Boat Equipment: Is Cheaper Always Better?

When buying boat equipment, sometimes it’s hard to know when you should splash out and when there’s no need to pay more for quality. This week, we ask some of the MaxSea partners for their advice on when to spend big and when you can be frugal.

Splurge or save

Team Jolokia

In our experience, there are certain items that must be of high quality. Don’t try to use cheaper items as you will most likely need to re-buy them again! Here are some examples of these types of products:

  • Torch
  • Blunder
  • Bucket
  • Pumps

Isabelle Joschke

There is some boat equipment that costs less but is not any lower in terms of quality. In this case, we should take advantage of the cheaper product! But sometimes I prefer to choose quality even though it is more expensive. In this way, I will not need to repurchase new equipment every year. This is certainly the case for tools, which can deteriorate rapidly.

Sail boat

IMERPOL

In general we always try to buy the best item we can afford. Otherwise we wait until we can afford it. Here are some tips to follow:

  • It is not necessary to have absolutely every tool related to your boat, just the items that match your real needs.
  • Equipment wears away on a boat than at home due to movements, saline air, sunlight etc.
  • Yachting stuff is sometimes calculated for an occasional use and don’t last long.
  • It is sometimes better (and cheaper) to buy home equipment than products from a ship chandlers’.
  • It is not necessary nowadays to dress in old clothes and full of paint stains and I prefer comfortable and smart ones, especially shoes and oilskins which are part of security.

Do you have any examples you’d like to share? If so, leave us a comment below!

Learn more about the activities of each of these MaxSea partners:

Team Jolokia

Isabelle Joschke

IMERPOL

 


 

Racing vs Cruise Boat CTA

Sailing Europe: Croatian Boating Itinerary

If you are considering sailing Europe, then Croatia could be the perfect destination. This beautiful coastline off the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea offers pristine beauty and more than 1500 islands.

Our contact Romeo Demes from Charter Orvas has given us some insider tips on the nicest areas to sail to in Croatia.

Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is home to the Lastovo Archipelago Natural Park and the Island Mljet National Park where you can view exotic flora and fauna. There are several yacht charters where you may rent a boat and sail on your own or you may choose to use the numerous cruise tours offered by different hotels.

Highlights: Dubrovnik is probably the first place that comes to mind when you think of Croatia. This walled Medieval city whose walls have totally stood the test of time is a beautiful coastal town that borders the Adriatic. It is home to quite a number of islands like the Elafiti Islands which make the perfect environment for an exciting sail and excursion. For a feel of some great historical architecture, visit Kornati town located on the Kornati Island where you’ll also find the knight’s game of Moreska is still practiced.

Recommended route: Dubrovnik to Lopud to Saplunar Bay to Pomena to Lastovo to Korcula to Polace and back to Dubrovnik and at each stop, it is best to spend a full day so as to enjoy all that Croatia has to offer.

Sailing Europe: Croatian guide
Image source: Orvas Yachting

Kornati Islands

The Kornati Islands are a cluster of many islands including the Pag, Pasman, Dugi Otok, earning it the name Kornati Archipelago. Its indented coastline together with the perfect wind conditions provide the thrill needed for an exciting sail around these islands.

Highlights: The islands are home to the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Kornati Islands National Park in case you want to get in touch with nature. The historical towns of Zadar and Sibenik are also nice spots to visit.

Recommended route: Sail through to Biograd then to Bozava Bay, to Telascica Bay then to NP Kornati. From there sail to Zlarin, to Skradin, to Vrgada Island, to Biograd then, back to Kornati. Along the way, enjoy the rich Croatian culture, the beautiful weather, warm beaches, deserted islands and the serenity and calm of the waters.

Sailing Europe: Croatian guide for Kornati

Island of Vis

Vis, the hidden gem of Croatia is home to some of the most exciting features of the Mediterranean.

Highlights: Head to the Blue Cave also known as the Blue Grotto and the Zelena Spilja, the Green Cave. These are great places to dive and enter, using their below sea-level entrances. The beautiful blue waters of the Adriatic and the beautiful beaches at Vis make an ideal environment for diving, snorkelling, swimming and excursions.

Recommended route: A great route to follow is from Kastela to Maslinica Bay then to Komiza, then to Bisevo, to Islet Budihovac to Stonicica. From here, sail to Hvar, to Stari Grad to Milna and back to Kastela.

Sailing Europe: sailing in Croatia


Croatia is a sailor’s paradise. Most of it is almost untouched by man. The spectacular coastline, beautiful beaches, peaceful waters and picturesque sights will keep you glued to this country once you visit it.

 We would like to thank Romeo Demes from Charter Orvas for writing this article.

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The Ultimate Guide to Boat Rentals

Advice on Boat Propellers from Polar Explorers

What kind of boat propellers do you use? Do you take care of them regularly? MaxSea partners from IMERPOL, Joëlle & Janusz Kurbiel explain the importance of your boat’s propellers. Here, they tell us about their experiences during their polar expeditions:

It can be quite a terrifying experience to navigate a vessel when there is no wind for the sails making all movement entirely dependent on the engine and propeller. However, this situation can often arise. It happened to us several times while navigating around the Poles.

