Tips for first weekend on a boat?

Discussion in 'Sea Ray Lifestyle & Cruising' started by mountainbyker, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. mountainbyker

    mountainbyker New Member

    19
    Nov 22, 2014
    United States
    Current
    2016 350DA

    Former
    2014 310DA
    2012 260
    8.2 Merc w/Seacore x2
    Hey guys, I'm taking my wife and daughter to Catalina Island (SoCal) for a 3 day weekend soon and it will be the first time we've all spent the night on the boat outside of our slip. Aside from the obvious food, water, clothes, are there specific things I should bring that a newbie wouldn't think of? Any tips or best practices for spending that much time on the boat? It's a 350DA by the way.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. BigBoysToys

    BigBoysToys New Member

    421
    Mar 12, 2013
    Hudson River/NY Harbor/LI Sound
    2009 Riviera 4400 Sport Yacht
    Twin Volvo Penta IPS600
    Will you be staying at a marina? (somewhere with power and water)
     
  3. K3d111

    K3d111 Member

    38
    Dec 26, 2015
    Huntsville (Guntesrville Lake/ Goose Pond)
    2004 SeaRay 300 Sundancer
    2x MCM 5.0L MPI Mercruiser with Bravo III drives
    Garmin 7610XSV
    Garmin 18HD
    My family and I just got back from a 3 night four day trip here locally anchored in Guntesrville Lake on our Sea Ray 300. We had a total blast, but there were a few small items we listed for our next trip. Scissors, Air Freshener, hand towels, and dust pan. Also pay attention to water conservation on the boat. I didn't tell my wife and boys to save water and we ran out of fresh water in the first 24 hours, after a refill and an explanation on why we dont leave the water running, we made the rest of the trip on a tank of water. Also may want to bring some extra waste tank deodorizers. We had the rule if it yellow let it mellow, if it brown flush it down. Every morning I would put a new dissolving deodorizer in the bowl, so the yellow didn't smell. Also if your not docking in a slip you may want to consider a dingy some some sort. I use a Mariner 3 with a trolling motor, and it was very helpful for getting ashore and tooling around. One last thing we did use a Day/Drift anchor at the rear of the boat, it helped the swaying quite a bit and gave us the extra security in high winds. Other than that Have Fun! bring Wine and snacks, good food and plenty of sun block :)
     
  4. Molson

    Molson Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 5, 2011
    Midland, ON
    1997 330 DA
    Twin 7.4 carb V-Drives
    Have fun! You will forget stuff, don't let it bother you, make a list for next time.
     
  5. wyrman

    wyrman Member SILVER Sponsor

    796
    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
  6. dvx216

    dvx216 Well-Known Member SILVER Sponsor

    Feb 1, 2012
    orrville,ohio
    2000 310 sundancer 5.7 vdrives






















    n/a
    twin 5.7 300 Hp. V drives
    Extra set of keys
     
  7. Boater420

    Boater420 Active Member

    948
    Mar 11, 2015
    Clearwater, FL
    '97 330 Sundancer
    V-Drives
    Westerbeke 4.5BCG
    Twin Merc 454's
    The generator is what I would test first and foremost. If you're planning on staying on the hook I'd make sure to test all the systems that use power from the generator and make sure they're functioning. It is a new boat and everything should work but the place to find out that your generator dies after 15 minutes is at the dock, not on the hook.

    One time on an over night trip we found out that our AC would not work off the generator. It ran fine on shore power but tripped breakers running off the generator. Simple adjustment put us back on track but it could have been worse.

    Have Fun!
     
  8. WDCboater

    WDCboater Member

    962
    Oct 3, 2010
    Washington, DC
    2010 350 Sundancer
    Raymarine c95 GPS
    KVH Satellite
    Twin Mercury 8.1 Horizon V-Drives
    I'll echo comments about the generator. Have spare impellers onboard. They are easy to change on the generator and if you suck up something you'll burn one out in a heartbeat.

    Coffee :)
    We have a grinder and six cup coffee maker onboard. There's nothing like having a cup of coffee in the cockpit first thing in the morning.

    Bring plenty of provisions. Plan, plan, plan and think of snacks as well. Plenty of drinking water. We keep lots of water stashed onboard.

    Spare VHF. We have the built in radio and a handheld.

    I travel a lot for work. Our boat is always full of nice hotel toiletries ;). They are small and give you a nice little luxury when away. On our 350 we can get 3-4 5 minute showers in back to back with our hot water heater.

    Have fun! I love getting away for a few days. 350 is a great boat to do it on.
     
