Skipper’s Tip, 11/7/11 – Changes in Seasons

With darkness falling earlier and the winter weather patterns starting to show, we thought we’d better get the warnings out for the season!

Be careful about darkness – it comes early this time of year and has a tendency to sneak up on unwary skippers. At Tradewinds, getting your boat back before dark is one of the big, unbreakable rules!  Combine the changes in time with the strong winter currents (we had some over 5 knots last week!), and a skipper who isn’t paying attention is very likely to have a hard time getting the boat back on time! Over the years, we’ve also noticed that when boats arrive just before dark, we often end up sending out cleaning bills to unfortunate skippers. It is very hard to properly clean up a boat in the dark, especially if the crew is shivering and anxious to get warm.

Speaking of cleaning, don’t forget that the larger the boats get, the longer it takes to properly check them out and properly put them away. Don’t forget to put this into your sailing schedule. When we sail a 34′ boat, it takes us a minimum of an hour to put it away to our standards, with two people working together on the clean-up duties. If you have any questions about boat cleanliness, be sure to stop by the office and ask us. We’ll be happy to come down to the boat and inspect your work whenever possible.

Winter weather patterns make for different sailing conditions as well. It is extremely important to check the weather so that you know what to expect during your sail.  Conditions tend to change much quicker in the winter and will often surprise you. If you are unsure what to expect on the bay, ask us before you go out.

Enjoy the winter sailing!

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