unning a delivery business requires many tools to ensure safety and effectiveness on the water. This includes weather, safety, and several other things that get used quite a lot in the delivery process. As well as marketing my services.
It has been no small feet collecting all these tools, ideas, and concepts. But all of it has made my life a little better when it comes to being a delivery skipper.
To the right you can see the shelf that I have put together. All my delivery tools mentioned below are stored on this shelf for easy access.
It also serves as a reminder of the all the effort, money, and resources I have put into this delivery business.
Navigation laptop with coastal explorer, and AIS
This dell laptop does not consume much power and runs coastal explorer with charts covering Canada all the way south to central America.
The USB antenna and custom AIS solution allows not only for us to see other trans ponding vessels, but also is a transponder so we can broadcast as a vessel with AIS. The paper chart used for the delivery is also stored in this cardboard tube with the AIS antenna. There is a nice rail bracket so we can mount the AIS antenna on a rail.
Power solutions, head lamp, cabling
Providing power to my portable navigation setup is critical, along with the charging of my phone and VHF radio.
So I have a custom power cable setup that is quite long so that I can source from cigarette plugins, batteries, or other power areas. As well I have to provide 120 volts for the laptop so I have a little inverter that powers that. My headlamp has a red setting for night vision.
log book, paper charts, & documents, barometer
The document folder contains all the critical documents for the delivery. This can include not only the float plan, port of call check in, but also Power of Attorney, COD, registration, insurance, or any other supporting documents.
Log book is used for making hourly log entries during the delivery. Any thing key that happens on the boat is documented into the log book. Owners are provided a copy of the log entries after delivery. The log book also serves as a record so that if electronics fail, dead reckoning can be using on a paper chart. Not shown are the dividers and slide rule that come along with these items.
Binoculars, Handheld VHF, SPOT tracker, barometer
Sailing snatch blocks are handy on a sailboat for jury rigging solutions. Like down hauls for pulling twist out of a jib.
SPOT tracker allows family, friends, and owners keep track of the delivery.
My trusty binoculars have been with me for over 20 years and done 10’s of thousand of miles. The handheld VHF is an HX870 that has GPS, DSC built into it. Every delivery I go on I bring my merchant marine license and my passport.
Leatherman and PLB EPIRB
My trusty leatherman wave goes with me every were. I have nice leather carrier that I use on my belt to hold it so its always handy.
My PLB EPIRB is registered to me as a delivery captain. It goes on all of my coastal and cross deliveries and its beacon ID is referenced in the float plan of the delivery.
If we are doing a costal delivery I will usually zip tie the EPIRB to the top of one of the emersion suits. In cross ocean this EPIRB ends up in the ditch bag for use in a raft.
I have qty 5 immersion suits, 4 adult and 1 youth. These are used on coastal deliveries with in the United States.
They protect you from the elements allowing you to survive multiple days in the water.
These coastal deliveries are never more than 300 nautical miles from any USCG station which means a helicopter rescue is possible in case a vessel sinks offshore.
The EPIRB is usually attached to one of the immersion suits so that it can be activated easily if the suits are put on.
The ditch bag’s primary use is with a raft on a cross ocean or international delivery. Has the essential items to be able to survive for multiple days in a raft. Contents include water packets, flares, medical kit, stainless tie wire, CD, fishing kit, electrical tape, parachute cord, glow lights, flash lights, shammy, and emergency thermal blankets. The EPIRB is also put in this bag on these deliveries as well as the HX870 handheld radio.
PFD, safety harness, jack line, and climbing harness
The 120 foot red jack line is a 2″ tubular webbing sewn and has a breaking strength of 5k lbs. Its used as the jack line on boats that don’t have one so that captain and crew can use the tether to walk to the bow of the boat with out disconnecting. My inflatable PFD has a water activated light, whistle, and a blunt nose rafting knife. The dual tether has a short and a long piece and so one can be attached to the boat in two places at the same time when moving away from the jack line.
Fishing hand line and gear
On longer deliveries and deliveries down south I bring my hand line setup and associated gear.
Obviously the knife and gaff have to be checked in baggage on planes.
With this setup I am able to catch and fillet fresh fish like Ahi, Dorado, and Mahi Mahi for crew. Fish taco’s are always a great meal to have on the open ocean.
These two lee clothes can be used in salon settee’s to keep sleeping crew from falling out of their bunk.
Three lanyards at the top can be secured in locations inside the boat to hold the top up.
The bottoms of the lee clothes have the sponge material used to keep things from sliding around on boats. When one lays in the bunk, their weight presses down on the lee clothe with this sponge material on it and prevents it from slipping out from underneath the cushion of the settee. Work for most boats, but not all boats.
Foul weather and clothing
Having the right gear when offshore is important. Here in the PNW it can be chilly and wet offshore.
I use good capelin thermals coupled with my Swedish wool pants and Columbia sports wear down jacket fit the bill.
Also I use the Columbia PFG rain gear, dubarry boats, and not shown are my hat and gloves, sunglasses, etc …..
My big red NRS dry bag comes from Andy and Bax in down town Portland. Its the work horse and sometimes is packed with so much stuff that I have to pay for over weight when flying.
The smaller yellow dry bag I have had for ever. It usually is used as a carry on with the laptop and electronics/cabling as well as toiletry, document folder, and log book.
Both of them keep my stuff dry and travel well on planes and trains.
Besides having multiple kinds of different threads, needles, and various materials. Also have my palm, and fids, for splicing.
Also have several whipping lines
Of course this usually only goes with me on the sailboats. Stinkpots don’t need these kinds of things.
Bucket, radar reflector, airpot
******Soon to be added*******
sacred sea tuna
Each delivery I do I place a single can of Sacred Sea Tuna on the boat when departing.
The bottom of the can gets one of my stickers, and top of the can has my card under the pull tab.
Need I say more. This costa rican hammock is the most comfortable I have ever been in. I usually bring it on deliveries when the latitude is less than 12 degrees 🙂
Float Plan, Port of Call Check In, Cards, & Stickers
The float plan and port of call check in documents are the “plans” of the delivery.
Cards and stickers are what I use to promote my services under my captains license. Stickers are placed on buckets, the airpots, and in many other locations in marinas and on notice boards.