Guests and Crew – Expectations and Supplies

This document, Guests – Expectations and Supplies, is being developed for guests and crew, especially newbies. I would appreciate it if you would read and give me some feedback in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

Rover – Guests – Expectations and Supplies – updated Feb.20,2014 ( as a Microsoft Word document)

Table of Contents

Environment 4

Safety. 4

Murder most foul! 5

A life not worth living. 5

Weather 6

Health & Hygiene. 7

The Head (Toilet) 7

Itinerary. 8

Costs. 8

Mooring and Docking. 8

Fuel 9

Food and Snacks. 9

Clothing. 10

Footwear 10

Luggage & Storage. 11

Miscellaneous Gear 11

Appendix A – The Parday’s Basic Minimum Wardrobe Essentials. 13

  • Only two rules:
    • Number Two: have as much fun as possible at all times, except that:
    • Number One: safety is always the first priority.

Everything else flows from these.

  • Anytime you have questions or concerns, voice them immediately.
  • Always keep all body parts out from between the boat and anything else; protecting the boat is not worth the serious risk of personal injury.
  • Always step on and off the boat – no jumping!
  • A boat can move unexpectedly and violently. Always be ready to steady yourself. In whatever you do: one hand for yourself, one for the boat.
  • If the thought crosses your mind than perhaps you would be safer, doing whatever you’re doing another way, do it the safer way.
  • Wear a life jacket at all times when you are on deck. Wear a life line at noght and in heavier weather.
  • Learn the location of the PFD (Personal Flotation devices) and safety equipment. (Fire extinguishers and life ring too.)
  • Lines (a.k.a. “ropes” for landlubbers): generally a line is much easier to handle if you simply take a turn around a cleat or piling, rather than holding it freehand. There are several useful things you can do with a line:
  1. pull it in;
  2. ease it (i.e. let it out a bit);
  3. snub it (i.e. take a turn or two around a cleat or piling, then apply some tension to stop it from sliding);
  4. secure or cleat it (i.e. tie a knot so that it stays put – let the skipper show you, the first time, a good, non-slipping but quick-release knot).
  • A few other useful nautical terms to learn:
  1. directions: fore and aft, port and starboard, ahead, astern and abeam;
  2. locations: cockpit, cabin, companionway, foredeck, bow, transom, quarter.
  • Use as little of the boats tanked water as possible, and
  • learn how operate the head (“toilet”) before using – and then flush as little as possible, but enough.
  • Tidiness matters in a small space – please keep all of your belongings together and preferably stowed in when not in use

The purpose of this cruise is to have fun and be safe.

Sailing skills are not a requirement, a willingness to lean and participate at your own level are.

Knowing what to expect is the key to success. Do not let the contents of this document scare you, they are meant to prepare you. Adjust what you bring for the season, length of cruise and area.

Sailboats are subject to the whim of wind and tide and, are as are all of man’s creations, subject to breakdowns. A flexible can-do attitude is the attitude of a successful sailor.

Arrive as scheduled and with all you need.



It’s your life and your limbs. Listen to your inner voice, if you feel uncomfortable doing a task, ask for advice and assistance. Always volunteer but never start a task without instruction. What looks safe, simple and easy could have dire consequence if not done correctly. When Evensong is sailing at 6 knots (11 km/hr) trying to hold the rope for the front sail, is like trying to hold a rope tied to the bumper of a medium size car going 55 km/hr., with similar consequences.  Do not worry, there is never any reason to do that, we just want to make an impression.

Evensong, even tied to the dock is a always in motion, the rule is one hand for yourself and one for the boat.

On every trip, we leave a float plan. A float plan describes the itinerary, the boat, it’s equipment, and the crew. For an evening’s sail it’s usually just a call to a friend or spouse letting them know where we will be, when we’ll be back and who is going. For an extended cruise we would file the plan with the Canadian Coast Guard and a contact person. The contact person will advise the Coast Guard if we are overdue.

