Pre-Trip Information

1.     Purpose

The purpose of this document is to help you understand what to expect while travelling on
the Nason Motor Yacht, ‘Venture’.

Reading this manual is very important. It will help you determine if the trip is right for you!
It will let you know what to expect the trip to be like and give you important safety information.

This manual will describe:


1.          Purpose of the Crew Manual                                                                                               2



2.          What to expect on the trip                                                                                                    3



3.          Our Route                                                                                                                              4



4.          Safety Concerns                                                                                                                   5



5.          Weather                                                                                                                                 6



6.          Sea Communications                                                                                                          7



7.          Harbour Communications                                                                                                   8



8.          Work Effort                                                                                                                            9


9.          Jobs                                                                                                                                     10


10.        Entertainment                                                                                                                      11



11.        Comforts                                                                                                                              12



12.        Seasickness                                                                                                                       13



13.        What to Bring                                                                                                                      14



14.        Clothing and Personal Gear Checklist                                                                             15



15.        Rules                                                                                                                               16-17



16.        Conclusion                                                                                                                           17



A general understanding of the trip, equipment, and responsibilities will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone.


2.      What to expect on the trip

Passage aboard ‘Venture’ is intended to be a different, interesting and exciting trip.

Each boating trip is different. We have trips planned where we could be in a marina in a major city most of the time.  Some, where we cruise among deserted islands. Not to mention an ocean crossing and even some trips where we expect rough seas. This document covers everything including an ocean crossing. Unless you are contemplating doing that then this manual covers issues that will not apply to your trip. You will probably find it interesting to read anyway!

When you read or hear about people crossing the ocean you normally hear about the limited electricity, limited fresh water, a lack of hot water, refrigeration, air conditioning, and long periods without communication with land. ‘Venture’ has lots of electricity, refrigeration, freezers (2), a water maker, hot water, 24 hour communication with land, email at sea (as opposed to internet), etc.

The trip is a learning experience for the entire crew. You will learn not only what it is like to cross an ocean and anchor in pristine lagoons but also how to operate an ocean going vessel. You will be involved with actually operating the vessel. Your involvement will enhance the enjoyment of your experience and will insure that you will not become bored!

We do not operate the vessel like a Navy ship, but to have a safe passage each crewmember must know what's going on, and what they are required to do. Each person will have tasks to perform on board. In addition to learning how to operate the vessel you will learn emergency procedures.

Everyone will have to stand watch. Typically two watches of four hours each per day.

Standing watch is basically looking out for other vessels, watching the radar, monitoring the autopilot, and engine gauges, listening to the radio and keeping the ships logbook.

These are not hard tasks, and you will be taught how to perform each one. We will talk more about watch standing later in this manual.

In addition to standing watch there is meal cooking and cleanup. Your help would be appreciated in these areas.

We should be in contact with land at all times via SSB radio and Satellite phone.

Let us know what you want to eat, nibble on and what you like to drink. However, for safety reasons, drinking alcohol will be limited while underway.


3.      Our Route

We have found posting an itinerary to be a waste of time.  It generates questions that we don't know the answers to!  Instead on George's Log I will post our planned destination upon leaving port. 

How long the trip will take

You need to allow a few additional days in case we need to delay our departure due to weather, or have to divert around weather. Generally, we may need to add 3 or 4 days for a voyage.


You are our guests; you are not expected to pay for the fuel, marina fees etc. Foreign ports can be expensive so bring cash, or traveller’s cheques. A minimum of $600 per week per couple in port is suggested. Make sure your credit cards are not going to expire when away.

Weather Notes

Weather planning for route purposes is acquired from a program called Visual Passage Planner. We will also employ a weather router to advise us along the way of any approaching bad weather. We have access to weather reports and forecasts via SSB radio and a sat phone.   The probability of gale force winds is near to zero crossing the Pacific in April / September. On average the wind is predicted to be out of the SE at 11.6 kts. Current is predicted to be out of the SW (average) at .6 knot – most of the time pushing us along.

4.     Safety Concerns

All crewmembers should be in good health. Please have a medical and dental check up before leaving home if doing an ocean crossing leg. Your biggest safety risk is falling overboard.

