There is nothing simple about preparing for an extended ocean crossing to do some serious recreational fishing. It probably would if there were service stations en route for fuel or professional boat dealers in Nebraska to get parts from. Marlin Magazine columnist Karl Anderson gives a firsthand account of what needs to be done before dropping anchor and sailing off into the sunset.
Prior to any trip, the boat must be in sound condition with all systems working properly. Bilge pumps and float switches must be checked on a regular basis and need to be fully operable. Make sure a skilled and trusted mechanic goes over the engines and generators before you depart — this goes a long way toward preventing breakdowns during the trip.
Ship in tip-top shape
As mentioned earlier, the boat has to be fit for duty before you can get underway. To play it safe, have the boat inspected and repaired by businesses like Whites Marine Center. Should there be any issues that need to be resolved, at least the boat is already in the shop.
Just in case
Long-distance boaters need to be self-sufficient. This means packing spare parts for anything that could burn out, wear out, or short out and cast you adrift. It’s better to have a spare component when you don’t need it, than not have it when you do.
I carry a full complement of spare parts, within reason, on board at all times. Impellers, replacement -electrical sensors for the cooling, and fuel and oil -systems are all vital to keep your trip moving. Sensors can fail, and when they do, the computer on many -modern engines de-rates the engine as a protection measure so no further damage will occur.
Know where you’re headed
You will need to get as much information as you can about your destination, i.e. the distance to the nearest marina or airstrip in case of an emergency or fuel stops. Lastly, try and anticipate the weather via broadcasted reports. Any unsettling weather should immediately put your crossing on hold.
Preparation and due diligence are the keys to success for any venture, as well as the seaworthiness and condition of the boat. Repair and maintenance could save your life in the long run. Now, if there are way too many issues with your current ride, then it may be time to postpone the trip and start browsing through the numerous boats for sale in Nebraska.
(Article Excerpt and Image from “Extended Trip Planning”, 08 September 2014, Marlin Magazine)