Extended Cruise Plans

Written by Captains Chris & Alyse Caldwell

Comfort Zone vs Extended Cruising

There are a lot of differences between cruising around your comfort zone and going on an extended range cruise. Think about it this way. Near your home marina you know everybody and have local knowledge about a sandbar or weird tidal current. If you have any issues just pick up your cell phone and call your buddy. No big deal.

But now you want to venture further away from your home port into new territory. What resources do you know about and do you know how to use these resources?

Cruise Planning Center

To plan an extended range cruise, let’s say an escape to Florida for the winter, we encourage you to do more planning and preparation than your day trips usually require. Buy cruising guides and paper charts for the areas you plan to explore. Check the chip in your GPS Chartplotter to confirm it covers your route. And, discover what Marinalife has to offer in the Cruise Planning Center.

Right now you can click on Cruise Planning on the upper blue title bar and learn more about trips others have already taken or plan your own cruise. From your office or smart phone this resource will allow you to dream big and realistically put these dreams into action.

Plan the Cruise Provisions

Do a little advance homework starting with how much time can you set aside for your trip. Work out a daily goal of how far you’d like to travel. Consider your fuel consumption- will you travel at high speeds and burn more fuel or is it about the journey not the destination?

Will you anchor or stay in marinas each night on your voyage? MarinaLife can certainly help with your trip itinerary and reservations but be careful trying to stick to a set schedule. Flexibility is a key factor in safe cruising.

Supplies are essential to keep everyone and everything running according to plan. Your grocery list should reflect whether you will eat aboard or onshore every evening. Build a spare parts inventory and you won’t miss out on the fun because you are prepared for most anything.

Remember that Alyse and I are Port Captains for our Vero Beach Power Squadron and get calls for a lot of reasons- planning deep water passages, where is an upscale restaurant for an anniversary or even car rentals close to the marina.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line if we can be helpful in this regard 772-205-1859.

As the scouts promote, Be Prepared and File a Float Plan with a responsible friend…stay tuned for more on this topic in Ask the Captain here on the Marinafife website.


Captains Chris & Alyse Caldwell are USCG 100 ton Masters and Cruising Coaches who offer Personal Boat Training Online or Onboard your boat anywhere! The Caldwell’s help build your cruising confidence with hands-on training and with their AskCaptainChris.com training videos filled with tons of tips for the boater who loves learning. If you have additional questions for Captains Chris or Alyse, please email them at chris@captainchrisyachtservices.com