Need tips for overnighting on a boat

TheDude727TheDude727 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
Finally purchased a boat with a cabin that I want to do some overnight trips on. Having never done this before, I'm a little bit nervous about what I need to do to avoid trouble. About all I know is that I need to anchor up away from any shipping channel and make sure that I have 360 degree lights on. Is there anything else I can do to allow me to sleep soundly? Should I be saving my money for a radar that would sound an alarm when a vessel gets close? Any and all tips are appreciated for a rookie overnighter. Thank you!

Replies

  • Alex from GAAlex from GA Posts: 1,084 Officer
    A GPS has an anchor alarm. Why do you need a radar when you're anchored? Enjoy your new boat.
  • TheDude727TheDude727 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    I just thought that the radar would warn me of any vessel getting too close. I'm mostly worried about other boats smashing into me.
  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 412 Deckhand
    I world save for radar but not for the reason you ask. Like Alex said an anchor alarm tied to GPS is the ticket. Radar is for navigating in visibility impaired situations and collision avoidance while underway. Sure spotting birds can be accomplished to some degree too. Loud horns, lights and cannon are for collision avoidance when you are anchored. :wink
  • FS DanFS Dan Posts: 2,322 Moderator
    The best thing you can do for a good night sleep is an Air Conditioned Cabin.lol
    Remember to get Two cannons, I like redundant safety equipment.:grin

    FSD
    Formerly Catmandew
  • nightflynightfly Posts: 482 Deckhand
    Yes get a radar and set an alarm if another vessel gets too close. All the loud horns and cannons won't do you any good if you're sleeping. AC is a must.
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    TheDude727 wrote: »
    Finally purchased a boat with a cabin that I want to do some overnight trips on. Having never done this before, I'm a little bit nervous about what I need to do to avoid trouble. About all I know is that I need to anchor up away from any shipping channel and make sure that I have 360 degree lights on. Is there anything else I can do to allow me to sleep soundly? Should I be saving my money for a radar that would sound an alarm when a vessel gets close? Any and all tips are appreciated for a rookie overnighter. Thank you!

    What kind of waters are you planning to anchor in? I honestly don't know if anyone actually sleeps soundly on a small boat.

    We've done many overnighters in our 24' w/a cuddy. The only nights I slept somewhat soundly we were tied to a dock - and even then in some cases mr gl got up periodically to check the lines, even when using spring lines. The hull slap while at anchor kept me from sleeping. So unless you're in flat calm water...or have a rear cabin, I would avoid anchoring overnight for that reason alone.

    With that said - choose your spot carefully. The wake from larger ships, passing boats aren't contained just within the shipping channel.

    Good luck and enjoy!

    ps - if you haven't already, I would invest in a covered grill that fits in a rod holder. We did most of our cooking on that.
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • TheDude727TheDude727 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    I'm pretty surprised that nightfly is the only one recommending radar. I would have thought that radar would be the single best piece of equipment you can have for overnighting but I've never had one so I don't know anything about it. Grady-Lady pretty much confirmed what I am expecting will happen to me and that is that no matter what I do I'll end up being so nervous that I won't sleep anyway. I'm sure that for the first night that I sleep on the open water it will be someplace close to shore although that just probably makes it more likely that you could get hit because of more traffic.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 6,786 Admiral
    I've seen boats anchored right behind Egmont Key on overnights. Seems like a fairly protected place to start.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • TheDude727TheDude727 Posts: 77 Greenhorn
    When I've been to Egmont the current there has been so strong I was nervous anchoring during daylight hours. Of course, that's when there has been a lot of boats lined up next to each other. That's also on the west side of the island, is it less crazy on the east or bay side?
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 6,786 Admiral
    TheDude727 wrote: »
    When I've been to Egmont the current there has been so strong I was nervous anchoring during daylight hours. Of course, that's when there has been a lot of boats lined up next to each other. That's also on the west side of the island, is it less crazy on the east or bay side?

    yes, i have seen catamaran sail boats anchored up there on the east side, current isn't terribly strong the closer you get to the key and it gets shallow there too, 10-15'. I don't think I'd anchor on the west side for an overnight, i'd want to be protected and be in the bay.

