This Old Boat

If you have anything bigger than a kayak, you probably have multiple systems onboard. Electrical systems, mechanical systems, communications, plumbing, galley all work together to make our boats comfortable and functional.

One good place to get an overview of your systems is from Don Casey, author of This Old Boat. He has frequently written for online sources, as well, such as Sail Magazine and US Boat.

This week, we will start a series looking at each system, focusing on one system each week for the next few weeks.

Keep safe, Keep Learning,
Tanya Weimer

Other seas

OK, so you have decided on the best way for you to enjoy the waters close to home, but what about when you have an urge to see what is to be found in other seas?

Chartering comes in all shapes and sizes, just like other boats. From a narrow boat in England to sharing a catamaran with your friends in Monaco, you are going to find a wide range of options and pretty much anyone who can afford to vacation in those locations in the first place can find a charter of some kind to suit their budget.

Do you want a bareboat charter or a crewed charter. For bareboat, do you meet local requirements (this is where America’s Boating Club BoC certification may come in handy!)? Even bareboat charters come with different levels of help, as some companies will do your grocery shopping for you before you take possession.

Do you want to charter from a Mom and Pop shop to support the local economy or from a well known brand that you feel you can trust?

How many friends are you going to bring along? Boats for charter often have lots of cabins so that groups can pool resources to offset the costs. Do you get along with your friends well enough to take advantage of this or were you looking for a private getaway for your anniversary?

If you think you will enjoy the experience, you will likely find that the pricing for a charter maybe similar, or even less, than the all inclusive resort that your cousin recommended. And if it is a crewed charter, you will still be waited on hand and foot ūüôā

Keep safe, keep learning
Tanya Weimer

Cost of Boat Ownership

One thing hasn’t changed since yesterday’s email: it is still hard to estimate how much it costs to own a boat.

Boats are one of those toys that everyone puts a lot of thought into the initial investment, but a lot of people forget about the ongoing¬†costs. This article has a good list to get you moving in the right direction. Another good idea is to talk to people who have a boat similar to the one you are considering. While a lot of people don’t like to talk about money, you can at least ask what surprises¬†they have had. Most boat owners LOVE to talk about your boats. I may have been known to drag people onboard to check out our SeaDek and brag about its comfort and safety…

Even regulations can make for a surprise. San Diego is considering limiting how often boat hulls can be cleaned in the water. If this passes, divers may well need to raise their prices in order to continue their businesses. That will come as a surprise to folks who aren’t keeping up with proposed rule changes.

What kind of maintenance costs need to be considered? How much work can you learn to do yourself?

Another surprise for a lot of people can be how much towing costs. Or even what exactly is covered by tow insurance, if you purchase that.

There are good surprises, as well. If you are buying a new to you boat, San Diego Marine Exchange will sign you up for a special new boater discount for the first three months! And many people are very surprised¬†to realize that if you can dock your boat at a yacht club, you can make up your costs rather quickly. How quickly will depend on what your upfront fees were, which will often depend on your age, which we don’t have much control over. However, I can say that for us, the yacht club dues¬†+ galley fees¬†+ slip fees¬†+ electricity is still about 25% less than our marina fees were. And while we are no longer living aboard, the additional fee for that at our club is significantly less than it was at the marina. However, not many local clubs currently allow liveaboards.

Keep safe, Keep learning
Tanya Weimer

Covid cancels Course

Due to the current health situation, which limits our access to classroom space, I have decided to cancel this course.

Please consider taking the course online ( in order to get up to speed and apply for your CA boaters club. If you do take the online class, we will still let you join in our next in person class so that you can have the advantage of the hands on activities. Any version of the ABC course, plus membership ( will qualify you to take our on the water training, as well. If you do any of these online activities, please let me know, so that I can follow through with more information, as it becomes available.

To stay up to date, you can also check out our website at

Tanya Weimer

Cost of Boat Ownership

How much does it cost to own a boat?

How much does it cost to go cruising?

How long is a piece of string?

Boating costs are hard to quantify, but very important to consider when making boating decisions. In normal times, your best financial bet is to have friends with boats, but that may also be a good way to stay onshore in our current environment.

For many casual users, renting a boat or joining a boat club is going to be the best option available. The buy in fees for a boat club are usually significantly less than a boat itself and the ongoing fees are often comparable to slip fees, but you aren’t responsible for the maintenance and you can choose a different boat depending on whether your want to go out fishing or take the family out to splash around.

Renters and club members never spend their weekends fixing their boats instead of using them. While that is a financial plus, not everyone considers it an overall benefit: some folks just like tinkering! In the same vein, you may not have the ability to take along trip to Catalina in a shared or borrowed boat, depending on which service you actually use.

Rental places in San Diego, such as Seaforth have put procedures into place to protect their staff and clients. As such, be sure to call any place you might be considering before you go, as most do not allow walk ins at this time. Clubs, such as Convair Sailing, Harbor Island Yacht Club and Freedom Boat Club also have extensive training available for members.

This Discover Boating article has a good analyses of the pros and cons of clubs and compares them to both renting and ownership.

Stay Safe, Keep Learning,
Tanya Weimer

Chart 1210


Perhaps you aren’t looking for education per se. You already have a solid grounding. You own all of the navigation tools, or can figure out how to get them. You own Chart 1210 and don’t even remember why, but there must have been a reason, so you roll it back up and put it back in the tube to rediscover again the next time you try to have a clear out. Maybe you are even tired of online anything and are planning to turn the computer off as soon as you finish this email.

Be sure to write down two things, first:

-888-449-7011 (Seabreeze Nautical Bookstore)
-Navigation Workbook 1210TR by David Burch and Larry Brandt
You can also order the book as an ebook. It contains lots and lots of navigation exercises using training chart 1210, so you can practice to your heart’s desire.

Stay Safe, keep learning
Tanya Weimer


Still looking for more in depth education opportunities online?

When I started sailing, I used¬†NauticEd. Although they sell themselves as a sailing school, the material they cover largely applies to all boats. Furthermore, I will assert that if you are boating in an area like San Diego, it is important for power boaters to have a basic understanding of sailboats and their limitations. What are the options for that sailboat that is currently approaching the shore as you pass them? Will they be able to choose a course that doesn’t interfere with yours?

This is not a cheap option, but it isn’t ridiculous, either. One thing I like about NauticEd is that the materials were designed to be delivered online, which can make a big difference in the experience.

Keep safe, keep learning,
Tanya Weime



It’s Friday! If nothing else, that means you won’t be hearing from me for two days, just know that it is the weekend, I haven’t forgotten you!

For today I promised to address AIS. Not to be lazy, but I found this wonderful BoatUS article that covers what I wanted to cover. 

For the record, I personally have passive AIS on my smartphone that I only use to track fleets, such as the Baja Haha; passive AIS with my VHF that only works with my old charplotter, which is the main reason the old chartplotter is still installed at the nav station; and a B&G AIS transponder/VHF on my list of projects for next year.

Keep safe, keep learning,
Tanya Weimer