These Sailing Tips Could Save Your Life

Learn how to sail like a pro when you know the sailing tips you need for survival at sea. Not many things put fear into a sailor like water flooding into a boat. Unless you can find the source of the leak fast, your small sailboat could capsize and sink like a stone to the sea bottom. Read on for the steps you need to take to keep your sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound.

It’s been a long, quiet watch as you make your way below–ready to his the pit. When all of a sudden, you slip off the last companionway step and plunge into ankle-deep cold water. It’s pouring in, but from where?

The typical production boat has six to eight holes drilled below her waterline, with average diameters of 1/2″, 1″ or 2″. These “through hulls” accommodate engine raw water intake, sink and shower drains, cockpit scupper drains and instrument impellers.

Each gallon of seawater flowing into your hull adds about 8½ pounds to your displacement. For a real eye-opener, multiply this by the flow rate per hour. With enough water or liquid sloshing fore and aft or left to right, you can capsize.

Big ships have this problem unless they keep liquid cargo tanks filled. You need to have an attack plan in place before a flooding emergency strikes.

Use the easy step-by-step battle-plan described below–called M.A.T.E.–to get your boat and sailing crew ready to handle the unexpected…

“M” is for Mapping from a Bird’s Eye View

Make a simple drawing of every through hull in your boat, showing locations of seacocks, ball valves and exhaust vents. Start forward and work your way aft; remove every inspection cover or port. Look inside lockers and beneath berths and settee seats. Follow the water and head hose lines from entry to exit points.

“A” is for Attack Preparation

Make every piece of flood fighting equipment accessible and keep it in good working order. Brief your crew on the location and hold mini demos on how to use it.

Seacock Handle Throw

Test every fitting with a seacock monthly. Test common fittings like head, sink and engine raw water intake more frequently. Move the handle the full 90° from the open to closed position several times. A light tap with a hammer usually frees up frozen handles. Disassemble and repack every seacock during your annual haulout.

Mechanical Pumps

Install the largest capacity mechanical pump possible. With two mechanical pumps in the same bilge, mount the large capacity pump on a shelf over the smaller one. Test all float switches before and after getting underway.

Manual Bilge Pumps

Fixed, Mounted Pumps — Sailing vessels and small open powerboats, install a large capacity manual whale gusher-type bilge pump in the cockpit. Choose one with 20 or 30 gallon per minute capacity. Before installing, test the handle clearance to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the helm or sheets. Keep two to three handles aboard, mounted on deck and below. Before you cast off, point their location out to your crew.

Portable Pumps

Invest in at least two portable pumps with 6 to 15 gallon per minute capacity. The rigid pump body should be 2-3 feet and the flexible hose 4 to six feet. Screen the intake side to keep the pump from clogging. Use nylon mesh screening, double clamped to the end.

Two or More Big Buckets

Keep two buckets aboard with strong bails and line attached. Keep one down below and one in the cockpit. The damage-control crew below bails and passes up the filled bucket to the crew on deck. The deck crew passes a fresh bucket back down to the damage control crew.

Soft Wooden Plugs

Lash a wooden plug with light line to the body of each seacock. Be sure the line will break with a good tug. Softer woods, such as teak, swell up when wet, forming a better seal around the hole.

Cotton Rags

For holes with jagged edges, you’ll need filler to block the space around the perimeter of the plug. Stow a bag of cotton rags in a fishnet bag in the forward and main cabin areas.

Pounding Tool

Mount a hammer or mallet in the forward and main cabin. Install it in brackets outside of a tool box. Paint the handle a bright or day-glow color. Better still, cut thin strips of reflective tape and stick onto the handle.

Lights and Batteries

Have at least half a dozen waterproof flashlights aboard. Keep one lantern available with battery replacements in waterproof bags. Headband type lights free up your hands and pinpoint the damage location. Purchase the Calume type, “break-‘n-shake” lights from camping stores. They’re bright, waterproof and illuminate a small area for several hours.

“T” is for Testing Preparations and Train the Crew

Get your crew together and show them your illustration. Explain actions to take and demonstrate how to use the equipment. Do they easily understand your drawing and action plan? If not, revise the plan to make it clear enough for all hands to follow.

