you take care of your vessel, then she will take care of you and your crew, too. Before undertaking a long voyage, you should complete an inspection of your vessel, especially the motor. Sailors will also need to conduct an inspection of their rigging equipment. These two vessel components are key to reaching your destination safely, and any potential issues should be discovered before casting off the lines.
Even if this is your first overnight voyage, it’s probably not your first time using your vessel--you should already have some idea of your boat’s fuel consumption. Calculate how far you expect to travel roundtrip and how much fuel you will need to complete the trip. This information will help you predict how many times and thus where along your route you need to refuel. However, best practice is to identify the location of all fuel docks along your route should the need arise.
There is something profound about traveling the river routes and coastal pathways of the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). These local channels linked together provide a path for the seafarer to navigate their way through the country and perhaps even out to Mexico or the Caribbean. You can never plan too many days in advance because you need to constantly monitor the tides, currents, and weather while heeding Aids to Navigation (AToNs).