How can you tell a “real” cruiser from a recreational boater? You can’t tell by the fancy burgees (flags) in their boat’s rigging. Nor can you tell by the anchor on their bow (although a nice big one is a pretty good sign). We’ve determined that the best way to tell if someone is a (long distance) cruiser is by the fuel and water jerry cans carried on their deck. I remember hearing from someone that certain charter operations would actually tell their customers to find boats with jerry cans on deck and to anchor nearby them, assuming that they would know what they are doing!And I guess it should be added that we have two 5-gallon jerry cans of diesel and a 2.5 gallon can of outboard gas tied to our stern rail on Eolian. But no board. Is that close enough?
Before anyone pipes up and says something (John!), yes, we do have a sailboat, but we have (sadly) learned that relying solely upon the wind for propulsion could make for some very long days. Yesterday would have been a great example of this! Our boat carries 27 gallons of gasoline in its main tank and burns approximately 1 gallon per hour when running on 1 engine. Although we won’t be making any huge runs until we get to the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, we are getting ourselves prepared.
The typical method for carrying jerry cans on deck is to string a board between two stanchions and lash the cans to it. There is only one really appropriate spot on our boat for this and the span between the stanchions there is about 6 feet. Because I think that is a fairly big span and I wanted something strong enough to support the weight of 3 cans, we decided to go with 2×6s, but what material to use? After debating for quite some time and counting our pennies, we decided to go with cedar. We purchased one 14 foot plank and had it cut in half, rounded the corners on each piece and sanded them smooth. I purchased some U-bolts from the hardware store to attach the boards to the stanchions but before doing so, was chastised by our friend Kirk for cheaping-out and not buying stainless steel ones. So, I guess it’s back to the chandlery then.
Once the cans (4 fuel and 2 water) are all ready to be attached, the final thing we need to do is to protect them from the sun. We have heard that the UV damage can be serious so Rebecca plans to sew a nice Sunbrella cover for each of them. We’ll post some more pics when we get it all done and looking pretty.
Checking the placement for the cans. We’ll carry 2 gas and 1 water can on each side.
Fortunately our friend Kirk has a good selection of power tools to speed up the job.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Mike, over at Zero to Cruising, tells us...