Your safety will be greatly enhanced if you follow a few simple rules:

ü                  Always hold on to something on the boat.


ü                  Always let the person on watch know you are going on deck.  



ü                  Always wear your radio when you go on deck.



ü                  Always wear your life vest and light when working on deck at night and let another crew member know what you are doing.


It is easy to fall on a moving vessel.

Any time you are standing or walking hold on to the boat with one hand. One hand for me one for the boat.

Another risk is getting burned while cooking on a moving vessel.

Whenever the stove or oven is on always wear the waterproof apron. Whenever taking anything out of the oven use oven mittens.

Biggest risk to the vessel is collision – avoidance is the key!

This is the primary duty of the person on watch to prevent. We have 2 binoculars & 1 pair of night vision goggles. We have 2 radars with AIS which identifies commercial shipping.

Taking on water, springing a leak - this is extremely rare.

We would most likely take water on from a hose leaking. All hoses have a thru hull with a valve. In case of a leak these valves allow the water to be turned off. If a hose leaks we just turn off the thru hull. The vessel has multiple bilge pumps with alarms. We have a collision mat, hole repair kit etc, spare timber etc to effect emergency repairs.

Worst Case - Abandon Ship.

The vessel is equipped with a 6 man Life raft and all appropriate survival gear. I plan to call for help on the satellite phone before we get on the raft!

We have 2 EPIRB’s. These devices broadcast our location to rescue satellites.

Most areas that we travel through have substantial commercial traffic, so help is never far away.

5.     Weather


It is not the wind that bothers us, it is the waves. More importantly it is how steep the waves are. The height and steepness of the waves are a function of wind and current. It is the big steep waves that cause the boat to pitch and roll, making the trip less comfortable.

The commonly quoted odds for dangerous weather are 1 day in 300 days at sea.

While the vessel can handle extreme seas, they are uncomfortable for the crew. So we will try to avoid the weather or change course to take the seas at a better angle. Waves from the side produce the rolling motion that people find uncomfortable. We have hydraulic stabilizers to help control rolling.


How we handle storms

We will not depart port expecting to find a storm.

When en route there is storm forecast for our intended path we turn to avoid them. If we get near one we try to leave the area where they will be. Only if we could not escape would we go into one.

We make sure that everything is held in place.

We will shut all windows and doors, and install the storm plates well beforehand. We will precook food, but usually do not eat much.


How we avoid storms

·                    We will plan the trip to take place in good weather.


·                    Engage professional weather forecasting and trip routing.
We have a weather fax receiver.


·                    Get weather reports via radio.


·                    We can detect weather on the radar.



6.     Sea Communications

We should always have at least two different ways to contact someone on land, the coast guard/VMR and other ships.

Email address: nasonge@hotmail.com

  This will be checked periodically when in port. As we have a limited mailbox capacity please limit the size of any attachments.



Offshore communications (works anywhere in the world)

Voice Satellite: 0011 881631628205

Cost per minute to you for incoming call about USD$2. Check with YOUR long distance carrier.

Satellite Email: nasong@ocens.com

Very slow, the speed is 24 times SLOWER then speeds of a dialup modem. Please limit the size of emails but don't let that stop you from contacting us!  We will be checking this daily as opposed to the website which can only be updated in port.



VHF:  When we are within about 15 miles of other ships we can contact them via the Very High Frequency radio. We also use the VHF to contact the Coast Guard/VMR when we are about 25 miles from land.

SSB:              Works worldwide depending on the solar weather.

EPIRB:          This emergency device broadcasts your exact location (within 1 - 2 k) to US and Russian satellites, which forward this to the appropriate rescue services. We carry two of these.

SATELLITE PHONE: Contacts the marine rescue authorities from anywhere.


7.     Harbour Communications


Best to avoid this, if necessary then we can give you a forwarding address.

·                    Envelopes - tell people to use distinctive colour/shape - ask me.
(Make sure who ever picks up the mail knows what is distinctive about it.)


·                    Address to: TBA


·                    Write ‘hold for pickup’, number envelopes.


·                    Place an attention name on the bottom of the envelope.


·                    Forward mail to a yacht club, not general delivery.