  9. trflgrl

    trflgrl Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    899
    Jun 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Twin 350 Merc/Alpha 1 Gen 1; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    +1 on talking about fresh water conservation before you leave the dock, topping off the tank, and carrying surplus for drinking. We keep a generous supply of baby wipes on board, too--they're a great substitute for a shower on days we don't get really sweaty or stinky or don't care to run the generator to heat water.

    Empty the waste tank before you leave the dock. You won't be happy if it turns out "half full" was actually "more than half, but not quite three quarters" so didn't register on the gauge.

    If you don't have one already, make a plan for battery selections for cruising vs. anchoring and stick to it, whether on day trips or longer outings. The generator should take care of typical recharging needs, and I'm guessing your boat has all the latest in emergency start technology to tie together different banks when needed, but unwavering habits are one more level of protection. To decide, understand exactly what's powered by which batteries/which selection settings.

    I have a 3 battery setup with 2 switches. Switch A manages the port engine starting battery; switch B manages the two batteries for starting starboard engine and running house. We cruise with switches on position 1, then turn Switch B to position 2 when anchored; we never leave switch B on the Both setting when we're on the hook. This way we preserve a battery to start the starboard engine. (Port died once and wouldn't restart even with the emergency switch; if we'd drained both of the starboard batteries we would have faced a towing situation.)

    Have an awesome trip!!
     
  10. HomePort

    HomePort New Member

    284
    Nov 27, 2012
    Rock Hall, MD
    2015 Prestige 550 Fly
    Cummins QSC 8.3 / 2x600CV + Zeus
    You're getting great advice about planning and making sure you have everything you need. And, at the same time, you might want to make sure you don't overpack. Generally, I find we need less than we think, especially food and clothing. Additionally, any food that you bring that would normally be in a box, consider transferring the contents to zip log bags to save space.
     
  11. AFD

    AFD Active Member

    Jul 29, 2012
    Boston Harbor/Falmouth Ma
    1997 Sundancer 290 The fat beam version
    twins.
    Starboard 5.0 alpha 220HP
    Port 357 alpha 275hp
    4HP Yamaha for Dinghy
  12. mountainbyker

    mountainbyker New Member

    19
    Nov 22, 2014
    United States
    Current
    2016 350DA

    Former
    2014 310DA
    2012 260
    8.2 Merc w/Seacore x2
    Thanks for all the tips, especially the last one for the 5 gallon jug!

    We're going to be moored at Catalina island so no power or water except for the boat.

    What do you guys do about refrigerators? I've not run them on batteries for more than a few hours before. Any idea how long they'd run on batteries without recharging with he generator?

    Thanks again!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  13. trflgrl

    trflgrl Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    899
    Jun 23, 2014
    Middle Tennessee
    1989 Sundancer 300
    Twin 350 Merc/Alpha 1 Gen 1; Quicksilver 4.0 gen
    Read the user manual for your fridge for recommended setting for the weather conditions/cabin temp you maintain--ours ranges from 0 - 5, 0 being the coldest, and we leave it on 3 (we don't run AC all the time). I'm guessing it's a smaller size than yours, but we can run it 2 - 3 days without using the generator....and First Mate's typically running the stereo a few hours a day, to boot.

    Habits we have to keep food cold and minimize battery usage/ice usage:


    • Use the fridge primarily for fresh veggies, fresh fruits, and "touchy" things like dairy, some raw meats, salad dressings, and the like. Keep a couple of bottles of water in the freezer compartment if we don't have food to put in it--keeping a fridge/freezer as full as possible while still allowing circulation can reduce the energy draw a bit.
    • Freeze bottled water and other non-carbonated beverages, including juice boxes/Capri Sun type packages. If you take gallon jugs of water and want it cold, freeze one or two of those, too--the larger the frozen object, the better to keep everything else cold!
    • Freeze any meats/cheeses/large items that you plan to use on day 2 or 3. (We even do this for our breakfast banana bread!)
    • Use large gel-type reusable ice packs in addition to cube ice.
    • Chill everything else before taking it to the boat.
    • Pack frozen and chilled beverages and quick snacks into their own cooler, preferably one that has a small door or flap in the top so you don't open the whole thing to grab just one bottle/can; we use a MaxCold type and stuff stays cold the whole weekend except in very extreme temps. We tend to open beverage/snack coolers frequently, so this means we're not opening the fridge every time we're thirsty or have the munchies. (May be extra important depending on how old and how snacky your daughter is!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2016
  14. wyrman

    wyrman Member SILVER Sponsor

    796
    Jul 12, 2012
    Tri-Cities, Wa
    2007 310 Sundancer
    Twin 350's, V drives
    I have run my fridge for 7 days before without any shore power, but I have 4 batteries.
     
