The Complete Guide to Caring for a Cruiser

Congratulations on your decision to host a visiting cruiser in your home. I’m sure you’re excited to reconnect and hear stories from his or her exotic life afloat. Be warned, though, that even a short time away from the cruising life can be difficult for a cruiser.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Congratulations on your decision to host a visiting cruiser in your home. I’m sure you’re excited to reconnect and hear stories from his or her exotic life afloat. Be warned, though, that even a short time away from the cruising life can be difficult for a cruiser. Luckily, with a little foresight, it shouldn’t be hard to ease his or her transition to your landlubbing life, and turn the visit into a rewarding experience.

How do I cruiser-proof my home?

Turn off or unplug any alarm clocks; cruisers don’t wake well to alarms, often believing the oil pressure is low, the anchor is dragging or it’s time for their watch—this can be disorienting and detrimental to your cruiser.

Wherever possible, move furniture toward the center of a room, ideally creating a defined walkway—the narrower the better. The increased number of handholds will reassure your cruiser.

How do I communicate with my cruiser?

The cruiser may arrive using unfamiliar terms. If words like “kitchen,” “bathroom” and “closet” do not come easily, be patient, most cruisers will eventually drop the boat jargon ashore.

What sleeping arrangements should I make?

Your cruiser will feel more comfortable if you move a dresser or other solid object up against any open side of their bed. If that bed is larger than twin size, put another cruiser in it or pile stuff in there to constrict the space. Remember, cruisers are more comfortable in odd-shaped sleeping spaces.

How do I feed my cruiser?

Before preparing any meal, hide non-perishable ingredients around your home. When it’s time to start cooking, let the cruisers see you retrieving goods from underneath the sofa and behind the stereo. This will put them at ease. Gradually get them used to the idea of the pantry as the single source for stores. Avoid any mention of the freezer. Be aware that some foods may overwhelm the cruiser, including salad greens, peanut butter, and out-of-season fruits and vegetables. Whatever you do, never bring a cruiser to a Whole Foods or to the

chocolate aisle of a Trader Joe’s.

What will my cruiser do all day?

Cruisers are accustomed to a perpetual to-do list. Even if your home is perfect, come up with something each day to occupy your cruiser—all the better if this means your cruiser spends hours wedged in a dark, awkward space with a flashlight in his mouth. If you have a swimming pool, give the cruiser a small brush, and ask them to scrub the sides and bottom.

Will my cruiser use the toilet?

Yes, of course. But some cruisers have to be encouraged to flush the toilet paper. Most hosts find that removing the waste bin is a gentle and effective reminder.

Related

210913-11HRT-SKIPPER-PORTRAITS-VC-122

11th Hour Christens Two IMOCAs, Hits a Snag

This week has been a big one for the American-founded, sustainability-centric ocean racing team 11th Hour Racing. In addition to christening their two new boats, the team also took them out for a quick test ride—against some of the most intense IMOCA 60 skippers in the world. ...read more

01-LEAD-DSCF3091

Clewless in the Pacific

Squalls are well known to sailors who cruise the middle Latitudes. Eventually, you become complacent to their bluster. But squalls vary in magnitude, and while crossing from Tahiti to Oahu, our 47ft Custom Stevens sloop paid the price for carrying too much canvass as we were ...read more

Nigel

SAIL’s Nigel Calder Talks Electrical Systems at Trawlerfest Baltimore

At the upcoming Trawlerfest Baltimore, set for Sept. 29-Oct. 3, SAIL magazine regular contributor Nigel Calder will give the low down on electrical systems as part of the show’s seminar series.  The talk will be Saturday, October 2 at 9am. Electrical systems are now the number ...read more

5ae5b8ce-3113-4236-927b-f795be4ae091

Bitter End Yacht Club Announces Reopening

Four years after being decimated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Bitter End Yacht Club is set to reopen for the Winter 2022 season. Hailed as one of the best anchorages in the Caribbean and built by sailors, for sailors, this island outpost in the BVI has been a favorite with ...read more

01-LEAD-'21.05.01_Jay-&-Mira

Cruising: Bluewater Pollywogs

Bluewater sailing is 25 percent actually sailing and 75 percent learning how to live on a boat at sea, in constant motion and with no chance to get off the roller coaster. I cannot over-emphasize how difficult normal daily functions become at sea, even on nice, calm days. ...read more

01-LEAD-IMG_0078

Refurbishing Shirley Rose: Part 2

If you missed the first installment, click here. Thankfully, the deck and cockpit of my decades-old Santana 27, Shirley Rose, were in pretty good shape. The balsa core, in particular, was for the most part nice and solid. Nonetheless, there was still a fair bit of work to do. ...read more

orca

Orca Encounters on the Rise

This week’s confrontation between a pod of orcas and the Nauticat 44 ketch Tuuletar which left the boat rudderless is just the latest in a string of encounters with orcas off the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, over 50 of these encounters have been reported, half of ...read more

01-LEAD-Project-complete

DIY: an Antique Nav Station

Ever since the advent of GPS, I have not found much use for the chart table on my schooner Britannia. Most of our passagemaking navigation is done on a Raymarine multifunction display on the helm pod, which is then transferred to a paper chart on the saloon table roughly every ...read more