what I have learned along the way. If nothing else, I hope it will make for some interesting armchair reading. At best I hope that for anyone thinking about going cruising it will give some insight as to what to expect and help you miss out on some of the headaches I had.
This is where I get to rag on companies and products that don't live up their claims, and praise those who do, or go beyond the normal bounds of customer service. I will also, from time to time, write about the people who have shined above all in the boating community around the world.
I think I should start at the beginning with a list (the first of hundreds of lists I was to make over the next couple of years).
Buying the boat
Start getting the boat ready
Going on our first Shakedown Cruise
Preparing to leave the dock
Created by the Skipper of Mouse Pad.
Copyright © 1995-2005 All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 September, 2005 .