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2009
Keeping Costs in Control
Finding Your Boat in the Dark
Instrument Assisted Grounding
Limited Power of Attorney
Structural Adhesives for Boat Building
Lyle Hess Plans: Change of Address
Source for Bu-Ord parachutes for Para-anchor Usage
Writing and Cruising
Children and Cruising

2008
No Marina Shower
Pro-Active Insurance
Better Folding Water Jugs
Reinforced Tradewinds
Bilge Pump Outlet
Floating Plastic Waste
Mast Failure
Signing Off Before You Set Sail

2007
Ship's Library
Maintaining Varnished Surfaces
Have epoxy adhesives improved recently?
Series Drogues: Can They Work Like a Para-anchor?
Efficient Tool Drawers For Cruising Boats
Make Your Boat Unstoppable
Open Roadsteads
Storm Trysails
Lyle Hess Designs
What Does Cruising Cost?

2006
Navigation Warning
Quick Fix in Island Studded Waters
Things I've learned at sea
Winterizing Varnished Timber
Para-Anchor Source
Sea Boots
Preventing Rigging Failures at Sea
What about holding tanks?

2005
Ventilation Assisting
Companionway Board

I hate systems!
Seacocks & Through Hull Fittings
Galley Sink Cutting Board
Fail-proof Turnbuckle Lock

Special provisions
Email Contact-Beware
Folding Lifeboat Note

2004
Plated Plugs
When Radar Doesn't Work

Perfect Cruisers Cookware
Removing Stains From Wood

Ships Medical Library
WARNING:Spectra Lines

New To Oysters
More on Cookware

Storage tips
A Space Conscious Knife Rack

Double Duty Locker Door
Washing Line

2003
Life Rafts
Medical Insurance
Cash & Carry
Preserving Butter
Chilean Canals
Beeswax!
Powdered Eggs
Save Your Fingers

2002
Beware of White!
Ice Buckets

Leftover Fillet
Extra Veggie Storage
Protect Your Lines

Clink prevention
Easier Shopping

Assist Masthead Maintenance
Health Insurance
Electricians & Alloy
Affordable Security
Proper Sea-Cocks
Tips from Larry's Workshop
Travel Insurance
Variable Destination Navigation

2001
Anti-prop stop reminders
Sail Covers
Shake down sail
The Port Stick

Poor Mans A/C
Stern Anchor Stowage
Spinnaker pole storage

Water in your fuel
Egg Carriers
European Duties

2000
Natural Sandpaper
Deoderize kerosene
Waterproof adhesive
Ready Crisp Bacon

Visas
Boat Tie Shoes

Easier Screwing
Miracle Product

Swageless end fittings
Quick Hot Soup

1999
Night Vision Glasses
Marine Metal Detector
Kitchen Helpers
The "watch" watch


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March 2008

Pro-Active Insurance

A few months into our very first cruise, Larry and I were offered a chance to deliver a boat from La Paz in Mexico, to Long Beach, California. The money for that job was enough to let us keep on cruising for another six months – besides it would let us get up to a chandlery and buy another anchor we needed for Seraffyn. Right then we had to decide, who owns whom. Our decision affected the rest of our cruising life. We decided to do everything we possibly could to make sure “our baby” would be safe, then head off and do things away from the boat.  During more than four decades of voyaging, we have left Seraffyn and later Taleisin in 17 different countries, for periods ranging from a week to six months.  The two most important things we do are, spend the time to get to know the local area so we can choose the safest position for the boat. Then hire someone to look after her, someone with good recommendations from local folks, someone we’d carefully vetted who had the means to do something before things could go wrong. We do this in preference to normal insurance that only works after something goes wrong, and then only if the insurance company can’t find a way to wiggle out of paying. We call it prevention instead of cure. (Interesting aside, we figure the money we saved by eschewing formal boat insurance has paid for a few spare anchors-pro-active insurance in and of themselves – and also bought us our small, but tidy waterfront cottage here in New Zealand.)

In La Paz that time, we set a mooring in a well-protected bay ten miles north of La Paz and hired the man who lived and fished on the island protecting it. He rowed out each day and lit the anchor lamp. We came back to find Victor had washed the boat down almost daily, even slept on board, in the cockpit, on a few nights when it was particularly stormy. We left Victor a small deposit for his work, the rest we paid him when we returned. I think this was added incentive because the boat was in perfect and very clean condition when we returned.

In Ventura where we left Taleisin this winter, we again made sure she had a caretaker. And boy did it pay off. The man-made harbor suffered from some very strong surges. The cleats on Taleisin’s dock failed (we had re-bolted all of them before we left but according to Phillip Morgan, the surge was running back and forth at over seven knots with waves to two feet high) so the actual dock structure began to give out. At 3 AM Phillip was able to get Taleisin’s mooring lines around secure pilings. When things calmed down, he arranged to move Taleisin to a new secure dock where the surge was far less damaging. Thanks to very pro-active Phil!


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