A place for everything and everything in its place.
HOW TO LIVE ON AN OCEAN BOAT:
Normally living on a sailboat is very uncomfortable, so I have equipped ARIEL with solutions that will make staying on board less difficult than it normally is on a sailboat.
We have a 220 l / h 220 volt watermaker. A fact that can make the use of fresh water a normal thing, without the stress of absolute savings. This does not mean that the taps should be kept open while shaving or brushing your teeth, but it is certainly possible to take one or more showers a day and you can wash the dishes, etc. etc.
We have a washing machine that will be put into operation every 2 days for laundry, like at home, therefore bags containing dozens of T-shirts or underpants are useless. Much better to do laundry like at home, it passes the time, helps to keep clean and stinky stowage is avoided.
We have a vacuum cleaner that will be used for cleaning every two days, according to shifts.
We have a TV equipped with a DVD player for any film screenings.
We have two ovens, one gas cooker and one microwave.
We have a freezer at -10°, excellent for organizing a galley for a week of navigation and two other refrigerators, one for the daily and one exclusive for the fresh, or to ensure that fruit and vegetables last a long time.
ON-BOARD ENERGY MANAGEMENT:
The most important thing is not to consume excessive energy unnecessarily.
What is always in operation are the refrigerators (fridge and freezer), the on-board instruments, the autopilot (which in turn must be set off), the navigation lights and the on-board lights.
Although we are equipped with alternative energy sources to the generator (solar panels, wind generator and hydrogenerator) we must in any case observe rules of adequate use aimed at energy saving: in this regard we are equipped with a consumption / time detector and the constant state of charge of the batteries, therefore it is easy to be autonomous.
The batteries are recharged by the on-board alternator and the 7KW generator, which is normally used one / two hours a day, moments when you decide to use the microwave oven, the vacuum cleaner, the hair dryer or the washing machine. Normally it is possible to combine these moments well, so as to sail with the autopilot, have the fridge running, the lights on and the batteries charged. It’s just a matter of organization. The generator consumes about 1/2 liter of diesel / hour.
In any case, the internal and street lighting system is all with LED lights.
The waste is divided into WET (they all go into the sea), PLASTIC (where stays the full stays the empty), that is: what has boarded full, at more reason it will stay in less place if empty, PAPER AND CARDBOARD (wet and pressed can be sunk), or stowed separately in specially dedicated lockers.
Cans, food containers made of metal or glass can be filled and sunk (the organizers of the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers -ARC- strongly recommend sinking metal and glass), those made of plastic coated cardboard will only be stowed.
The garbage stowage procedure must be organized and done daily in shifts.
There are three serious problems that can happen:
- man overboard
CARE CANNOT ALWAYS BE EFFECTIVE, PREVENTION IS THE KEY
However it should be noted that we are equipped with one of the safest boats in the world, but this does not mean that we will have to do a briefing dedicated to such emergencies in navigation.
We have 5 possibilities of bilge pumps, 3 of which are electric, one manual and one that is activated with the on-board generator (which instead of sucking cooling water from the sea, sucks it from the flooded bilge).
We have 6 fire extinguishers and a seawater Fire Pump (firefighters type)
Man overboard is an event that must not happen, however we must prevent, so each component of the night shift will be equipped with a device that immediately signals the event with an acoustic signal on board (in case the others are all asleep) and at the same time the position on the GPS. If you want, we can make sure that the incident is reported to all the port authorities. (we will have two devices on board)
In any case, any necessary maneuver OUTSIDE the COCKPIT at night must be carried out with a safety belt and with the possibility of securing with special eyebolts and NEVER ALONE.
I installed the “jack stays” (which are those straps or cables where you can attach to go to the bow) because it is obliged by the organisation of transoceanic races. On deck at work, you are NEVER barefoot either because of the risk of printing your big toes somewhere or because you are less sure. You are only barefoot if you take a bath or if the conditions are so sweet as to allow it. Never at night.
The boat is equipped for emergency with double diving equipment, with two regulators, two 5-liter cylinders filled with backpack, two wetsuits with short pants and one full length.
The boat is equipped with the following equipment for off shore navigation:
- EPIRB (satellite position marker) in case of abandonment
- SSB RADIO for short wave communications, with modem pactor for receiving weather maps and sending or receiving mail at no cost (Sail Mail)
- Receiving and transmitting AIS equipment, to know and let people know who we are and where we are going and who are the ships around us with collision alarm at 6 miles
- Raymarine RADAR with 24 nm range
- TWO separate GPS devices with separate chart plotter, one in the chart and one in the cockpit (in case one breaks)
- the PADs with integrated navigation software and blue tooth system (each person with the PAD can have reported all the navigation info in real time, including cartography)
- Fixed and two portable VHF radios
- IRIDIUM SATELLITE TELEPHONE (two devices)
- INMARSAT C BACK UP SAT SYSTEM for data transmission
- Double independent autopilot, with one of the two able to steer according to the correspondence
MANDATORY PERSONAL EQUIPMENT:
- Shoes suitable for use only in navigation (they do not go ashore)
Each crew member will be provided with a set of towels, sheets and a fleece blanket, therefore limit your luggage as much as possible
It is possible to send and receive e-mails every day, to call home or be called. The costs of personal communications will be charged at the end of the cruise and must be calculated in the measure of approximately 2 dollars / minute, both for the web and for the voice.
