Technical

Ocean cruising: A question of preparation

Published on 21 june 2017 at 0h00

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PREPARING FOR BLUE WATER CRUISING

Aim: to leave, or how to prepare your ocean cruising boat

A good boat, good equipment and...all that remains is to enjoy life to the full!

Atlantic crossing, circumnavigation, round the West Indies or the Mediterranean... The departure and life afloat remain a recurrent theme, an inexhaustible source of projects to be realized. But over the last 20 years, ocean cruising multihulls have developed fantastically. They are bigger and bigger, and equipped with comfort levels which were unimaginable not so long ago. The other side of the coin is that their preparation has to be even more meticulous!

The aim of the preparation is to obtain the safest and most reliable boat possible. Whether you have opted for a brand-new boat, or one with several transats under its belt, it’s a question of leaving with an optimized boat, all of whose elements have been checked and approved.

The aim of meticulous preparation is therefore to obtain reliability, this being closely linked to the quality and above all the quantity of equipment aboard your boat. And thus to the boat’s level of complexity! One of the keys to a successful ocean cruising program lies in the harmony between the boat and its skipper! Above and beyond its own characteristics, the catamaran or trimaran must come up to its owner’s inner expectations, and this goes well beyond classic sales pitches. 

A well-adapted deck plan must allow everyone aboard to find their place, even the youngest...

Do you like to cruise in the same comfort you have at home? No problem, if you are ready to accept the personal and financial implications that the multiplication of complex systems aboard your boat requires. But be careful: aboard a boat, reliability is inversely proportional to the amount of equipment embarked... This rule, which has been proven again and again since time began, will therefore oblige you to rigorously hunt down everything which is not – from your point of view – essential to the success of your cruise.  Although no one today would seriously envisage doing without a GPS, or cartography on a computer, what about the dishwasher, or the tumble dryer for a Caribbean program? And what can we say about the air-conditioning, which can be very pleasant in harbor, but which is absolutely not essential at anchor, if the boat is well-ventilated? We could find an infinite number of these examples. It’s up to each person to make their choices, according to their wishes and their boat, not forgetting that in a multihull (of any sort) weight is the enemy, and living aboard a boat does not offer the same comfort as at home... Any error of assessment at this level will lead to a very expensive (to buy and to maintain) and/or very unreliable boat!

The choice of equipment – and here we are already getting right into the preparation of the boat – will therefore occupy a great number of your evenings, and the choices between the ‘fors’ and ‘againsts’ will be Cornelian! You mustn’t forget that the aim when voyaging is to be as independent as possible, and therefore in a position to produce your own energy.

From an electrical point of ...

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