Caged vs. Fixed Propellers
A caged and fixed propeller

Caged vs. non-caged fixed propellers

In the Nordic countries, a kind of protective cage is often built around the propeller which is attached to the hull on small vessels.

Even if this cage effectively protects the propeller against large pieces of ice sliding over it, pieces of debris can still get lodged between the spokes. This could be pieces of wood, ropes, nets or tarpaulins floating in the water or even small pieces of ice. This can be a real pain to remove!

We had protective cages on our vessels Vagabond, Vagabond Vagabond’eux and Exploraglobe. However, for our later vessels Vagabond’eur and Vagabond’elle, we finally opted for a fixed propeller which is unprotected but thicker. These propellers were made especially for us, with an oversized rope cutter.

Strengths of fixed propellers:

  • They allow the driftwood or ice to escape on its own, and
  • If the rope cutter is effective against small ropes, it also protects against nets and other coverings
Glacier images IMERPOL
Ice can cause serious damage to your boat propellers

Recently, during the launch of Vagabond’elle, a piece of carpet got twisted around the propeller. We needed to take the boat out of the water and two of us worked for an hour to remove. You’re either lucky or you’re not…


Interested in learning more about IMERPOL? Here are the previous blog posts they have written for MaxSea:

My Favourite books about the Arctic, by Janusz Kurbiel

The Vikings in the conquest of America

Borealis Expedition: pollution of the Arctic

MaxSea Happy Users: Borealis Expedition 2011-2012

 

 

Cold Weather Sailing Guide

 

How to Anchor a Boat with MaxSea TimeZero

Experienced sailors often say that mooring is the most difficult part of sailing. This week, MaxSea partner Leon Schulz talks to us about how to anchor a boat, using MaxSea TimeZero.

Leon outlines the steps to take for a perfect mooring. His boat is equipped with a fully-integrated system: MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, a Furuno BBDS1 sounder, and a Furuno NavNet TZtouch.

How to Anchor a Boat
Leon Schulz’ boat the Regina Laska
  • Understand the sea-floor. Navigate around the anchorage area many times. This is done to record bathymetric information so you know what kind of sea-floor you’re dealing with. To record this data, I use my MaxSea TimeZero PLOT, integrated with a Furuno BBDS1 Sounder.

Anchoring a boat with Furuno BBDS1

The BBDS1 sounder collects and sends bottom classification data to MaxSea TimeZero software. I can also share this new data-rich bathy chart with the integrated Furuno NavNet TZtouch system. Sand or clay is best for anchoring.

  • Check tidal range by displaying tidal data in MaxSea TimeZero. This is a really important step to know how much your boat will be raised or lowered by the tide, or vice versa.

How to anchor a boat with tidal data

You don’t want the boat’s keel to hit the ground during the night, just because the water has disappeared from under the boat. You must also avoid having the boat’s anchor break loose because the boat is suddenly 3 or more meters higher water than when it arrived!

  •  Calculate your desired minimum depth based on my boat’s draught + safety distance under the keel + allowance for tidal changes. Try to find a spot where the boat can swing freely in all directions according to changes in the wind or the tidal current.
  • Take a last look at the Furuno BBDS1 sounder to check the depth and soil conditions and to see if the boat is in the tidal flow or in an area of strong wind and bring the boat to a complete standstill.
  • Lower your anchor slowly until it reaches the ground. You can check the markings on the chain or just listen to how the anchor runs more smoothly when it has reached the bottom.
  • Give the signal to the helmsman to reverse the boat slowly while letting out the chain. At a ratio of 1:4 to 1:5 (from the highest tides expected), stop the windlass.
  • Wait until the anchor sets and the boat turns into the wind. Then it’s time to stretch the chain by reversing the gear carefully. Do so cautiously, so that there is no residue in the chain.
  • Once the engine is stopped, set the snubber. This is the piece of rope that is hung with a claw hook into the chain and relieved with the help of a jerk. This also makes the disturbing noise disappear from the chain rubbing against the bow roller.
  • In windy conditions, put a mooring sail aft, so the bow always points into the wind.

The advantage of MaxSea TimeZero is that you can so easily switch charts. So I often use raster maps at anchor, because there is a lot more information that are interesting for the anchors located. For example, the underwater cable at Iona (see image below).

Anchoring a boat with raster charts
Anchoring the boat off Iona, Scotland

Even small anchors are located on the raster maps. In comparison, the vector charts give less information about the anchorage.

Now it’s done, you can sleep soundly, even if the wind should freshen up in the night or the wind direction changes.


Leon Schulz is a MaxSea partner and is a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean instructor. His yacht, the Regina Laska is also available for charter. Learn more about his services on the Regina Sailing website.


 

10 point safety checklist

Sailing Europe – the Top 5 Destinations this Summer

Going on a sailing trip this summer? Luckily, there are plenty of great destinations in this part of the world – if you’re in Europe that is! Here are five of our top picks for sailing Europe.

