Sailing to the British Virgin Islands in the Caribbean 1500
Crew Training Procedures
I gave Jeff a copy of this list of potential crew training procedures, but we didn't use it directly. I'm posting it here so other people can read it.
Aboard a sophisticated cruising sailboat different people will probably develop different specialties, but everybody has to know the basics about everything. This is because you run the boat 24 hours a day while at sea, and everybody will have to do everything at one time or another.
This training can be split up and can span several days to avoid information overload.
- Emergency procedures - abandon ship, man overboard, flooding, firefighting, steering failure, rigging failure.
- Sailing gear - setting/furling/reefing main and jib (and staysail, if rigged, including use of running backs), traveler, topping lift, halliards, vang, use of a preventer. Tacking, jibing. Manual backup for electric jib furler.
- Instruments - depth sounder, knot meter, wind speed and direction.
- Motoring - starting/stopping engine, throttle/transmission control, monitoring engine instruments, alarms.
- Periodic engine maintenance - check oil, coolant, transmission fluid, check Racor bowls, also for genset engine, location of fuel manifold and position/operation of valves.
- Bow thruster - battery switch selection, joystick controller, usage limits.
- Ground tackle - windlass battery switch selection, circuit breaker, hand controller installation, up/down, manual usage, dealing with chain castles, chain stopper (i.e. tying off the chain), installing/removing a snubber, securing stowed anchor, location of extra anchors, washdown pump usage.
- Autopilot - set new course, alter course, dodge obstacle, standby, power on/off, alarms.
- Battery charging - monitoring battery voltage and current, how to recharge the batteries, when it should be done, for how long. How to start/stop genset, use of AC transfer switch, inverter operation. (People with rechargeable AC gadgets should recharge them when genset is running.)
- Watchstanding procedure - walk around deck and check everything once per watch, maintaining the log, keeping a lookout, observing trends, dealing with changing conditions, when to call skipper, watchstanding schedule, watch change procedure.
- Jackline, harness, PFD usage - when and how to use these safety items, make sure they fit, safety rules when leaving cockpit.
- Navigation - basic information and how to obtain it from Navnet, use of paper charts, backup GPS, main and backup compass, keeping a log of important information.
- Radar - turning on/off, range select, measuring bearing/range to target, determining if collision course, observing squalls.
- Weather fax - programming weather fax, examining received information, interpreting the information, how to save/print from PC.
- VHF radio - hailing channel, ship-to-ship working channel, recreational working channel, distress procedure, high/low power usage, squelch usage. Using cockpit VHF remote control.
- HF radio - C1500 working channels, C1500 communications schedule, other useful frequencies, turning radio on/off (batt charger off), how to change frequencies, how to change operating modes (USB for marine or AM for shortwave) how to tune the antenna tuner, how to transmit (and what to say), conserving battery power, distress procedure, keeping a radio log.
- Navigation PC - on/off, running MaxSea, uploading routes/waypoints to Navnet, running Airmail for PACTOR, receiving weather fax, printing, conserving power.
- PACTOR email - starting and running Airmail program, composing an email, selecting a station (radio propagation screen), checking for idle, attempting transmission/reception, when to give up.
- Satphone - how to make/receive calls in an emergency, recharging batteries.
- Entertainment - stereo, Sirius usage.
- Circuit breakers - for DC and AC, explain briefly what each one does, and which ones should be on all the time, power conservation (DC and AC).
- Interior lighting - conserving power, courtesy lights.
- Exterior lighting - proper use of running lights, motoring light, masthead tricolor, spreader lights, handheld spotlight, emergency strobe.
- Stove - use of propane solenoid, stove ignition, holding valve in, gimbal lock, letting flame burn out when done. Use of barbecue. Location of tank locker and tank valve, hose connection is reverse-threaded.
- Refrigerator/freezer - limiting how long it is open, monitoring temperature, use of controls and indicators, turn water pump breaker on.
- Galley equipment - microwave, salt water foot pump, filtered water spigot, coffee maker. Conserving water.
- Trash - what can be thrown overboard and what can't, where to store accumulated trash.
- Toilet - Y valves, circuit breakers, how to flush, things not to put in toilet, macerator pumpout usage.
- Deck plates - water, fuel, waste; spanner wrench location.
- Tank levels - how to take readings on tank tender, logging the information.
- Sump pump - how to operate, when to use, where discharge is.
- Bilge - removing floorboards to access, show bilge and point out major items.
- Bilge pumps - location, controls, also manual bilge pump (incl. handle location), high-water alarm.
- Fresh water manifold - location, purpose of each valve.
- Salt water manifold - location, purpose.
- Through-hulls - location, use of wooden plugs.
- Tools, supplies - location of tools, supplies, manuals, other gear (look up on inventory sheets).
- Dinghy - davit operation, engine operation, fuel/oil mixing, safety gear to be carried, boarding ladder installation.
- Washer/dryer - if water/power available, otherwise laundry is done in a bucket.
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