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING THE BOAT MANDATORY
1) USE OF BATHROOMS:
The bathrooms have a separate shower with its own bilge. Having a watermaker, the shower can be done daily and with some freedom. At the last turn to shower the obligation to leave the bathroom clean and tidy.
The toilet is electric in each bathroom, it has a bidet with its own pump and hot and cold water. It is mandatory to pee SITTING. Violators will be punished with double keel turn bow-stern underway (practically lost)
It is forbidden to put too much paper in the toilet and to use the bidet instead, since it exists.
2) USE OF THE KITCHEN
It is recommended to order, clean and avoid leaving knives or sharp generally abandoned during the preparation of meals. The kitchen is built so that two people can work together. The head kitchen chef is Cecilia who will organize the shifts for the crew, i.e. a sous-chef will be appointed every day who will help her in the preparation and final cleaning. The commander is released from kitchen duties. It is good to provide for a meal management organized in this way:
- free breakfast: that is, whoever is free or disassembles or assembles prepares something, there is a cabinet dedicated to breakfast products. Important to keep tidy and clean if it gets dirty.
- lunch: usually something quick is prepared, like salads of various kinds to share if possible
- dinner: a very important moment for the harmony of the whole crew. Unless there are prohibitive conditions or such as to prevent the use of the stove, in any case it is good to prepare a hot meal and we will use a gas or microwave oven depending on the menu chosen for that evening, but it is important to gather everyone for dinner by putting the boat in the conditions to do it alone. This has always been possible except for rare occasions in my sea experience, moreover in recent years always with children or adolescents on board, and also during ocean crossings.
3) INSTRUMENTAL NAVIGATION, CONNECTIONS AND WEATHER
Modern navigation allows you to always know where you are. On board Ariel I installed TWO independent cartographic gps, one of which transmits the signal in blue tooth, which can be resumed from any table (download free Raymarine – Ray Control application), in order to have the same situation on your tablet. cartography in the cockpit or in the chart or in the bathroom …
We also have another system, which is called NAVIONICS, also downloadable with 50 euros for the Mediterranean that works with the gps of the tablet. No 3G signal needed. An extra security. Despite this we have nautical charts, therefore it is mandatory to keep the course in the correspondence as it once was. This is useful for three reasons, one because you don’t lose the habit, two because you have a different feeling of progression, and third because it takes up time. The ship point will be marked at the change of each turn, at each change of course if sailing, and in any case every 3 hours.
The boat is equipped with an SSB system (radio amateurs) to talk to other radio amateurs around the world at fixed times, but apart from this, by associating a Pactor-Dragon Modem (you can search the web to understand better) and a subscription to SAIL MAIL (provider which allows with $ 250 / year and a half) you have the opportunity to have an internet connection to download weather and send or receive emails and to see everything on the dedicated PC. The connection is not free, but on request, and lasts 90 minutes per week.
Two independent satellite systems, one voice (Iridium) with two telephones and dock station at the stern pole and one new (latest generation) Inmarsat C for data (ie you can receive emails, send photos, like an ADSL at home. costs, so I will show you the rules at the pre-departure briefings.
Here’s how it works:
once a day (or two) we connect, usually at a time when not everyone connects, (but the traffic can be seen from the video computer) we decide what we need to ask, or the weather for that area, for how many hours, etc. etc. and to send the emails we want.
The e-mails are prepared, the connection is started and the response is awaited. Normally in 2/3 minutes the antenna and the system allow the connection and our request starts. (time one minute). The system automatically stops (it is not worth wasting minutes).
Time another 2/3 minutes and answer is checked. Other connection. You read e-mails and download the weather maps onto your computer and prepare for the continuation of navigation by adjusting the shot according to the evolution of the weather.
