SINCE HB’s post on learning things was so damn popular, I thought I’d put up some stuff I learned. So there.
Thing 1: Big boats allow you to put too many systems on board. The Picaroon has many comforts and neat devices on board, but the time we can put into maintenance is limited. If we are not careful, we spend too much time repairing non-essential equipment to the detriment of preventive care of essential systems.
Thing 2: You can have too many spares. Even on a heavy displacement boat like the Picaroon, we have a limited amount of storage space and weight. Also, mild steel components won’t last until you need them, even if carefully packed (I’m looking at you, spare alternator coil).
Thing 3: Don’t settle for crappy performance. It’s a boat first, a house second: tune the rig, figure out the right sail combinations, move weight around to improve trim. Treat her like a sailboat rather than a barge and she might surprise you.
Thing 4: Break free of the tyranny of oil lamps. It’s the 21st century: LED bulbs are cheap, reliable, last forever, look pretty and use almost no power. On the other hand, kerosene lamps are stinky, hot, dangerous, and are always getting in the way.
Thing 5: Long-distance sailing is like having kids: it makes you utterly miserable, but you’ve committed yourself and are too stubborn to admit it.
Thing 6: Adventure shows you who you really are. You may not like this.
Thing 7: You don’t have to be a remotely competent seaman to cruise a sailboat. Most people who do aren’t–GPS really is that good.