Things to know

If you're sailing with us aboard Jane Franklin, please read all the way to the end

(Revised July 29, 2019)

Adult Beverages & More

We like to limit ourselves to one alcoholic drink maximum within eight hours of standing a navigation watch. You're sure to appreciate the perils of impairment by any substance when on duty. We strive to stay well within the legal limit, which, for alcohol, is the same as driving a car, 0.08%g/dl (if you're curious about the number).


Illegal drugs must not brought aboard. The vessel can be boarded by federal Coast Guard any time.


Eating and drinking (other than water) is confined to the galley/saloon area and the cockpit. Critters love crumbs and spills. We want to discourage six legged friends from joining the crew.


 Before you get to the boat, we plan to post an inventory of food onboard, and a grocery list for things we’re planning to buy. We will go to the grocery, to pick up any special items you might want, before we shove off. Until then, you can be thinking of things that you’d like to cook.


The custom aboard is to share food and drink. We typically pay grocery and other incidental expenses from the ship's expense fund. There is a "Cruising Kitty" onboard for anonymous voluntary cash contributions to that expense fund should you care to share. Experience shows that incidental costs run Jane Franklin about 150 USD per crew member per week and one may choose to use that number as a guide if wishing to make a contribution. (If you do buy anything for the common consumption...groceries, liquor, or whatever...please place a receipt or note of the expense in the cruising kitty. In this way we can account for the actual cost of operating the boat.)


The crew takes cooking in turn. Each day a crew member is assigned to the cooking detail (the "Cook"). The skipper does not cook.


If the Cook has the afternoon navigation watch (noon to 4 P.M.) or First Dog Watch (4 P.M. to 6 P.M.) the skipper covers those watches during the time the Cook needs to attend the galley.

Jane Franklin has a four-burner propane stove. She also has  a microwave oven and an electric slow cooker. It is recommended that meals be kept simple with an eye toward one pot (or simpler) recipes. There are a lot of blogs that explore galley cooking.

The boat has a very small refrigerator and modest size freezers. Meals from canned, dry, or frozen food generally work well. 

Breakfast is typically an individual endeavor. Each crew member takes care of him or her self. Again, we will go to the grocer to stock up with whatever you want before we shove off.

Lunch around the noon hour is a joint venture with the Cook who had the prior day's food detail (think best knowledge of leftovers) in overall charge.

Happy Hour snacks and dinner are prepared by the Cook. This does not prevent other crew members from lending a hand to help out. The Cook will plan Happy Hour for the 4-5 P.M. hour (a person is not obligated to drink alcohol) and dinner for 6 P.M. Plan on it. 

Keep in mind that "cooking" depends a lot on the weather. When it's less than smooth, a meal may be sandwiches. When the weather scowls, "dinner" can be a peanut butter sandwich or a cracker! Elaborate food preparation underway is not a good idea. It's often quite a challenge to man the galley when the weather pipes up. The Cook with coordinate with the skipper to determine a weather appropriate evening meal.

With the Cook in charge, all hands, except the navigation watch stander, turn to (pitch in) to wash dishes and clean the galley after meals. During the day, dishes should be cleaned and stowed right after use.


Speaking of cleaning on the boat. It's an an ongoing process. Cleaning is done as the mess is made. Everyday, the heads (bathrooms) must be cleaned. Every day. The boat must be vacuumed, dusted, and spruced up everyday, too. A lot of crew members seem to always have a cleaning rag in hand. They seem to always be on the look out for something to clean. That is a good attitude. As Archie Trammel said, "A clean ship is a safe ship." It's a healthful ship, too.

Specific cleaning times are set for "big cleaning," weather dictating. When inbound on a trip, the goal is to have the vessel ready to go for the next leg. If at all possible, crew members' departure times from the boat must take into account time to get Jane Franklin ready for her next leg.

Watch standing

Passengers are a rare thing aboard Jane Franklin. We are all part of the crew. Each crew member, including the skipper, take the navigation watches in turn. In keeping with traditions established long ago in the Royal Navy, the watches are of four hours duration (with the exception of two dog watches which are shortened to two hours each, "cur-tailed" according to Capt. Jack Aubrey.) The watches are thus: 


First watch from 8 PM to midnight

Mid watch from midnight to 4 AM

Morning watch from 4 AM to 8 AM 

Forenoon watch from 8 AM to noon 

Afternoon watch from noon to 4 PM

First Dog Watch from 4 PM to 6 PM

Second Dog Watch from 6 PM to 8 PM


Don’t worry. You'll stand watch with an experienced crew member until everyone is comfortable. The goal is to learn all you need to know to stand a watch on your own. The skipper can (must) be called at any time to answer questions or lend a hand. The boat has an autopilot, so even steering is easy.