Parts & Overnight delivery services

·                    Ask other boaters about what they have done.


·                    Overnight delivery takes twice as long as promised.


·                    Check on what is necessary when shipping to get item returned duty free.


·                    Have them include 3 copies of cruising permit pertaining to the area you are in
(fax them a copy).
One with waybill, one outside and one inside.


·                    Write on carton “CRUISING PERMIT INCLUDED” with arrows to it.
Include invoice listing values.


·                    Use private customs broker if needed.


·                    On all paperwork state: For Foreign Marine Vessel in Transit.
Add “Replaces defective item previously returned”.


·                    Track all waybill numbers, both International and local on same package!



You can retrieve your email from Internet Cafés and Yacht Clubs. Take the usual precautions with sensitive information. Wireless is available in many of the ports we will be visiting. I will have an aerial on the pilothouse that will boost the reception. You can forward your email to Hotmail.

Cellular Phone

Your cellular phone may work, check with your carrier. You can purchase a prepaid sim card for international use with your existing mobile. This will be a different number. If you retain your normal phone and number you may need to have it turned on to international roaming for the area we are cruising. This is OK if you are not intending to make a large number of calls or use data.


While at anchor we can use it to communicate with others ashore with our hand held radios. We can use our hand held radios as walkie-talkies.


8.     Work Effort

The trip will require the efforts of everyone. Working is part of the shared adventure. We do not want any one person to do too much work and become fatigued, and keeping busy prevents boredom and helps with seasickness.

You can expect to stand watch twice a day for a total of 6 hours a day with a crew of four. You can expect to spend 1-2 hours a day in cooking and cleaning duties. This leaves plenty of time for conversations, reading, watching a movie, reflection etc.

9.     Jobs        

Watch Standing

This will take about six hours a day with a crew of four. You can talk or read while on watch.

Duties are:

·                    Prevent collision


·                    Make sure autopilot is working. Checking the course against the compass bearing.


·                    Monitor all alarms


·                    Monitor gauges


·                    Check engine room


·                    Update log


·                    Monitor Radio




Cooking will be a shared task. We have all the modern conveniences.

·                    Stove (Gas)


·                    Oven (Gas)


·                    Microwave oven




·                    Refrigerator


·             Freezer


·             Blender


·             Toaster


·                       Coffee maker




·                    Checking the weather forecasts and adjusting the route. Helps the person on watch.


·                    Checks in with whoever is on watch.


·                    Checks engine.


·                    Primary maintenance person.



10.    Entertainment

You will be surprised at how fast time will pass on our voyage, and how quickly you will settle into the routine of life at sea. When you are not on watch you will probably spend your time reading, chatting or sleeping.


You should bring a few books along to read. We have some novels on board along with travel guides for the areas we will be visiting. You will be surprised to hear we also have quite a few books on boating, weather, navigation etc.


The vessel has TV reception but it does not work very far from the land. The vessel has a DVD player. Feel free to bring any DVD’s you might like to watch.


Our SSB receives the BBC, Radio Australia, Voice of America, and US Armed Forces Radio etc.


You may want to bring your own iPod so you can listen to your particular music favourites in private. We have a sound system in the pilothouse, which is ‘piped’ to the saloon. The volume can be adjusted in the saloon and master cabin. Note: Music can only be listened to softly (no earbuds) when on watch; otherwise it interferes with listening to the radio and alarms not to mention people sleeping.


We have some games including cards on board.


Standing on a moving vessel is a lot of exercise particularly for your core. In harbor or at anchor we can go snorkelling, swimming, and walking.


Our two computers both have wireless capability so will work on or near shore when this is available. Some photos can be downloaded and sent home if speed is OK.


Snorkel Gear          


We have 2 sets of masks, fins, and snorkels. You may want to bring your own as it is a bit like sharing a toothbrush!

11.    Comforts


The galley is fully equipped with a stove, oven, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, trash compactor etc. Seafood will feature heavily on our menu. We also have a BBQ on the boat deck.


Since we are limited to the amount of liquor countries allow us to import, this will affect how much we carry.


You have your own shower and head. You have your own room with a double bunk and desk.


While by boating standards ‘Venture’ is of medium size, all of the rooms are small in comparison to your home. There are five main areas inside.

