Category Archives: Day-of-Travel Procedures

Day-of-Travel Procedures

Departure Preparation:

  1. Pre-plan travel route
    a) create eRoute files in chart plotter format.
    b) upload eRoute to chart plotter.
  2. Review weather forecast for planned cruise area against Sanctuary’s departure criteria:
    Acceptable: Bright sun to light rain; visibility > 3 StM; Seas < 2 ft from any quarter; winds < 15 kts.
    Marginal: Periods of rain, no or “isolated” t’storms; visibility > 1 < 3 StM; seas 2-4 ft if following, 2-3 ft if ahead, abeam or abaft of abeam; winds 20-25 kts; these conditions stable or with an improving forecast.
    Unacceptable: T’storms; strong squalls; visibility < ½ StM; seas 4 ft or more; winds >25 ks; deteriorating forecast.
    Additional Considerations: Travel on protected inland river/ICW vs. open water; distance from “safe harbor;” if offshore, period and direction of ocean swells; air temps; hours-of-daylight; summer wx patterns; availability of traveling companion (“Buddy Boat”), availability of Tow Boat if needed.
  3. Orient/review safety and operations plans with all new visitors & crew:
    • Locations of PFDs, fire extinguisher(s), VDSs, first aid kit.
    • PFD use (severe weather, rough seas, MOB, etc.)
    • MOB procedures
    • Use of Marine Radio for distress calls (DSC, Ch16, manual responses)
    • Propane valve, range/oven use
    • MSD use
    • Trash disposal plan
  4. Secure TV and computer(s) for travel; secure any loose items on salon nav console.
  5. Ensure engine room, galley, sleeping quarters, decks, dinghy and outboard motor are ready for sea.
  6. Ensure engine room lights are “off”
  7. Disconnect and secure aboard: fresh water hose & pre-filter, TV cable, etc.
  8. Connect Raw Water Washdown hose and nozzle, if they will be needed.
  9. Assemble/stage flybridge items:
    • VHF handheld
    • PLB – SPOT
    • Charts/Cruising Guides
    • eRoute chip
    • iPad, charging cable
    • Cell Phone(s), charging cables
    • Binoculars
    • Sunglasses
    • Garmin GPSIII
  10. Reset GPSIII Track Log

AC Electrical System:

  1. Disconnect and secure all shore power service cords and any attachment adapters.
  2. Determine heating/cooling needs – generator use – while underway.
  3. If the generator is not going to be needed, return the AC System to its “Secured State.” 1
  4. If the generator will be needed:
    • start the unit,
    • verify that genset cooling water is flowing from the genset exhaust port,
    • transfer AC electrical loads to the generator via the Generator Transfer Switch.
  5. Important:2  If the generator is run concurrently with the propulsion engine, set the “Charge” function of the Magnum MS2012 Inverter/Charger to “off” by:
    • setting the Inverter/Charger circuit breaker on the Newmar distribution panel (panel 1) to “off,” or
    • via the ME-RC Inverter/Charger Remote Control Unit.

DC Electrical System:

  1. Verify battery monitor operation and battery bank state-of-charge.
  2. Activate Bilge Pump, Switch 11, marked with Red tag to activate manual bilge controls.4
  3. Activate Safety and Navigation Equipment, marked with Green tags:
    Windshield/Horn Switch 9 windshield wipers and ship’s horn
    VHF/Video Plotter Switch 16 salon nav station Chart Plotter, VHF radio
  4. Activate NAV lights, marked with Yellow tags, based on conditions of reduced daylight or restricted visibility:
    Instruments Switch 1 night light on salon nav station’s magnetic compass
    NAV/COM Switch 3 port and starboard marker lights, 135º white stern light
  5. Activate Windlass Heavy Duty Breaker, on electrical panel, and Washdown Pump, Switch 13, if needed.
  6. Activate Refrigerator, Switch 14, if needed.
  7. Activate Water Pump, Switch 12, if needed.

Propulsion Engine (Start):

  1. Before engine start, check propulsion engine oil level and marine gear ATF level.
  2. Ensure that the “Engine Room” light switch on the DC Panel, Switch 6, is “off” whenever engine room activity is completed.
  3. Ensure Transmission Lever (Black Ball) is in “Neutral” position.
  4. Ensure Throttle Lever (Red Ball) is in its “minimum throttle” position (fully to rear).
  5. Inset key into starter switch on Salon’s Engine Control Panel.
  6. Rotate key clockwise to the “on” position; gauges will come, low oil pressure alarm will sound.
  7. Rotate and hold key clockwise to the “Start” position; release key when propulsion engine starts; skip to item 9.
  8. If engine doesn’t crank, re-check that transmission lever is in “neutral” position; return to item 6. 5
  9. Increase the throttle setting (move forward) to achieve 1000 – 1200 RPM.
  10. Verify that cooling water is flowing from the vessel’s exhaust.
  11. Monitor oil pressure, water temperature, and alternator voltage as engine warms up.