Evensong is equipped with a Cell phone, VHF Radios, GPS, dingy, radar, lifejackets, survival suites, etc, for a safe trip.

We’ll give you a familiarization and safety tour. The tour will be more detailed the longer and the further from civilization the cruise.

If you have your own safety equipment (PFD, lights, safety harness, floater or survival suites, handheld VHF radio, satellite phone, GPS, etc.), please bring them.

No smoking in cabins or cockpit. Do not flick live buts into the water, the wind may carry it back onboard and start a fire.

According to Murphy’s Law, there are only a few places anything can go on a boat:

v     Over the side and to the bottom.

  • Anything that can roll or be dropped, will roll or be dropped into the water.
  • All portable equipment (cameras, glasses, radios, etc.) should have a strap.
  • Little chance of recovery unless tied-up to a marina or wharf and the water’s not polluted.

v     Into the bilge.

  • The bilge is the lowest part of the boat where if there’s water or garbage it will collect there.
  • This material will later plug the bilge pump when we need it to prevent us from sinking.
  • Garbage into the garbage bags and pick-up any you find, even lint or a small piece of plastic or paper.

Murphy also has advised us:

v     Anything that can be knocked over will be knocked over and damaged just before it’s most needed.

  • Ensure anything you set-down cannot move, even if the boat does.

v     Coffee, pop, beer, etc. will always spill on the charts or onto the navigation electronics when we need them the most.

  • Keep then in your hand or in drink holders and away from the important stuff.

v     Food will be spilled when we are the hungriest or it’s the last piece.

  • Ensure pots, plates and cups cannot slide off the table, counter or stove.

v     A sharp knife falling off the counter will land point first on the foot of the person with sandles.

Remember your passport if are going to the USA of French St. Pierre and Miquelon. Do you need medical insurance if we are going to USA?

Murder most foul!

We will be living in close quarters for extended periods. There is about 80 square feet of floor space, including the cockpit.  That’s the size of a small bedroom (8 ft x 10 ft)!

Getting along is important to everyone’s enjoyment. Be considerate and your part. Do not let feelings fester.

A life not worth living

Or as it’s better known, seasickness.


v     Is not uncommon, especially in rough conditions.

v     Very few sailors, even military and commercial sailors have not been seasick at one time or another.

v     Is believed to be caused by a conflict between your how the brain interprets the world. When the boat is moving and you are sitting in the cabin, your inner ear feels the movement, but your eyes are telling the brain, no all’s well, we are not moving. The brain thinks you’ve eaten a poison and vomiting follows.

v     Usually after a little seasickness the brain figures it out and you will be OK. This is called “getting your sealegs”.  Usually within two days,

v     If you let it. It will ruin your cruise.

v     Keep a positive attitude.

v     There are ways to reduce or eliminate seasickness for you. See below.

If you think you are susceptible to seasickness, starting the cruise with a few short sails will help you acclimatize.


v     Avoidance

  • Avoid foods and odours that contribute to seasickness.
  • Be rested.
  • Drugs taken before departure and during the cruise.
    • We can provide advice, but bring your own.
    • Start taking 12 hours before departure or as advised on the package.
    • Heed warnings on the package.
    • Eating Ginger in any form from natural ginger root. (not synthetic ginge)
    • Acupuncture bands.
    • Stay out in the fresh air.
    • Stay out of the cabins down below.
    • Watch the horizon.

v     Remedies:

  • Drugs, see above.
  • Drink liquids.
  • Avoid sudden movements.
  • Sleep and rest.
  • Fresh air.
  • Watch the horizon.


Be Prepared. It’s usually cooler and damper on the water.

When it’s sunny there’s more chance of sunburn from direct sun and sun reflected from the water.

Hyperthermia is always a concern. Ocean water is often too cold for swimming and survival times can be measured in minutes. Even sitting out on deck in wind and rain can lead to hyperthermia.

This site has safety related information:

“I would rather be in the marina wishing we were on the water than on the water wishing we were in the marina.” Bob and Glenna Davis, North Carolina (

Health & Hygiene

Please let your captain know of any food allergies or health issues.