The knowledge of the weather in the Mediterranean is extremely important, even more than in the ocean, (where the conditions, due to the orographic system without obstacles, are stable for at least 24 hours); The medit. it is in fact a difficult place for sailors, according to the most expert navigators the most insidious sea and of sudden variations. I was lucky enough to turn it a bit far and wide, and the summer season offers moments of great relaxation, perhaps with an engine, but we must remember that changes in conditions can occur in a few hours. Having said that, in addition to the possibility of recording the maps with Grib meteo files on our pc, we have two other very useful elements, one is the NAVTEX which provides us with the official written bulletin of the various merchant marinas (Italy, Greece, Turkey etc.) and the other is the subscription to METEOMED with the Com.Meggiorin, with whom I did several courses in this regard, which provides a METEOROLOGICAL service h 24, in direct telephone connection with a meteorologist to have confirmation and precise information on the front systems etc. etc. of the moment. Having a satellite phone, the call to the meteorologist can take place even in conditions of absence of network.
The “connection” moment will be made by the commander with the shift worker of the moment and with those interested once or twice a day as needed.
RADAR, AIS: The use of radar is very important, but like all things it has rules that you need to know; (the morning needs a different calibration from the night and so on) it is like the autopilot that replaces a man at the helm, the radar is an extra man always on guard to scan the horizon. Alas both have a big flaw, they eat energy.
After all, even a man always sitting in the bow looking at the horizon would consume energy… how to save? There are functions that allow the automatic activation of the radar every tot / time, leaving it on standby for the rest, so we’ll do it. The radar allows us to see boats NOT EQUIPPED with AIS, crossing our route and GROPPI of bad weather up to 12 miles.
AIS: AUTOMATIC IDENTIFICATION SYSTEM ( http://www.marinetraffic.com/ais/it/ )
It is used to be seen and see ships over 24 meters in length (mandatory), deep-sea fishing boats (mandatory) and those who installed it in pleasure boats (like me). It works with VHF frequencies and does not consume energy. It is not useful, it is essential for those who want to do high ground or coastal at a certain level. See the website for info, then we’ll talk about it on board.
4) USE OF THE VHF RADIO, EMERGENCY
The radio will always be on on channel 16, however the on-board system in the event of a warning (securitè) is automatically activated even if the radio is off
All crew members must be able to use the radio, send a security or a distress call. During navigation, everyone will be able to use the radio. Before departure will be assigned the tasks in case of emergency:
RADIO – one gets on the radio and doesn’t move from there
GRAB BAG – one prepares the dry bag with what is needed
RAFT – two prepare the raft and put it in the water
LIFE JACKETS – one prepares life jackets
the commander coordinates
5) NAVIGATION AND WORK SHIFTS
Usually the system of all out and all in but one is used…. that is all in the cockpit then slowly in turn all go away, or almost. The holiday habit of spending one night at most then you arrive, does not go well with long voyages of several days.
The shifts are useful because they give a rule, they help to keep the boat in maximum efficiency, clean, functioning and if respected they make sailing a pleasure, even in harsh conditions. I usually sail almost alone, that is, having traveled thousands of miles with a wife and two children, during the nights the children go to bed (like at home), the wife shares the night turning three hours in three hours, but practically they are the tools they really help, if used properly. It is forbidden to leave the cockpit without waking the other. Clearly, when there are many things are simpler, that is, you can get tired much less. IN a long ocean crossing in 4 people, we always turned in 3, even with 30 knots in the stern, always in safety and with active instruments without getting upset.Of course, even the day serves to catch up on sleep.
In 6 on board there are many, or two in shift for the boat, two for cooking and cleaning and maintenance, two rest. At night two to navigate, 4 rest (ie the two who are in the kitchen work shift, cleaning maintenance, will be able to rest by postponing the use of the drill or vacuum cleaner to the day). Showers will be taken during the three hours of the rest or cleaning shift; it works more or less like this:
Assumption starting shifts at 8, people signed with ABCDEF
AB CD EF
8-11 NAVIG CUC / CLEAN REST
12-14 REST NAVIG CUC / PUL
15-17 CUC / PUL REST NAVIG
18-20 NAVIG CUC / PUL REST
21-23 REST NAVIG CUC / PUL
00/02 CUC / CLEAN REST NAVIG
03-05 NAVIG CUC / CLEAN REST
06-08 REST NAVIG CUC-PUL
end of the tour. This way everyone always does different things at different times. It is clear that the commander will delegate during important moments, such as radio connections, or other needs, to replace him in turn, and is also always available for any important need or doubts during navigation.
Ariel is equipped with electric winches, hydraulic system for mainsail and genoa, backstay and wang.
New mainsail and genoa in Dynema
Manual roll-up Dacron staysail with 3 reductions
Blizzard with straps to be placed on the wrapped staysail
Code Zero of 130 square meters on a roll-up blender
Gennaker down wind of 180 square meters
220 m2 symmetrical spinnaker for very light winds
VOLVO 145 hp in perfect order and overhauled in the main parts
(water exchanger, oil exchanger, turbine, alternators, diesel injection pump sea water pump)
Diesel: 850 liters main tank and 300 liters in the optional one (1150 LITERS) which provide in good use a range of 1300 miles per engine.