Stowing your gear

Pack your clothes and gear in a collapsible bag (sea bags are good). There is no room on the boat for your normal suitcases. You will have a locker or two to stow clothes and personal gear.


Even though Jane Franklin is a good size boat, she becomes small at sea. It is important to keep her clean, neat and tidy.


The living environment, as well as safety, is much enhanced as each crew member stows whatever they are using immediately after finishing with it.


A "ditty bag" is recommended for keeping one's individual items contained during the course of the day.

Bed time and How to Use the Marine Toilet

Jane Franklin is fifty-three feet/sixteen meters long. She has berths for six people, two heads, two showers, a galley, a navigation station, and a spacious cockpit.


No need to bring bedding for trips longer than a week. Jane Franklin has her own bedding. Fresh pillows, sheets, and blankets are provided.


For short trips of a week or less, please  bring your own sleeping bag and towel. This keeps our laundry load manageable.

The weather is changeable. Bring layers of clothes and good hats for warmth and sun.

As part of the ship-shape regimen, berths are made up daily and cabins kept picked up and tidy. Again, the vessel interior is vacuumed and the heads are cleaned every day, weather permitting. The cockpit must be kept picked up, clean and tidy all the time.

This part is important:

While in port and tied alongside, no solid waste ("number two") must be deposited in the toilets. Use the marina bathrooms for that. Liquid human waste ("number one") is ok while docked, but putting wet toilet paper in the heads while in port should be avoided. Use the waste bin for TP while alongside.

Two Jabsco Electric Marine toilets are installed (to adequately clear, hold the Flush button for a minimum count of twelve. This helps prevent calcification caused by urine. Calcification can cause the pipes to clog. When fresh water is plentiful, it's a good idea to use shower water for flushing. Check with the skipper for the procedure.

Nothing must go into the heads (toilets) ANYTIME except human waste and approved and provided toilet paper. ANYTHING ELSE WILL CAUSE THE TOILETS TO CLOG.

All hands must appreciate the value of keeping important systems, like the toilets, functioning. It's sometimes many days between repair opportunities. There are few things more unpleasant than having to use a bucket for a toilet in the middle of a bouncy ocean.


Bring your own, but just in case, know that a stock of shampoo, soaps, and other normal toiletries, sundries, and First Aid kits are stocked on board.

You can plan on showering as you wish. In addition to the one thousand liters of fresh water, Jane Franklin has a fresh water maker (a desalinator) that should keep our fresh water tank topped off. On trips longer than a week, fresh towels  and wash cloths are provided. There are hair dryers on board, too. (The boat operates on European, 220v A/C power. Your US appliances may not work or could burn up).


It’s a possibility. Most people who do succumb usually get over being green within a few days. 


The boat carries Bromine, Ginger Tablets, Ginger Ale, and Dramamine.


Meclizine and Scopolamine work for some. Available by prescription, you’d need to get these two through your MD and pharmacy.

How to pack and what to bring

Plan on layering. No matter the season, the weather could range from hot summer conditions to winter conditions. It could be wet. Plan accordingly. Bring sun hats and sunglasses. The boat does carry some foul weather gear to keep the navigation watch stander dry if that should be an issue. If you have your own “foulies” you can bring them. But you need not buy any.


Again, for trips less than a week, bring a sleeping bag and towel. For longer trips, Jane Franklin's onboard stores will provide bedding and towels.


BRING YOUR CURRENT PASSPORT (look at it and let us know the expiration date) with any appropriate visas if Jane Franklin will be sailing out of the United States or near a foreign country; e.g, sailing on the east coast or keys of Florida could result in a weather diversion to the Bahamas or Cuba.

The entertainment department

Jane Franklin has a store of games and books. Cards, Scrabble, Backgammon and other games are onboard. There is library of books on various subjects, including fiction.


People find that bringing iPads, Kindles, cameras, and personal computers helps pass the time. We can recharge them all!


We do a lot of filming and photography on board Jane Franklin. When you sign on for a trip you have agreed to be filmed and photographed for photojournalistic purposes. (You can read the Waiver.)

Safety at sea

Jane Franklin is an ocean going vessel. She is equipped with appropriate safety gear. Life jackets, harnesses, life raft, flares, emergency radio beacons, VHF and HF radios, radar, and Iridium satellite transceiver are onboard.


Even though we will sail with safety as our first priority, sailing can involve certain risks (some of which you may not fully appreciate) and that injuries, death, property damage or other harm could occur to you or others. Upon boarding you will be required to sign a Waiver that you can read here.


Thanks for reading!


MANDATORY: If you're sailing with us, please reply THAT YOU'VE READ ALL NINE ITEMS on this Things to Know page and the Waiver. Click on Get in Touch below and type, "I read them!" with your initials and date.


Please send any questions you might have!

©2018 by the Great Circle Navigation Co Ltd. Updated November 3, 2020