Bring sufficient medicines and personal care products for the duration of the trip. There may not be any pharmacies for a week or so.

Please enure your inoculations are current, especially tetanus booster.

Please bring your own:

v     Tight fitting hat

v     During bug season, bug repellent, bug screen hats and jacket.

v     Shampoo, toothpaste, lotions

v     Chapstick to prevent sun and wind burn to lips.

v     Sunscreen

v     Sunglasses

v     Fish do not need glasses, bring a strap to keep yours.

v     Hand soap

v     Razors

v     One or two towels (depending upon duration of cruise) and a facecloth. Dark colours dry faster in the sun.

v     Sleeping bag or bedding and pillow. Currently we have only single person bunks for sleeping.

v     There will be laundry soap on board.

v     Waterproof flashlight, and strap.

v     Rigging knife or your jackknife.

We have limited quantity of potable water. Currently we do not have hot running water for washing or showers. We have two solar showers.

Unless we are at a marina or dock with 120V AC electricity, you will be unable to use a hairdryer.

The Head (Toilet)

The toilet on a boat is not like yours at home, you will need instructions on it’s use. Remember nothing goes in the toilet except from your body and toilet tissue. It can clog and there’s no one to fix it but you and I.  The emphasis is on the you!

The toilet pumps into a holding tank which we can only empty at marinas with pump-out facilities or if we are in the ocean and more than three miles from land.


A schedule is a plan. “Wind and tide wait for no man”, but we may have to wait for them. We may not be where we want when we want. We will wait out storms or bad weather in a safe harbour. Mechanical breakdowns happened and may cause changes to the schedule. Be prepared to arrive earlier than planned, wait for us to pick you up or to leave the cruise early or later then expected. If we are delayed. we may have to adjust the cruise to meet individual’s deadlines.

Each cruise or part of a cruise has a purpose and style;

v     An afternoon or evening’s sail for a little relaxation.

v     Lean a new skill or technique.

v     To get somewhere on a schedule.

v     Sightseeing with stops at selected points of interest

v     Travel with other boats.

v     To poke along and explore.

v     Racing.

A fun cruise occurs when all are aware of and agree to the reason for and style of the cruise.


EvenSong is a pleasure craft and does not take paying passengers. As a pleasure craft, persons other than the owner may contribute to the costs of the following without the vessel being considered a commercial vessel and the guests being considered passengers:

v     Food

v     Canal and lock transit fees.

v     Mooring, docking and marina fees.

v     Fuel and lubricants.

v     Repairs due to equipment and gear failures during the cruise.

Crew and or guests may contribute to these costs with prior agreement with the owner and prior to the cruise.

Mooring and Docking

Where will we spend the night will depend on the purpose and style of the trip and budget. The ways we can overnight in the boat are:

v     We usually plan to stop each night before supper. The places to stop are:

  • At anchor. No dollar cost, just manual labour to raise the anchor by cranking the anchor winch.
  • At a mooring ( renting someone’s permanent anchor). Cost $10 to $20, sometimes free,
  • At a public dock.  Usually charged by the foot of length, $0.50 to $3.00 per foot in Canada. Evensong is 36 feet, so $18 to $108 per night.
  • At a slip in a private marina. Usually charged by the foot of length, $1.50 to $3.00 per foot in Canada, Evensong is 36 feet, so  $54 to $108 per night
  • Or we may get lucky and receive the offer of a free mooring, dock or slip!

v     Not stopping at night, but sail overnight.

  • Overnight passages are safer with the boat well equipped and all systems functioning, with a rested crew prior to the overnight leg, in good weather, with sufficient crew for shifts overnight and safe harbours at each end. We will plan then accordingly and as a group.


Evensong can move from place to place by:

v     Sail. No additional costs

v     Motor. Evensong uses about 2.5 gallons of diesel per hour and cruises at 4 to 6 knots (nautical miles per hour) or 7 to 11 km per hour. Fuel will cost fro $1 for a days sailing or $25 per full day of motoring.

