Offshore preparation is a large and complicated subject.
We have been getting boats ready for offshore for 14 years and have helped more than 50 of them in their preparations.
Inspections: We inspect vessels from top to bottom when we start the off shore preparation process. We asses the mast, boom, Standing rigging and Running rigging, as well as the interaction between them. We will give you a verbal or written report on our findings and follow them with repair or upgrade suggestions.
Standing rigging: The standing rigging on an offshore vessel must be in top shape to ensure vessel and crew safety. We recommend that any rigging be inspected and any older than 8 years be considered for replacement when preparing for an extended blue water voyage. We can provide you with emergency replacement rigging in both wire and fiber rigging. We can also make sure that you know how to make those repairs and have the right tools in the event of a rig failure. Lastly we can inspect the last and most often ignored part of the standing rigging system: the chainplates. We can make sure they are properly sealed and replace any damaged chainplates before an offshore cruise.
Running Rigging: Running rigging is often the last thing on anyone's list for replacement. We will advise you on what lines need to be replaced and make sure that we help you choose the correct lines for their individual uses. We can asses the boat for potential chafe points and show you how to avoid halyard and sheet failures during your voyage. Reef lines are often a problem when using them for extended periods of time. They can cut through completely from the motion of the sail. By using the proper lines and covers we can prevent your reef lines from failing at an inopportune time.
Mast and boom: We will make sure that all the structural points on your mast and boom are in good working order. We look for failing fasteners or worn loading points. Often high load areas such as boom bails, tangs and boom gooseneck are prone to failing fasteners or enlarged pin bearing points. We can replace or repair any of these, often using upgraded hardware to better handle the load. The mast head on boats are a common source of problems for chafe and halyard failure. One of the most common and valuable repairs that we perform for offshore boats is the upgrade to a modern mast head. This provides the vessel with clearances to headstay and backstay so that the lines and sails do not rub through each other. It also allows us to fit antennas, lights and instruments that are often added during offshore prep.
Storm sails: Staysails, running backs, solents and trysails are the most common rigging components added to an offshore boat. We can advise you on which would best suit your boat and how to apply them to your rig in a safe and practical manner. We will also provide you with stowing solutions for these items when they are not in use.
Off shore accessories: we are commonly asked to provide extra offshore cruising gear such as Guard rails, solid top rails in the cockpit or for lashing jerry cans, self tacking staysail tracks or SSB antennas. Let us know what equipment you need and we would be glad to help out.
Preparation: Several of our staff are experienced offshore cruisers and can help you get your boat and yourself ready for blue water. From learning how to do your own rigging inspections to emergency repair procedures, the mental aspect of offshore cruising is just as important as the boat preparations. We can provide training for groups and individuals and well as organizations such as the Blue Water Cruising Association.