Our Favorite Resources
A list of some of our favorite websites and (many free) resources!
- Online Virtual Vessel Safety Check – A free Vessel Safety Check is a courtesy examination of your boat (Vessel) to verify the presence and condition of certain Safety Equipment required by State and the Federal regulations.
- Float Plan – Free float plan by the Department of Boating and Waterways. Simply fill out the electronic form and email to friends and family.
- Navigation Rules – Boats of 39 feet (12 meters) or greater are required to carry this book of rules on board. Also available in hard copy here or download for free.
- Dockside Solutions – An awesome mailing service to help us get our snail-mail no matter where in the world we are. Owned by fellow cruisers and live-aboard!
- Cruising Checklist – provided by Downwind Marine in San Diego. A checklist of everything you might need to go cruising.
CRUISING ADVICE & GUIDES
- Salish Sea Pilot – Our favorite! A very detailed guide to marinas and anchorages in the Salish Sea. The best part is that every anchorage has it’s own chartlet.
- Local Knowledge – Tacoma, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska. This has helped us tremendously in navigating tricky narrows with strong currents.
- Port and Passes – reference guide for tide and current information in the Pacific Northwest
- Waggoner Cruising Guide – while not detailed enough for many anchorages it is a great overview of all the places to cruise in the Northwest. Also available for free download on their website
- noonsite.com – a great free website by Jimmy Cornell
- Sea of Cortez – An excellent Cruiser’s Guidebook. Unfortunately it hasn’t been updated in a long time but it is still the best there is available for the area.
WEATHER and WATER
- Online Weather School – National Weather Service Online Weather School is designed to help anyone interested in learning about weather and weather safety for free.
- Wave Watch III – NOAA wave model to forecast ocean waves – free
- Tides and Currents (US) – Find your nearest gauge on the map, click on it and select Tide Predictions- also free.
- CloudChart – A free, full-color poster of clouds, their names and descriptions.
- A Mariner’s Guide to Marine Weather Services – Describes marine weather servicesavailable from the National Weather Service and other agencies – you guessed it – free!
- Radio-facsimile Charts User’s Guide – Explains how to interpret your weather faxes – free
- Weather in your inbox – Get free grib files. Only need access to an email account
- Stormsurf – Excellent weather models based on GFS (NOAAs global forecast system)
- Mexico – Baja Surface Pressure and Wind
- Mexico – Mid Baja Surface Winds
- Mexico – South Baja and Cape Surface Winds
- NOAA Booklet Charts – We print these free charts to rite-in-the-rain paper to use in the cockpit.
- Coast Pilots – Print just the pages you need for free. Saves tons of space and money on a small boat!
- Chart No. 1 – A visual guide to all symbols on NOAA nautical charts. Get the book or download for free!
- US Bathymetric and Fishing Maps – Free high resolution ocean bottom topographic maps. Get a highly descriptive picture of the ocean bottom terrain
- American Practical Navigator by Nathaniel Bowditch – download it for free or buy the book. Bowditch is a mainstay of any serious navigator’s library.
PROJECTS and SKILLS
- Animated Knots – Learn how to make knots for free with these easy to follow online animations
- How Boat Things Work: An Illustrated Guide – I love this (picture) book!
- Comprehensive Guide to Marine Medicine – excellent guide that is usually included in marine first aid kits
- Ship’s Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea – A free publication by the US Public Health Service
- Where there is no Doctor – A free publication by Hesperian. A non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care
- Where there is no Dentist – A free publication by Hesperian. A non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care
- The Ship’s Medicine Chest and Medical Aid at Sea – or Download the PDF free
- The Onboard Medical Guide: First Aid and Emergency Medicine Afloat
- Yellow Book Online – a free online guide (or buy the hard-copy book) published by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) as a reference for those who advise international travelers about health risks
CAPTAIN’S QUICK GUIDES
They are waterproof and chocked full of information. Great for a quick refresher course. Not free but very useful!
- Sail Trim and Rig Tuning
- Heavy Weather Sailing
- Boat Handling Under Power
- Rules of the Road and Running Light Patterns
- On-Board Weather Forecasting
- Diesel Engine Care and Repair
- Emergency First Aid On Board
- How To Read a Nautical Chart
- Emergencies on Board