Boat Preparation for Ocean Crossing – by André Lambelet
The Crossing of any Ocean is for most experienced sailors the voyage of a lifetime. it requires a lot of preparation and knowledge. For this reason, the boat preparation may require a long time. All the thoughts are addressed not so much to what can happen to the boat at present but instead to what can happen to whole journey then, once you are out there. Water, food, diesel, engines performance and state, crew, weather, boat safety, boat protection, boat management and lots more. It is in fact a great deal of sail to undertake and it really takes all your effort and know how to make it a successful crossing.
All the crossings are not the same and will differ one from another being all ocean not quite the same. So weather you are crossing the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean you will need to be very experienced, fit and ready for anything!
However, here at Delivery Captain we do just that! We do Professional Yacht Deliveries Worldwide for a leaving, for passion and at the highest standards. With more than 16 years of experience we can guarantee the most professional work to all our clients. “FAST – SAFE – RELIABLE – VERY COMPETITIVE PRICE!”
Below is just an example of one of our latest delivery from Seattle USA to Brisbane Australia, and this is what we did or “Boat Preparation for Ocean Crossing:
Vaseline applied on every « stainless » steel bolts and
Spray WD40 on stanchions and joining parts and
wrap them with rags to prevent rust. Every week,
chrome nd stainless steel parts should be
cleaned form dried salt and impregnated with WD40
Extra fuel in cockpit lockers and tightened along
the toe rail, 10 x 20 L on deck + 10 x 20 L in
cockpit lockers + 200 L in tank = 600 L.
Estimated consumption 2,0 L / hour @ 1800 RPM
(= +- 5 kts) = 300 hours
200 L = 100 h = 500 NM
600 L = 300 h = 1’500 NM
Fuel to produce power
4 x 1 hours of running engine @ 1600 RPM per
day to produce sufficient power for auto pilot, nav
instruments, fridge, GPS and nav light.
4 x 2.0 L = 8L / day
15 days = 120 L day just for electrical power!!
|Extra propane bottles (Total of 5 x 5 kg = 25 kg)
Extra propane bottles were stored on deck. After
4 days, bottles started to rust and stains
appeared on deck thought cloth. Gaz bottle are
now stored in the anchor locker (vent/drain) and
wrapped in plastic bags.
10-12 kg = ~ 30 days for 3 crew.
25 kg = ~ 60 days for 3 crew.
A bungee (elastic) is attached to the toping lift to make it tight at any point of sail, it prevents it from being jammed around the forestay.
Original shackle at the end of anchor chain is replaced by a short line. In case of trouble, the line can be cut under tension to release chain and anchor… if possible, attach a fender
to get it back later.
|DC power monitoring
Monitoring domestic battery is crucial for powering
instruments, auto pilot, navlights, etc…When the engine runs to produce electrical power,
engage reverse (out of gear) to make clear to your
mates that the prop is not in gear forward.
– Latitude – Longitude
– Distance to Waypoint – DTW
– Velocity made good – VMG to waypoint
– Apparent wind direction – AWD
– Apparent wind angle AWA
– True wind angle – TWA
– True wind speed – TWS
– Course over ground – COG (true)
– Heading – HDG
– Speed (on water)
– Speed over ground – SOG
– SOG > Speed = stream against us
– SOG < Speed = stream pushing us
Bilge lockers opening are badly designed, they
Blue masking tape applied on wooden edges and
parts subject to being scratched by crew’s gear in
heavy weather and over 30° heeling (life vest or
harnesses D-ring, belt knives, oilskin zips, etc…) Bilge lockers have been emptied and
cleaned. We applied blue tape over the
joints to prevent dust or dirty to ruin our
| Sail drive: folding prop vs fixed prop
With a folding prop, engage reverse while sailing
With a fix prop, do not engage reverse, let it turn.
CONS: prop always in rotation => increased risk of having something
When hoisting and dropping spinnaker, always engage reverse to
minimise risk of fouling prop in case it goes wrong.
Chafe is the main risk to monitor on long passages to
avoid accidents or gear/rig failures.