  15. sandydlc

    sandydlc Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    472
    Feb 24, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    450 Sundancer 2010
    Cummins 480 HP w/Zeus pod drives
    +1 on learning your battery settings and learning how to manage power on your boat. When we spent almost 3 weeks last summer cruising up to Canada, we anchored out a few times and thankfully understood our battery selectors very well (this was on a 30' Chaparral). We would run on the Port battery while on the gen and when it was off and only turn on the starboard battery when we were ready to run again. We had 3 batteries on that boat so when necessary you could put the two switches in the All position and get the engines or the generator running again. We only drained the port battery once while on our trip and because of our good battery management we were always able to start the engines or the generator to get batteries charged again. Now our task is to learn how the batteries work on our 450DA!!

    One product we purchased that worked great for us was a TaylorMade Anchor shade. We got it on Amazon. http://smile.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00...e+umbrella&dpPl=1&dpID=41Kp8uMFkGL&ref=plSrch

    Pretty brilliant design that allows you to mount the shade in nearly any direction and in nearly any orientation. We would use it on the bow during the day and move it to the stern in the afternoon to give us some relief from the sun. It also helped to keep the cabin cooler because it was blocking the sun. We didn't have AC on the Chap so it was an important item to have on board last summer.

    Best of luck to you!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  16. majoma

    majoma Member

    246
    Oct 10, 2008
    San Francisco
    2000 340, V drive
    Twin 7.4
    We have been to Avalon twice and I can assure you that, because of all of the many things to do and places to go on Catalina, you are not going to spend much time on the boat.
    Just remember that the water taxi service ends at 10:00 at night.
     
  17. mountainbyker

    mountainbyker New Member

    19
    Nov 22, 2014
    United States
    Current
    2016 350DA

    Former
    2014 310DA
    2012 260
    8.2 Merc w/Seacore x2
    Thanks again everyone; super helpful. Adventure begins in the AM :)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  18. Molson

    Molson Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 5, 2011
    Midland, ON
    1997 330 DA
    Twin 7.4 carb V-Drives
    How did it go?
     
  19. mountainbyker

    mountainbyker New Member

    19
    Nov 22, 2014
    United States
    Current
    2016 350DA

    Former
    2014 310DA
    2012 260
    8.2 Merc w/Seacore x2
    Thanks again for all the tips I used many of them. The weekend was a success but after a rough start!

    Woke up early, spent a couple hours with my family getting things loaded and then pressed start on the starboard engine. It didn't sound quite right but finally started then died after about 5 seconds. I tried the port engine, same thing. Perplexed I repeated and got same results, start, run stop, start run stop. I called the dealer who was awesome by the way, Sun Country Marine and our sales guy came to take a look. After a bunch of time checking this and that they narrowed to bad gas. They unhooked the fuel line and red fluid came out! I topped off the week before with about 30 gallons per tank and they mistakenly put diesel in. So now they had to get gas cans with actual gas, hook one to each engine and we went to the fuel dock to pump out 230 gallons of gas + diesel. Finally after that was done and I was filled back up and fuel filters changed I was off.

    In terms of the trip, we managed batteries sufficiently well that we always had juice. We wound up with about 1/2 tank of water thanks to family playing ball in terms of conserving and had a nice trip around the island. We made the rookie mistake of leaving the little pole used to grab line from mooring in the water night one that woke us up in the AM from tap tap tapping and scraping along the side but otherwise all was well. I regret the trip around the island as we used a lot of gas so had to get some there which cost 2x as much as at home but overall worth it.

    Thanks again!

    Paul
     
  20. sandydlc

    sandydlc Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    472
    Feb 24, 2016
    Seattle, WA
    450 Sundancer 2010
    Cummins 480 HP w/Zeus pod drives
    Oh my gosh - diesel in your gasoline?? Was it the fuel dock that made the mistake? Did they cover the cost to replace the fuel you lost? Glad it wasn't too traumatic and you were able to salvage the weekend.

    Sounds like you guys did great and things will continue to improve as you get used to the boat. Even after many years on our last boat we were still learning new features that were built in that we hadn't noticed yet.

    Best of luck in your future cruising this spring/summer! Please do post again with more stories. We all love to share our stories - both good and bad. Sometimes the bad ones are the best because there are always opportunities to learn from others.

    Enjoy the new boat!
     

Share This Page

Show Sidebar