Fuel consumption will be determined by the purpose and style of the cruise and budgeted as agreed to by all crew (anyone on board the boat for the cruise).

Food and Snacks

Bring along your favorite snacks, but be prepared to share.

We usually eat some meals ashore in restaurants or at festivals. To facilitate budgeting and avoid food spoiling, as group, we should plan on percentage of meals ashore and on the boat and the timing.

The goal is to plan meals with input from all.

Let us know well in advance of any food allergies or preferences so we can provision appropriately.

Remember in some harbours may have only the equivalent of a small corner store and it may be weeks before we are in a larger center.


If you’re coming for a day, dress for the weather forecast, if longer, prepare for the best and the worst.

On the water days can be hot and nights cool.

Even on warm day, add a little wind and rain and you’ll soon be cold.

Dress casual, we do not have irons.

Fleece dries faster than wool.

Cotton clothes are cool and great for hot weather, but do not dry fast and can lead to hyperthermia if you cannot change. Consider synthetics or wool in cooler temperatures.

v     Suggestions:

  • Cotton is deadly; it soaks in water and is hard to dry. If you are wearing wet cotton, you will lose body heat as your body tries to keep warm.
  • T Shirts/Polo shirts
  • Shorts
  • Long sleeved shirt
  • Fleece, wool or synthetic material sweater. Wool is difficult to dry but retains heat when wet.
  • Fleece Trousers or tracksuit bottoms
  • Light sailing/walking trousers – please do not bring jeans as they do not dry
  • Light weight waterproof jacket
  • Socks
  • Fleece toque
  • A set of casual clothes for a evening’s dining ashore, a social or wedding.

v     Raingear

  • Seems no matter what we wear eventually we always get wet. Water down the neck, up the sleeves or from sweat and condensation.
  • Breathable waterproof jacket with a hood and pants are best.
  • For longer trips consider pants with a bib to keep water  from splashing in.
  • Non-breathable materials will keep you driest, but eventually you’ll get wet from sewating and condensation.
  • Rain hat

v     Gloves:

  • Sailing gloves if you have them, thin leather gloves will do.
  • Insulated waterproof sailing gloves for colder locales.

v     Miscellaneous Gear


v     Washing, either hand wash and hang to dry or wait till we hit a town with a marina with a laundromat.


v     Deck shoes with a non marking non slip tread (fine treads are more effective than deep treads). Sneakers will do.

v     Sailing boots if you have them if not a second pair of deck shoes as your feet will be getting wet.

v     Sneakers or hiking boots for trips ashore. Do not wear these on the boat as any stones or gravel trapped in the soles will chip the fiberglass decks or puncture the inflatable dingy.

v     Sandals

v     Beach footwear for walking on rocky beaches and going ashore with the digny.

Luggage & Storage

Soft sided luggage; space is limited and it’s easier to store.

Boats can be damp places and anything open to the salt air wicks moisture and will feel damp. Store clothes in plastic bags. Putting on clothes just out of a bag feels like putting on clothes hot out of the dryer.

Damp clothes stored in plastic bags will soon mildew.

Miscellaneous Gear

Do you have enough spare batteries for the trip?

We have 120V AC electricity available, usually once a day, for chargers and electronics with a small current draw.

Waterproof flashlight or headlight.

Binoculars, with a strap, are useful for sightseeing and bird watching.

Cameras (with a strap), IPods (with a strap), CD’s etc. Remember salt water loves to destroy electronics.


Bird book to identify all the birds we’ll see.

Books with local history and content.

We have sailing related magazines and books on sailing related topics.

Snorkel and mask or even SCUBA gear are great for a little underwater exploring. Space is limited, so please check with us before bringing SCUBA gear.

