Southwest Florida Yachts


Good Cruise. Bad Cruise
By Barb Hansen
May 1, 2002

I have been on good cruises and I have been on bad cruises. Now I think I know what makes some successful and others not. Fortunately, most of our cruises are wonderful. We follow a simple recipe.

A good cruise, like a good recipe, needs the right ingredients in the proper measure. When you experiment, as any chef will tell you, you'd better know what you're doing. One overpowering ingredient can ruin the cake. A little salt is great; too much is ruinous.

The ingredients for a good cruise are people, vessel, time, destinations, and weather. You might say those are ingredients for a bad cruise, too. You would be right.

What every cruise needs is good planning and for the weather, common sense.

Here's my recipe:

People. This is your main ingredient. Choose carefully and mix well. A cruise is a great way to strengthen the bonds of old friendships, but it is a lousy way to make new friends. New friends who are also new to boating may not understand that there is a limit to the freshwater supply and that long showers are a no-no. What is your objective? Maybe you'd like to relax but your spouse wants to invite the grandkids. Relaxation is probably not going to happy when your guests include little persons who like to emit periodic shrieks and who need a lot of adult attention and supervision. If someone on board is looking for the perfect cruise, he or she will be disappointed.

Set the timer. Some people could cruise from here to eternity and never tire of it. Others are ready for dry land after only a couple or three days. The key here is to know your people, then blend in a window of cruising time that suits all parties. Don't try to do too much. Just because the boat cruises at 10 knots don't expect to cruise 100 nautical miles in a 10-hour day. This is Vic's law: To calculate the time it will take to go from point A to point B estimate the time you think it should take, multiply it by three, then add an hour for each bridge that must open for your passage.

Vessel. The boat is your oven (not literally, we hope) so it has to be working right. Don't wait for something to break because if you do it will break on the cruise. Practice preventative maintenance on your boat just like the airlines do on their aircraft. There is no such thing as a bad boat but there are boats that are bad for certain types of cruising. Some vessels may be just right for cruising protected, inland water but may not be suitable for an offshore passage. Know your vessel; know your water. Even big boats are too small some of the time.

The company, now in its eighteenth year, has twelve engine-powered vessels in its charter fleet including eight Grand Banks trawlers and motoryachts from 32 to 42 feet, a Bayliner 39 motoryacht, a Spindrift 40 motoryacht, and two Krogen trawler yachts, a 36-foot and 42-footer.

Click here to visit out Sailing School website!

Southwest Florida Yachts
3444 Marinatown Lane N.W. • North Fort Myers • Florida 33903
(239) 656-1339 (800) 262-7939 Fax (239) 656-2628

Marinatown Marina 26° 38.5'N 81° 53.0'W
Burnt Store Marina 26° 45.71' N 82° 04.20'W

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