Pilothouse from where we operate the boat. This has a table, a settee and a single bunk. Galley - kitchen with breakfast bar. Open to family room (salon). Saloon - main living and dining room, it has two couches (settees). Guest Stateroom - your bedroom.

Master Stateroom - Skippers bedroom.

There are three outside areas that may be usable depending on weather.

Cockpit - rear deck. This location has outdoor seating and an overhang. Upper deck - this area is for sun tanning etc. The bow - this area is great for standing, walking and sitting when not underway.

You can sit or lie down in the saloon, pilothouse or in your room.

If the weather and seas are good you may also sit or lie down on the deck. You should always be able to find an area to be alone.


We are not able to store suitcases, please bring regular sized duffle bags / backpacks. If you do not want to carry them on a long trip a cheap bag could be purchased for the trip. 


We have lights, but at night it is essential to keep saloon lights very low to protect the night vision of the person on watch.

12.    Seasickness

Seasickness can strike anyone, and is not something to be embarrassed about. Because many cases of seasickness are actually food poisoning, we need to be careful in preparing our meals, and washing our dishes.

The motion of your inner ears not matching what your eyes see induces seasickness. Your body may not be accustomed to this, and this is the main cause. You need to build up a tolerance to this motion/vision disconnect.

Seasickness is aggravated by a sensitive stomach, so avoid high concentrations of sodium, fat, acid, protein or calories in the stomach. For the 24 hr period before the trip it is advisable to cut down on foods that cause acid and might upset your stomach. DO NOT have a large meal and alcoholic drinks the night before the trip; you will pay for it at sea. Try to get to bed early and be well rested on the day of our departure. Remember, seasickness starts with what you did 24 hrs BEFORE departure. So take the appropriate steps early and if you are accustomed to taking medication, start to do so before boating.


Different seasickness medications work for different people. You should try various medicines at home to see which cause side effects. Try both the patch and Dramamine Forte. We carry some prescription medications. If you do not have experience with motion sickness, buy chewable Dramamine. Seasickness medicines work best if absorbed in the mouth. When you are seasick your pyloric valve prevents the drug from entering the small intestines where the drug is normally absorbed!  Ginger tablets are also recommended by some.

Learn to detect the body's natural early warning signals. These may be yawning, tiredness, clamminess, sweating, and headache - all signs that will precede any feelings of nausea. At the onset of these symptoms head for fresh air and watch the horizon. This allows the eyes to match the motion felt by the ears.

If you think you are getting seasick immediately tell the Captain. Driving the vessel helps with seasickness, both because of watching the horizon and the activity. Either stand looking at the horizon, or lie down with your eyes shut, do not sit!

You should vomit into a bucket or wastebasket, not over the side and not into the heads or sinks below - this will only make you feel worse and the smell may induce others to be sick as well. You will soon get your sea legs and we promise you that this period of discomfort does and will pass. Once the fresh air has had a chance to work, you will want to fill your stomach with some crackers and water or Coke / Sprite - it is IMPERATIVE YOU DRINK FLUIDS. The most serious effect of seasickness is dehydration, which can cause further complications, turning a natural short-lived period of discomfort into a medical emergency. Do not take any further medication once having been seasick and keep up a flow of liquids, preferably water. Find quiet spot topside or below in your berth, curl up and get some sleep.


13.    What to Bring



Bring any medication you normally take, with prescriptions and Doctor's instructions - especially any allergy medication. This is important if entering a foreign port to avoid any confusion. 

Legal Requirements

·                    Passport along with a Driver's Licence as a Second Identification.


·                    Visa if needed although this should not be the case where we are going.


·                    Spare passport photos (if Visa’s are needed while travelling).


·                    A PHOTOCOPY OF YOUR PASSPORT.


·                    Return plane ticket if you are not going back with us.


·                    Current inoculations, including tetanus.
If travelling in the third world, you need W.H.O Yellow Card with your inoculation record.


·                    Make sure credit cards do not expire while out of the country.


·                    List of credit card numbers, expiry dates, security codes and the number to call if your card is lost or stolen.


