Sunday, May 22, 2016

Checklist to Cruising

Considering that we recently moved up our cruising plans by nearly a year and still have a ton of stuff to do before we cast off the lines (like, er, get a boat), it's easy to become overwhelmed. It's easier to break it all down into bite-sized pieces by listing the major steps and then analyzing each as a separate project to be worked on. When one project gets frustrating, we can leave it alone for a day or two and think about how to better go about it while chipping away at other projects. Considering my airline background, it's natural to arrange it all as a checklist, and thus we have easily slipped into cruising sailors' natural affinity for list-making.

Here's a simplified version of our checklist of everything that needs to be done before heading to the Bahamas in (ideally) January, with completed items marked off.

_x Long-Term Cruising Planning
  _x Rough Itinerary
  _x Budgeting - Pre-cruise & On Boat
  __ Obtain cruising guides Bahamas through Puerto Rico/USVI

_x Sell Washington Townhouse

__ Sell Minnesota Home
    _x Carpet, Paint, Basement Windows
    _x List with Realtor
    _x Home Inspection Repairs
    _x Transfer Utilities
    __ Close June 7th

__ Move to temporary apartment for Summer 2016
    _x Find Appt & Sign Short-Term Lease
    _x Sell or Donate Unneeded Furniture & misc.
    __ Sort & Box up Belongings - Storage, Apartment, Boat, Donate, Sell, Trash
    __ Fix & Sell Dawn's Jetta
    __ Move Motorcycles to summer storage
    __ Rent Storage Unit
    __ Borrow Trailer, Move June 4th.

_x Sell Piper Pacer

__ Purchase Boat: Spring/Summer 2016
    _x List Type, Preferred Features, Likely Models
    _x Online Search, Spreadsheet, Daily Update
    _x Begin looking at Boats - May 2016
    __ Boat-Shopping Roadtrip - Memorial Day Weekend 2016
    _x Research Surveyors
    __ Make an Offer
          __ Survey + Sea Trial
              __ Separate rigging & engine inspections as needed
          __ Negotiate Repairs
          __ Obtain Financing
          __ Obtain Insurance
    __ Take Delivery
          __ Short Familiarization Cruise w/ Skipper
          __ Obtain Temporary Slip
          __ Search for yard to do repairs/refit
          __ Towboat US Membership
     __ Documentation
          __ Change name if desired, rechristening ceremony
           __ Obtain or transfer USCG Documentation
           __ State registration &/or sales/use tax if required

__ Sailing Education
    __ Dawn: ASA 101-104 Sailing Course June 2016
    __ Sam: Marine Diesels class July 2016. Marine Electrical Class Sept 16?
    __ Both: First Aid Classes, Fall 2016
    __ Both: Safety at Sea seminar, Fall 2016

__ Refit Boat: Summer/Fall 2016
    __ Make list of repairs & refits required before cruising vs deferred items.
    __ Move Boat to Yard that allows owner work. Decommission & Haul.
    __ Cosmetic/gruntwork repairs: we do
    __ Technical Repairs: yard or technicians
    __  Late October: Bottom job, recommission & splash.
    __ Obtain all required safety equipment, personal equipment, etc.
        __ Reregister EPIRB
        __ Certify Life Raft
        __ Assemble Ditch Bag
        __ Voluntary USCG Inspection

__ Move Preparation: Summer/Fall 2016
    __ Put Dawn on Sam's Medical Insurance
    __ Bid to Atlanta Base
    __ Get Piper's vaccinations updated & fresh vet bill of health.
    __ Transfer Sam's remicade/GI specialist to Atlanta-based hospital
    __ Fresh Class I medical to establish summer base month
    __ Bid for September or October CQ
    __ Move motorcycles to winter storage

__ Move down to boat: November 2016
    __ Rent trailer, move out of Apartment, sell or store remaining belongings not going to boat.
    __ Establish South Dakota Residency, power of attorney to Dawn's mom.
    __ Change all bills to online only.
    __ Move boat to suitable liveaboard marina near commutable city.

__ Cruise Preparation
    __ Short (2-3 day) shakedown cruises - Intracoastal, outside, anchoring/mooring.
         __ Record electrical needs & solar/wind output, test watermaker, etc.
         __ Practice sail-handling & maneuvering, revise running rigging as needed.
         __ Inventory spares and obtain as needed.
    __ Move boat to South Florida  December 16
    __ Obtain any needed paper or electronic charts through Puerto Rico
    __ Store or Sell Nissan Xterra
    __ Sign up for weather router, start listening to HF weather & cruiser nets.
    __ Port Phone numbers to Google Voice, Cancel Verizon Service 1/17
    __ Provision, Refuel, Top off water
    __ Update float plan
    __ Find good weather window, leave for Bahamas January-February 2017

Yeah, that's "it." I know it's not complete, I add new things every time I revisit it. Anyone have additional suggestions? Time to me to head down to the garage to chip away at the next project.... ;-)

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