You are hereProject Retirement, ep 2

Project Retirement, ep 2

By Q-Bert - Posted on 12 January 2021

The one where we figure out how deep the hole goes.

Deciding to become a competent skipper inside of 3 years, from scratch, in such a way as to not kill yourself... is challenging.

A captain on a small boat is the ultimate jack-of-all-trades; when something breaks, you typically have to MacGyver yourself back to port (though while you can stock a huge amount of matchsticks and gum wrappers, most times you are better served with extra sails and rope...)

Here's a list of knowledge that I will have to accumulate before I feel comfortable heading out without strong supervision or cell phone coverage:

Skills of a sailor
Points of wind
Right of way
Renting a bare-boat
Nautical terms
Following the wind
Furl and unfurl sails
Reefing sails
Man overboard maneuvers
Fire safety
Storm sailing
Passage planning
VHF communications
Skills of a navigator
Cloud patterns
Global wind directions
Using charts
Using navigation instruments
Using guide books
Skills of a medic
First aid
Health insurance
Physical therapy
World healthcare abilities
Skills of a mechanic
Diesel engine maintenance
Diesel engine repairs
Outboard motor maintenance
Outboard motor repair
Skills of an electrician
How to wire AC current
How to wire DC current
Caring for solar panels
Caring for Lithium batteries
Caring for Inverters and MPPT solar chargers
Crimping high-gauge wiring
Skills of a plumber
Fixing marine toilets
Fixing pumps
Fixing impellers
Monitoring and caring for a bilge
Skills of a shipwright
Fixing fibreglass
Fixing and sewing sails
Inspecting rigging
Running sheets
Repairing blocks
Repairing seacocks
Shopping for parts
Skills of a diver
Filling dive bottles
Skills of a tourist
Customs and de-boarding procedures
Document and paperwork handling
Skills of an amateur radio operator
Sun cycles and propagation
Analog modes
Digital modes
International communication laws

That's a lot...

Certain things have to be learnt in-depth, while others can be learnt at a high level with proper documentation and reference manuals on the boat. Of course, some things, like how to repair a marine toilet may only be learnt on-the-spot as the need arises. A shitty situation may ensue, but let's flush that aside.

Some of these things, like sailing and first aid, will be learnt through actual courses, where certification is the end product. Other things, like diesel maintenance, can be learnt via mentoring by experts, such as my father.

It only takes time and money... and determination... but mostly time.

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