– I will pay lock fees. Only locks are on St. Lawrence seaway.
– We all share food, fuel and docking. My idea is I’m supplying the boat and we all (crew and myself) contribute to the food, fuel and docking. This way we have consensus on meals (gourmet, spagetti, steak, hamburger, fish, chicken or vegan), how much motoring and how often to tie up to a dock or marina, i.e. the costs.

If we sail, then only need motor to assist in anchoring, for less than an hour a day. The hour allows for her diesel to warm up, move us and shutdown. Or maybe not at all if we get good at sailing to and from anchor. Also depends upon location and weather. This is a new boat to me, form what I’ve read she uses 2 to 3 liters per hour at cursing speed of 5 to 6 knots. The faster she goes beyond the cruising speed, exponentially more fuel is used. So that’s about 2 to 3 dollars per hour (if diesel is $1 per liter); $20 for 10 hours for 50 nautical miles, and $8 per person if 3 of us. Less mileage if against the tidal current, better mileage if with. Some places on the lower St. Lawrence river have 10 knot tidal current, so no sense trying to go out at 5 knots when tide is coming in at 10, Better to go out at 15. Same off Gaspe, 4 to 5 miles out we are in the outflow of the St. Lawrence, closer to shore we would be fighting back eddies.

I see we would motor when

– Stuck out in no wind.

– Wind over 30 knots and we want to ride out the wind. This is not something I plan on doing.

– Wind against us and we want to make time.

– To get into and out of docks and marinas we are not familiar with.

I’m a fair weather sailor. By fair weather I mean:

– Sailing safely

– Winds below Small Craft warning.

– Aoid sailing immediately after a storm and fighting the big waves it leaves.

– Sailing on sunny, rainy, snow, warm or cold days.
Docks and marinas.
Docks generally have few or no facilities.
Marinas generally provide a restaurant (may be closed in the fall), fuel, sometime a marine store, toilets, showers and Laundromat.
Docks are cheapest. The smaller the facility and out in the boonies are least expensive. Say $5 to $50 per night
Marinas are say $30 to $120 per night. only 1 or 2 at the $120. It’s usually based upon length of boat and we are 36 on deck with +4 ft for davits for inflatable. We’ll have to push for off season rates.

I’m leaning towards marinas once or twice a week to refuel and wash-up. I believe that Zack wants to minimize costs as well.

This time of year we get more and stronger winds than summer. So we’ll have more storm days. Even with perfect weather, I see stopping at a dock or marina at least one day a week for food, fuel, and laundry.

One way to reduce costs is to tie up at the fuel dock and use facilities while fueling.

Also we’ll keep an eye on the weather and not get storm stayed at an expensive marina.

Appendix A – The Parday’s Basic Minimum Wardrobe Essentials

From Larry and Lin Parday are long time ocean crusiers.
(These clothing recommendations will take you from the Canadian border in the fall, to the Caribbean for the winter.)

Warm-Weather Clothing
Item Quantity
T-shirts / tank tops 8
Shorts 4
Bathing suits 2
Long-sleeved shirts 2
Long pants 2
Hats 2 (1 wide brim, 1 sporty)
Sunglasses 2
Socks 3
Dresses/skirts 4 (for the ladies, optional for the men)
Collared short-sleeved shirts 3
Cold-Weather Clothing
Item Quantity
Turtlenecks 2
Wool sweater 1
Polar fleece jacket 1
Polar fleece vest 1
Polar fleece pants 1
Polar fleece scarf 1
Polar fleece hat 1
Polar fleece gloves 1
Sweat pants 1
Sweat shirt 1
(Combine above with foul-weather gear for added warmth.)
Rain/Storm Protection
Item Quantity
Waterproof jacket with hood and reflective tape 1
Bib-style waterproof pants 1
Towel for around neck 1
Item Quantity
Sandals .water type with boating soles 1
Running shoes with boating soles 1
Rubber boots with boating sole 1


One response

21 04 2010
Dale H. Arden

Another useful nautical term: CAST OFF, meaning take in all lines as the boat is ready to leave the dock. Also, having a small pocket knife with you while out on deck can come in handy at times.

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