·                    You must have a ticket to fly home at the end of the passage or in case you have to leave earlier. This must be shown to George and or Jane before departure - we will have to certify this to the local officials.


·                    Dress code is very informal. The trip for the most part will be in warm weather, and while a rain jacket might be useful, complete foul weather gear is not appropriate. We have towels on board.


No Illegal Drugs.

IF THEY FIND DRUGS ON A VESSEL – they keep the vessel, and yes, you just bought the boat!

Special Notes

Let us know beforehand what you want to eat, drink and snack on. Please do not give us ‘house warming gifts’ for the vessel. There is not enough space on board.  


If you are meeting us in a foreign location you may be asked to carry spare parts, batteries, medicines etc for us.

Eat a light, non-greasy, meal the night before, and limit alcohol consumption. If going to third world countries get shots appropriate for that place. Remember it could be entering the next country that could be the problem. See www.smartraveller.gov.au

Please do not bring anything aboard in cardboard boxes. Cardboard attracts cockroaches! Please do not use perfumes or cologne! They can pervade the whole boat.  However using deodorant is appreciated!

14.    Clothing and Personal Gear Checklist

IMPORTANT - Use only SOFT Luggage (luggage that folds up) there is no place to store hard luggage. Examples are duffel bags, backpacks without frames.

Please pack efficiently as there is limited storage space (2 duffle bags per couple max). In addition we may ask you to bring spares for the boat with you.

You will not need much in the way of clothes. All clothes must be washable and preferably light so they dry easily.

Shoes (Please have two pairs of Boat Shoes)

·                    Inside boat - new or very clean boat/deck shoes-rubber thongs etc.


·                    Deck/cleaning/dinghy shoes – like Tevas or aqua socks, as they WILL get wet.


·                    Comfortable walking shoes (for several miles) for shore - might get sandy or dirty. These will be left at the door.


Clothing Ideas

·                    Polo shirts and/or T-shirts.


·                    Sweater/sweatshirt for evenings (not wool which smells when it gets wet!).


·                    1 long sleeve shirt with collar. You may be visiting a Yacht Club. 


·                    2 long pants (no more than one pair of jeans - they hold water and are hard to dry!).


·                    Lightweight military style pants are good, or pants that convert into shorts.


·                    Shorts (Columbia or something similar). Easy to dry.


·                    Underwear and socks.



·                    Shaving gear/toiletries, personal hygiene products.


·                    Sun block, Chap Stick and sun burn treatment.


·                    Spare prescription glasses.  Neck straps are a good idea to prevent loss overboard.


·             Sunglasses - please have at least one pair of polarized glasses. This is a big help when spending time looking into the water. If you want to go outside while underway a cap or hat (with a strap).


·             Personal favourite remedies for indigestion, colds, headaches and seasickness.


·                    Make sure your travel insurance is up to date especially health insurance.



·                    Swimming gear - we already have towels for you to use.


·                    Aqua socks/reef runners to walk over shells /coral.  They are inexpensive.


·                    Snorkelling gear & mesh bag to carry it in - If you want to go snorkelling.



15.    Rules



·                    For safety sake please report anything unusual to the Captain at any time.


·                    No one is allowed aboard without notifying George. Most acts of piracy & theft occur as a result of individuals being permitted aboard by one or more of the crew.


·                    Always hold on to something when standing or moving on a boat.


·                    Everything on a boat is different from home please ask how to use it first.


·             Any time you are tired or sick please tell either George/Jane - we can help with seasickness. Because everyone in reality is standing watch please limit alcohol consumption especially while underway.


·                    No smoking, no candles, no open flames.


·                    No going on deck without telling the person on watch and having someone watch you. To prevent water entering the boat, all windows and ports closed when passage making. When done with something put it back. Lose items fly in heavy seas.


·                    To protect everyone’s night vision use lights sparingly - only red lights, if any on at night in the pilothouse. To help the watch keeper - leave pilothouse gear (binoculars in particular) in the pilothouse at all times.


Galley (kitchen)

·                    Refrigerator & Freezer usage. You have to release the lock to open the door.


·                    Open slowly to check if anything has moved as it will fall and dent the timber sole (floor). Place items so they will not fall when the vessel moves – pack if necessary. Always relock the door when finished.