5. The Greek Islands

This is a very popular destination for renting chartered sail boats, and you will certainly enjoy the warm waters and beautiful views. Sail from Santorini to Mykonos to experience idyllic island scenery and Mediterranean charm. Renting a boat with a few friends can be a good choice if you’re on a budget, and no need to stay in hotels at night.

Sailing Europe Greece
The Greek island Mykonos

4. Croatia

Croatia has over 1000 islands in the crystal clear seas of the Adriatic, so plenty of beauty is waiting to be explored. Spend your summer taking in the views from the boat, or explore the many beautiful coastal towns, such as Split, Dubrovnik, or Makarska.

sailing europe croatia
The Dubrovnik Coast

3. Ireland

If warm weather is what you’re looking for, this may not be a safe bet. However, the port of Galway in the west of Ireland is beautiful and offers rich history and character. With an oyster festival and the finale to the prestigious Volvo Ocean Race taking place here every summer, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy.

2. Slovenia

Slovenia offers easy access to the Adriatic Sea, and is becoming a hotspot for yachts. Visit the beautiful Bay of Piran, or the towns of Portorož, Izola or Koper, to explore some beautiful ports and marinas.

sailing europe slovenia
The Slovenian Coast

1. French Riviera

As MaxSea is a French company, we are slightly biased, but most sailors will agree that the French Riviera is a particularly beautiful spot to visit in Europe!

The French Riviera stretches along the Côte d’Azur, and features an all-star cast of sailing hubs, such as Cannes, Antibes, Saint Tropez and Monaco.

Wherever you end up going this summer, get there safely with MaxSea TimeZero navigation software.
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Free Guide: 10-point safety checklist before sailing

Learn to Sail: What are the Points of Sail?

If you want to learn to sail, a good place to begin is understanding the points of sail. Also known as “sail positions”, this refers to a sailboat’s heading angle in relation to wind direction. Here, we examine what they are. 

Firstly, you should never sail directly against the wind, and this angle is known as a “no-sail zone”. When sailing directly against the wind, the boat will slow down and eventually stop altogether.

The three main categories of sailing angle are classified as Close Hauled, Reaching and Running.  Each one is different and serves a different purpose.

On the way out of the Gustavia harbour

Close Hauled

In this angle, wind is coming from the forward direction. It is close to the no-sail zone, and approximately at a 45 degree angle to the wind.  This can be useful if the wind is strong and you want to take better control of the boat. Otherwise, it’s not very efficient.

Reaching

When in this position, the boat is more or less perpendicular to the wind. When reaching, the most important object is sail trim and holding your course. For most modern sailboats, this is the fastest way to sail.

MaxSea Training Sessions in Barcelona

Running

The boat is “running” when the wind is coming directly from behind, across the stern of the boat. Steering can be difficult when running because there is less pressure on the tiller to provide feedback to the helmsman, and the boat is less stable, meaning the boat may go off course more easily than on other points of sail.

learn to sail

Image source: www.dummies.com

 

If you wish to learn more about the points of sail, there are plenty of online resources. Have a look at this website for more details.

MaxSea also offers a range of support and training services to give you tips on sailing with MaxSea software, from a one-hour remote training to a full two-day live training session in Barcelona, Spain. Read about all the types of training available here.

A Doctor’s Advice on Boat Safety: Sun Radiation and its Risks

The ‘sailing doctor’ Jean-Yves Chauve shares his Boat safety: Jean yves chauvreadvice for how to protect yourself from a boating sunburn. When planning for boat safety, it is important to keep this in mind because the strength of sunlight is greatly increased by the reflection of the water.

 

All you need to do is look at the faces of fishermen to realise how aggressive ultraviolet rays are. The most dangerous type of ray are UVC, which are usually filtered by the ozone layer.

Boat safety: avoid sunburn onboard
The sun-damaged skin of a fisherman’s face

UVA rays promote immediate tanning, while UVB rays cause the skin to thicken and the production of melanin. A sailing sunburn is a real burn and this type of injury increases the risk of skin cancer such as carcinomas and melanomas.

Boat safety: sunburn

It is therefore imperative for people who boat to protect themselves from sunburn.

Here are a few simple preventative measures to take:

  • Wear colored and loose clothing, especially lycra
  • Apply high-factor sun block – choose according to your skin type

People with fair skin are most at risk. As well as sunburn, exposure to infrared rays may cause the body temperature to rise and subsequently can result in heatstroke. Heatstroke is very serious and the consequences can be severe.

To avoid this:

  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear a hat to cover your head
  • Moisturise your skin regularly to help eliminate heat
  • Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
Boat safety: Shade boat
Staying in the shade on a boat

Make sure you are prepared for whatever the weather holds – check the temperature forecast by downloading and overlaying free GRIB file data in your MaxSea TimeZero!

Read more of Dr. Chauve’s advice for boating safety in his three previous blog posts:

 

MaxSea TimeZero Free Weather Forecast Service