“E” is for Execute and Evaluate

In an emergency put your plan into action. Afterwards, determine the cause of the problem and think of ways to improve things. Do you need to shorten preventative maintenance intervals? How did your equipment work out?

Follow these vital sailing tips to keep your small sailboat and sailing crew safe and sound. You will gain the confidence and skills you need for safety at sea–wherever in the world you choose to cruise.

Tips for Finding Cheap Cruises

So, you’ve finally decided you want to take a cruise for the upcoming vacations. Trouble is you can’t afford to spend too much on your vacations, so you need to find cheap cruises. Luckily for you, nowadays is easy to find cheap cruises, and not only that, by keeping some tips in mind, you can save a lot of money on your travel.

Here are some tips and information that will give you an advantage when saving for your cruise vacations:

– Do a Web Search. Yes, this may sound obvious to some of you, but it is very important. The internet provides a vast selection of packages and offers not only for cruise vacations, but for everything! Do not stick with same search term, add variations to your search. Advertisers will use different target search terms for their packages.

– Look for Off Season Cruises. It depends on what your destination is. Be sure to check out what are the low season months for a given cruise spot. Prices during those times drop considerably to attract more people.

– Inaugural Cruises. When cruise lines launch a new cruise ship, they make offers and incentives to get people to try the ship.

– Repositioning Cruises. These are cruises that are sent to another destination to cover demand (for example a Alaska cruises that are sent to the Caribbean). Cruise lines will try to cover their expenses of doing that journey by charging low prices.

– Check large vacations suppliers. Large suppliers have low prices. Be sure to check with Travelocity or online cruise suppliers like since they can make customized packages.

– If you belong to the military, try going through the Tickets & Tours office on the base/post. They let people make interest-free payments, and that helps when you’re on a tight budget!

– Follow the too early or too late rule. That is book early or late. Prices drop on these very extreme booking conditions.

Finally, always remember to choose the right cruise line and ship. Be sure you are going to be satisfied by it, and don’t get caught in beautiful brochures and pictures. Sometimes a cheap cruise vacation can turn out to be a quite expensive one at the end, due to unexpected expenses. There are plenty of sites online that can help you review cruises. And always remember to have fun in your vacations!

5 Simple Budget Travel Tips

When visiting a foreign country for the first time, it is important to do a little bit of reading and research in order to prepare for what you can expect. You can enjoy the capital city of China even if you are on a short budget. There are ways to enjoy your travel to the fullest while saving some money. You can do so by carefully planning and reading up on these few tips to experience Beijing without having to spend extravagantly. Below are the 5 simple tips to save money while enjoy travelling.

  1. There are many museums that actually give out free admission. The way to avail this is to be one of the earliest visitors on Wednesdays. You can enter either of the thirteen museums such as Capital Museum, Confucius Temple, Beijing Art Museum, and Beijing Art Museum of Stone Carvings.
  2. You can avail of the Beijing Museum Pass. This kind of pass will allow maximum three adults to go around major museums and sites for a great discount. Every penny saved can be put into the savings or put somewhere else that you need to invest in for the remaining of the trip. This kind of passes can be gotten between December to January.
  3. Take the airport’s services such as the shuttle bus. This is a better alternative than riding taxis at the airport. Of course, you can also arrange for the hotel service to pick you up. If not, you might also consider asking which bus you should take to reach your hotel. Be reminded to write your hotel’s name in English and in Chinese. On another note, taking the public transport is also a money saving technique.
  4. One of the best ways to eat on a budget is to eat the food available to most locals. Look for local restaurants that cook cheap food. You might also want to try the local street food especially if you are moving around.
  5. Another way to get a good grasp of leisure living in Beijing is to join activities that the locals usually get involved in such as kite flying, dancing, and even some exercises. This is a way to have a good time at a cheap price if not for free.

You do not need such a large budget to have a full Beijing experience. Find a Beijing tour today and learn how you can have fun with just a few pennies. Visit this website for more Beijing tours.

You can enjoy the capital city of China even if you are on a short budget. There are ways to enjoy your travel to the fullest while saving some money. You can do so by carefully planning and reading up on these few tips to experience Beijing without having to spend extravagantly.