Heading into the New Year – make a Resolution

November 29, 2012   By Capt. Rick Delfosse    203-216-7800       11/29/12   Today’s crazy, accelerated schedules have folks working more, fitting more in, wearing more hats, dealing with more stress…… and using their boats less. So, as we head into the New Year and look forward to a new boating season, let’s make a resolution to use our boats more.  It seems the days of multiple week long trips out the Sound have evaporated to fewer trips of shorter duration or “stay-cations” – not exactly what we had in mind when we started boating. Make it a weekend getaway, but think about how you do it.
  • Time constraints ?  Don’t go so far. Make a day trip to a local harbor you haven’t been to in a while (See Note 1).
  • Budget constraints ?  Slow down to save fuel (See Note 4) or anchor out instead of spending every night at another marina. (See Note 1)    Go to a marina that offers a discount (See Note 2).
  • Afraid to anchor out because the ‘frig will defrost ?  There are options (See note 3).
The marine industry has taken notice of this new "boater lifestyle" and is now designing new breeds of “day boats” that maximize guest capacity and amenities but have less horsepower / speed and less fuel / water tankage. These new “Recreational Day Boats”, or RDB’s will have more space for socializing, larger swim platforms, galley’s up, and larger sun pads, all in tune with how time pressed (or time compressed) boaters are using their boats. That’s great if you are in the market now, but what about the rest of us ?  Think about how you use the boat now and how you would like to be using it. Are there similarities ? What can you add / modify to turn it into the boat you would use more ?  LED lighting, a 12V refrigerator, solar panels, BBQ, Sun cushions on deck ? Maybe that can be the Winter project that will get you using the boat more next year. NOTES: Note 1:  See your cruising guide for local harbors and amenities, or use the Active Captain website to plan your close to home trip. Note 2:  See the Long Island Loop Cruising Club list to get started with marina discounts:       /?page_id=169 Note 3:  If you have a "110 boat"  (need either dock or generator power for refrigerator, stove, TV’s, AC etc.) consider freezing water bottles to use the fridge as an icebox for the day (or overnight) and explore using a small propane / butane single burner stove for coffee.  Shake off the power cords and open the hatches. If the majority of your systems are 12 volt.. what are you waiting for ? Note 4:  Find or make a Speed / Fuel chart for your boat. (see sample below) It’s amazing how much less fuel you can use if you pull the throttle back a bit.  Also travel with the current.  See the chapter in your copy of “Eldridge” entitled “Smarter Boating in Currents” for some eye opening info.   [caption id="attachment_1336" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Sample Fuel Chart[/caption]    

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