    But it might not be a bad first time overnight there. Definitely worth internet scouting. That is what I would do. Get on Googlemaps and start looking up and down the coastline for a spot you would feel secure overnight as a start.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • The Cat's EyeThe Cat's Eye Posts: 1,091 Officer
    if you have done a lot of tent camping you won't need A/C, but you will need to make netting to stop bugs from entering the cabin. I had a cabin boat many years ago and we made netting that attached to Velcro strips that we epoxyed completely around the companion way and the bow hatch opening. This netting was No-See-Um proof, so we could anchor in protected places where it was calm. Of course we often were stuck in the cabin for long hours until the mosquitoes and no-see-ums departed. They usually departed after a few hours after dusk but we always checked the netting with a flash light before exiting the cabin. One night i had cabin fever around midnight and shined the flash light on the companion way netting and was horrified to see that the netting had turned totally black with mosquitoes !!
    Giimoozaabi
  • Grady-ladyGrady-lady Posts: 5,199 Admiral
    TheDude727 wrote: »
    I'm pretty surprised that nightfly is the only one recommending radar. I would have thought that radar would be the single best piece of equipment you can have for overnighting but I've never had one so I don't know anything about it. Grady-Lady pretty much confirmed what I am expecting will happen to me and that is that no matter what I do I'll end up being so nervous that I won't sleep anyway. I'm sure that for the first night that I sleep on the open water it will be someplace close to shore although that just probably makes it more likely that you could get hit because of more traffic.

    It's also important that you be seen - and sometimes it takes more than a white anchor light. You might want to look into installing a radar reflector as well as an anchor alarm. Egmont is close to a shipping lane, and even the bayside is exposed to fairly 'big' water. There are numerous areas not far off, like Terra Ceia Bay that might offer better choices of protected anchorages.

    We've done some fishing, boating and sailing in that area - sad to say, we once sank a boat just off the beach on
    Egmont...due to poor anchoring practices...but that's a story for another day. Long ago Egmont Key was a cool place to spend the day and explore the forts. There were some creepy 'bunkers' inland a little - though it's been years since we've been there.

    Personally, I would look for a more protected, secure anchorage nearby. :)
    I find my peace out on the sand...Beside the sea, not beyond or behind. R.A. Britt

  • finbullyfinbully Posts: 412 Deckhand
    I’ll add to my earlier response and clarify.
    I would not go offshore with the intention of overnighting without an anchor alarm, flares, air horn, high intensity lights, a PLB and radar.
    I also would not go without the ability to have a deck watch. That is, we would all not be sleeping at the same time.
    I’ve been overnighting for more than 40 years and not once without what I have mentioned above.
    It’s not absolutely necessary to drop anchor depending on where you are - you can drift with or without sea anchor(s).
  • ReelPlumberReelPlumber Posts: 98 Deckhand
    TheDude727 wrote: »
    Finally purchased a boat with a cabin that I want to do some overnight trips on. Having never done this before, I'm a little bit nervous about what I need to do to avoid trouble. About all I know is that I need to anchor up away from any shipping channel and make sure that I have 360 degree lights on. Is there anything else I can do to allow me to sleep soundly? Should I be saving my money for a radar that would sound an alarm when a vessel gets close? Any and all tips are appreciated for a rookie overnighter. Thank you!

    Depending on the time of year DEEP WOODS OFF! The no-see-ums will eat you up.:hairraiser

    If you have a generator make sure you have a co2 monitor.

    If you want a good nights sleep drink Rum.
    :kick
  • saltyseniorsaltysenior Posts: 716 Officer
    TheDude727 wrote: »
    Finally purchased a boat with a cabin that I want to do some overnight trips on. Having never done this before, I'm a little bit nervous about what I need to do to avoid trouble. About all I know is that I need to anchor up away from any shipping channel and make sure that I have 360 degree lights on. Is there anything else I can do to allow me to sleep soundly? Should I be saving my money for a radar that would sound an alarm when a vessel gets close? Any and all tips are appreciated for a rookie overnighter. Thank you!

    don't worry too much....you'l be safe the 1 time you do it:wink
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 777 Officer
    What distance do you plan on setting the radar alarm on while you are sleeping? Do you plan on getting up and plotting the course of each vessel that gets within a mile or two? Or maybe set it to a closer range, and not be able to get your anchor up in time to move.

    Having your wide stand watch will solve the problem for future nights.

    MY WORST FEAR......THAT WHEN I DIE MY WIFE WILL SELL ALL MY BOATS & FISHING GEAR FOR WHAT I TOLD HER I PAID FOR IT.......