Main sheet was chafing against the block (bad angle/
design) => Opening block rigged at bottom of mast to
deviate main sheet.
|Original position of main sheet on left jammer,
the angle towards the winch was too important =
chafe => mains sheet moved to middle jammer.
Spinaker halyard: shackle ring was removed and
replaced by short metallic wire protected waxed
twine. Top eye pop off the mast, it was replaced
with a soft block => ring + dynema ®
Protecting the edge of outboard for chafe prevention
|When chafe occurs…
Spinnaker halyard guiding eye on top of mast failed,
rivets did’t hold the load, then, main sheet was
chafing against the block and halyard almost broke.
Spinnaker luff was made out of steel wire, without
turning block, cable un-spins and… breaks. It has
been replaced with spare sheet core (inside only).
|Rubber particules where found in the aft locker… the
exhaust pipe was chafing against its sharp metallic
fixation. If it fails, an important amount of cooling
water goes straight to the bilge, thanks Jeanneau!
Chafe protection was made up to avoid this…
|Outhaul line was about to break due to
the bowline knot chafing against the
sharp plastic part of the clew. The
bowline was replaced by a simple
stopping knot, triple fisherman. Other
boats use a « donut » ring.
|Pulpit and pushpit chrome was
« attacked » by the ropes !!! Either the
chrome is poorly done or the line is
abrasive like hell… never seen that
|Securing the clew to the boom Dynema secure line in case of outhaul line failure due to chafe.
|Trace line in the boom Since there is no reefing lines running
inside the boom, we installed a trace line (green) to replace the outhaul (white & red) in case of failure.
Having a logbook is mandatory, it takes a little time every day but it is precious.
Writing at night in gusts, waves and pouring rain
will not produce a nice result in the logbook… Use
a scrap book for the crew to write down the log
while sailing and put it clean the day after.
Spinnaker setting with pole and without
|Two spinnaker blocks for the tack
rigged on both side of the forestay to
avoid chafe on angular forestay base.
Repack fresh food in ziplock, store eggs at
ambiant temperature, store agrumes and
tomatoes in a hanging net, cardboard boxes can
also be used to store fruits, potatoes, oignons…
Ref to Kenneth’s list : My New Shopping List.doc
|Fresh spreads for sandwiches & salads : rince the seeds and let them soak for 24h in the dark. Then place
the glass upside down for drainage, still in the dark. Rince every 24h and let’s grow. When light green, eat!
1 permanent bucket tied aft, 1 flying bucket in aft locker,
1 sea water bucket in the sink for washing.
Iridium Sat Phone and Optimizer
Battery for optimizer
|PredictWind application Weather forecast app. supplied by Xgate and Weather 4D were used for the passage.
|Oil and filter replacement
Replace oil down wind at calm sea…
Use a manual pump to suck old oil if available,
connect it to the gauge tube because it goes at
the very bottom of the engine block. If
diameter don’t fit, be inventive… here, we
connected the pump hose to the pipe with a
For oil filter replacement, tape a plastic bag
under it to prevent oil spill in the engine bilge,
use a rubber band (chambre à air de vélo) to
screw or unscrew it for best grip. Never pinch
a screwdriver through to unscrew in case of
the new filter doesn’t fit, one’ll still have the old
one to screw back!
|Fuel refilling without a drop spilled
1 long tube from jerrycan to tank, 1 smallest
tube to blow into the jerrycan to increase
pressure so fuel is pushed to the tank, and a
piece of rag to seal the top; simple, easy and
||Splices and soft shackles
At sea, we have plenty of time… take
advantage of it to create all sorts of
customized lines and inventive
combinations of knots & splices that
will naturally find their use onboard.
Making soft shackles and rope work is fine, but does
it hold the load? Before using them, we tested our
creations with 46’’ winch, full force in second gear +
5 clicks in first gear… they elongated a little bit but
held the load, test passed!
A good way of getting fresh proteins if
lucky… tie a bungee to shorten the line
with an alarm to warn one’s of a catch.
We didn’t catch any except 2 skip jacks… 🙁
– Raymarine plotter
– iNavx, iPad app
– Navionics, iPad app
– Paper charts (FrugalNavigator.com )
|Navigation – Pilotage plan for Brisbane channel – Entering at night is safer and easier…
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