  1. Turn on all navigation instruments; GPS, chart plotter(s), AIS, depth sounder and Auto Pilot.
  2. Verify KVH Azimuth 1000 fluxgate compass is operational.
  3. Turn on and initialize Garmin GPSIII tracking GPS.
  4. Turn on iPad; initialize Garmin BlueChart app.
  5. Load eRoute into Garmin GPSmap 541 to facilitate Auto Pilot navigation.
  6. Turn on VHF radio; set to scan Channels 09, 13, 16 and 22.
  7. Optionally, turn on VHF handheld radio; set to scan 68, 69, 71 and 72.
  8. Setup paper charts, cruising guides, etc.
  9. Center the vessel’s rudder via the ship’s (steering) wheel:
    • Turn the ship’s wheel to its full left stop position;
    • While counting the number of turns from the full-left-stop to the full-right-stop, turn the ship’s wheel to its full right stop position;
    • To center the rudder, return the ship’s wheel ½ the number of stop-to-stop turns.
  10. Activate the thruster system by pulling “up” on the power pull switch.  Verify that the “Power” light is illuminated.
  11. Check thrusters for proper operation.
  12. Turn on PA/Intercom, if desired.


  1. Ensure that the directional toggle switches at both the salon nav station and the flybridge nav stations are in their “neutral” (vertical, “centered”) position.  If not, the other control station will be disabled, and one direction of thruster operation will be in-operable.


1 Assess hazards; boats, fairways, persons, objects in the water, low-hanging wires, etc.
2 Perform final check propulsion engine gauges; ensure readings are within normal ranges.
3 Reduce throttle (move backward) to its minimum setting.
If departing from slip/berth: If departing from anchorage:
4 Considering hazards, visualize your plan for leaving the slip and leaving the harbor. Considering hazards, visualize your plan for leaving the anchorage.
5 Prepare dock lines for easy removal.
6 Communicate departure plan to all hands.
7 Verify shore power cords have been removed
8 Disconnect dock lines.
9 Using just enough power to maintain control, ease Sanctuary out of her berth; sound horn blast(s), as appropriate.
10 Deck hand(s) secure dock lines and store them aboard in clean, dry locker location.
11 Deck hands secure fenders upon clearing dock. End of procedure.
12 Helmsman raises anchor at direction of deck hand; deck hand uses raw water washdown to rinse rode and anchor as it is raised.
13 Deck hand secures anchor, washdown and foredeck.
14 Secure Raw Water Washdown circuit, Switch 13, on DC Panel.   End of procedure.

Under Way:

  1. Frequently monitor propulsion engine gauges; ensure all readings are within normal ranges.
  2. From interior helm station, monitor High Bilge warning light.
  3. Periodically inspect engine room (fuel filters, leaks, accumulated bilge water level) and manage exceptions.
  4. Monitor and re-secure dinghy and motor, deck, living and cargo areas of vessel, based on sea conditions.


  1. Visualize plan for securing; entering harbor, anchoring, or tie-up in slip or wharf-side.
  2. Communicate arrival plan to all deck hands.
  3. Deploy dock lines.
  4. Using just enough power to maintain control, ease Sanctuary home.
  5. Tie off lines and deploy fenders; or, deploy and set the anchor.
  6. Turn ignition key to “Off.”
    • If the “Charge” function of the Inverter/Charger was set to “off,” restore the setting to “on.”
  7. Secure NAV lights if they were “on.”
  8. Secure any DC Circuits that are not required after arrival.
  9. Illuminate Anchor Light, as appropriate.

After Arrival:

  1. Secure Flybridge Instruments.
  2. Secure Flybridge enclosure.
  3. Re-establish shore power, if available.
  4. Transmit vessel position using SPOT “OK” facility.
  5. Update MS Excel log book.
    • C:\HDS\Home\Cruising\Long_Cruise_Records\Sanctuary_Fuel_Use_Record.xls
  6. Download ship’s GPS track.
    • Coastal Explorer
  7. Check engine room/bilge for leaks of fuel, engine oil, marine gear fluid, thruster fluid and/or engine coolant
  8. Manage any exceptions to “normal” daily operation
  9. If fresh water is available, rinse sea spray from decks.


1  Note: Refer to “AC Electrical System Operating Procedures,” for definition and detailed procedure.

Note: if this action is not performed, the ship’s tachometer(s) may not operate or may operate in an erratic manner.

Note: Ensure that “Engine Room” switch is “off” whenever engine room activity is completed.

Note: “Automatic: bilge controls are always activated, powered from the vessel battery bank, via a red wire connected at the Battery Selector Switch.

5  Note: The Transmission is fitted with a “neutral safety switch,” which will prevent the engine from being started if the gear is engaged.