    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • nightflynightfly Posts: 482 Deckhand
    finbully wrote: »
    I’ll add to my earlier response and clarify.
    I would not go offshore with the intention of overnighting without an anchor alarm, flares, air horn, high intensity lights, a PLB and radar.
    I also would not go without the ability to have a deck watch. That is, we would all not be sleeping at the same time.
    I’ve been overnighting for more than 40 years and not once without what I have mentioned above.
    It’s not absolutely necessary to drop anchor depending on where you are - you can drift with or without sea anchor(s).

    I agree with this. I wouldn't want to be in a boat offshore with everybody asleep.
  • gheftyghefty Posts: 12 Greenhorn

    If you have a generator make sure you have a CO monitor.

    Many years ago we lost some friends who did not have a carbon monoxide detector on their boat. Husband and wife who left 3 kids orphaned. I installed two CO detectors on my cabin boat, but my wife would not spend a single night on our boat after that.
  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 140 Deckhand
    God with the advice people give on here - you probably shouldn't leave your house and if you do you better wear a life jacket, a sweater, bring some flares, some ice packs in case the sweater gets too hot, 7 compasses, 1 GPS, an EPIRB, a couple months of rations, and a few copies of your will.

    :Sinking
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 6,786 Admiral
    God with the advice people give on here - you probably shouldn't leave your house and if you do you better wear a life jacket, a sweater, bring some flares, some ice packs in case the sweater gets too hot, 7 compasses, 1 GPS, an EPIRB, a couple months of rations, and a few copies of your will.

    :Sinking

    I spent the night in my front yard once. Too much rum. woke up the next morning when the newspaper hit right next to me.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • hunterjwhunterjw Posts: 296 Deckhand
    Surprised this hasn't been said: High Water Alarm!

    That gives me peace on anchor or at dock with my Pursuit..
    "He who hoots with the owls at night will not soar with the eagles at dawn"
    buckpic.jpg" tuna.jpg th_turkey1-1.jpg
  • cookin outcookin out Posts: 226 Officer
    Find a cove, WAY away from boat traffic, as someone mentioned, use more than an anchor light. If you have a t top, hang an LED lantern in the middle of it and it will reflect off the aluminum making you very visible.

    I also have the reflector tape that trucks use on the rear and sides of my outboard. But that's just me

    Also, anchor where the wind is blowing towards shore if possible, this GREATLY reduces the amount of bugs.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 3,525 Captain
    A/C? ****?
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.
  • SaltySardineSaltySardine Posts: 140 Deckhand
    Soda - I have done that before but it was whiskey and it was a suntrust bank parking lot - the mulch bed was soft and I couldn't find my buddies apartment and he was too drunk to relay the info to me - but the sprinklers come at like 4am. That is just mean. I lost my shoes during that slumber too? I think some bum took them. Oh college. What an adventure that was.

    One person on here wants a watch at all times even when not underway and another sank a boat from bad anchoring practices.
    Soda fell asleep in his yard from rum, and I have crossed the gulf stream at night in a 40 foot catamaran sailboat with no life raft or Epirb or radar and was actually using a map, a pencil, and GPS numbers to plot my course.

    I feel like we are all winners here haha
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 6,786 Admiral
    Fell asleep is putting it nicely. passed out next a puddle of my own vomit is much more accurate.

    I've got a solution for the OP though. Honeymoon island. You can rent a slip overnight and sleep right there tied up to the dock.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • nightflynightfly Posts: 482 Deckhand
    Soda - I have done that before but it was whiskey and it was a suntrust bank parking lot - the mulch bed was soft and I couldn't find my buddies apartment and he was too drunk to relay the info to me - but the sprinklers come at like 4am. That is just mean. I lost my shoes during that slumber too? I think some bum took them. Oh college. What an adventure that was.

    One person on here wants a watch at all times even when not underway and another sank a boat from bad anchoring practices.
    Soda fell asleep in his yard from rum, and I have crossed the gulf stream at night in a 40 foot catamaran sailboat with no life raft or Epirb or radar and was actually using a map, a pencil, and GPS numbers to plot my course.

    I feel like we are all winners here haha
  • snapperwhippersnapperwhipper Posts: 108 Deckhand

    Here is my advice anchor out one night (safely as possibly) and check in at a marina the next. Repeat as often as possible

    When all else fails...jiggle that wire:\

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