Ocean Tactics

John Martin principal of Ocean Tactics has been assisting skippers with weather and passage planning in the Pacific  for many years is now an official sponsor  of the Pacific Posse.


“Departure Planning is an essential first step in passage comfort and safety and a couple of days can make the world of difference. Once out there it’s all about, Putting the Boat in the Right Place, to take best advantage of the weather”


Pacific  Passage Tactics

This allows us to get to know you and your vessel and is a necessary part of all Ocean Tactics engagements. During the lead up to the passage we’ll discuss Comfort Levels for Wind and Wave, Vessel Characteristics and Conditions to expect on passage.

Passage Tactics also includes discussion briefings via Line, WhatsApp or Messenger just prior to departure to give you a full understanding of what to expect and detail factors that may influence your tactics on passage.


Pacific  Departure Planning

Picking the right departure goes a long way to having a good passage. We’ll work with you to pick the best weather window for any specified passage based on your personal parameters and that of the vessel as per the answers given when you sign up.


Pacific  Passage Management

Possibly the most important part of the service for a safe and comfortable passage. We make sure you put the vessel in the right place to best take advantage of the weather that’s coming as the passage proceeds. Updates are sent via email only.

Ocean Tactics


We’re half way through the season! So let’s have a Special.

Two Offshore Passages for the price of ONE!

$297USD Mid Season Pass**.
For 2 x Offshore Passages in the South Pacific & SE Asia up to 3,000nm.

Costing for longer passages or different regions on demand.

Proposed weather routing during Cyclone/ Hurricane periods is at the discretion of Ocean Tactics and may incur an extra charge.

**Available only for C&OC  or Pacific Posse Members


For Single passage up to 3,000nm  U$ 210  (30 % off)
If you are making more than one passage seasonal routing   (30 % off)
Full Season, (3 x Ocean and 4 x coastal passage routing)  U$ 397  (30 % off)



WhatsApp / Tel  +64 27 242 1088

The Good Ship ‘Windflower’


Ocean Tactics

Pre Passage Check List and Crew Familiarization

Lifejackets Safety Harnesses & Tethers
EBIRB (Know how to activate it)

Grab Bag (see “What’s in a Grab Bag” below.)

Life raft and how to deploy, is it’s certification current and is there any damage to the case

Emergency Steering (how to set up. Is there a special tool to get access to the steering quadrant? Where is it?)

Flashlights (keep at least one on deck at night)

If USB charged have you the correct charging cable

Spare Batteries of all sizes


Fire extinguishers/ Fire Blanket

Duct Tape/ Waterproof tape/Anti Chafe Tape

Manual Bilge Pump Handles

Fog Horn

First Aid Kit (See “What’s in a Med Kit below”)

Spare Oil and Filters, Raw water impellor

Extra lashings and tie downs

Every Seacock (or at least know every location) or a couple of Forespar StaPlug™ Hole Plug Bungs

Wooden Plugs & Hammer

Engine Inlet and strainer: (Know how to clear the strainer)

Engine – on startup is cooling water coming out exhaust

Check Engine Fluids (Oil/Transmission)

How do the belts look? Do you have spares

Check liquid in the batteries. Check batteries for shape/ Bulging

Do you have spare filters and impellers?

Spare Jerry Jugs of fuel

Check fluid level in any hydraulics, Steering, Auto Pilot ram etc spare fluid.


• A Knife
Check Turnbuckles, are they wire seized or split pinned
Check for chafe in furling return lines.
Check all Halyards are clear and secure.
Jack line in place and tight (see article To tether or not?”)
How to launch the MOB recovery and how the system works
Make sure the anchor is very secure, but know how to deploy it quickly in an emergency.
Never put the main anchor in the anchor locker
Check Running Lights
Check Compass Light
(Do you have a backup light for the compass light?)
Flashlight on deck at night.
MOB Dan Buoy if manual, test. If Jonbuoy type with a gas canister check if in survey
Do you have emergency Nav Lights, check batteries

Check all wind gear, sounders, plotters are working correctly

If you have wind self steering is it fully set up checked and functioning properly

What you should know how to do  (crew)

Start (Stop) and operate the main engine
Reef the sails

Tack and Gybe

Rig Jack lines

Understand the Auto Pilot ( See Skippers Watch rules for what you can and CANNOT do)

Understand the Electrical Panel

Operate the VHF, Sat comms or SSB in an emergency.

Operate Bilge pumps (both electrical and Manual)

Garbage Plan – What goes where (Besides an oil pollution placard many boats also require a garbage placard noting what can and what cannot be thrown overboard).

Boom Preventer

Release halyards

Cheat Sheets

Prepare Cheat Sheets 
Watch Rules

Fire Aboard, including positions of Extinguishers and Fire Blankets


Watch Schedule and Responsibilities of all crew, chores schedule.

Reefing, Gybing, Tacking.

Storage, where to find things. Include a plan of the boat with storage areas marked A-Z

What to look out for

Each other
The boom (Head injuries and falls are the two main causes of injury)

Tripping on deck (one hand for you and one for the boat, like climbing, three points of contact and ALWAYS clip on).

Don’t block the helm when docking, underway in port or near busy channels

Placing things like open drinks on the counter.

Know not to turn the battery switch off with the engine is running.

Don’t be afraid to tell the helmsman about anything ahead (Lobster pots,
oating logs) or coming up from behind (faster/bigger boats).

When off watch make sure you get enough rest.
Make sure to take your seasickness medicine if you are prone.
Clean up after yourself in the head and galley.

Make sure to turn off the propane safety switch after using the stove.

If the boat policy is to keep the main water panel switch off when not in use, make sure it is off.

Grab Bag Contents

Make sure your 406 EPIRB is GPS capable! This will ensure a much faster location and therefore recovery by RCC (Rescue Coordination Center).

Semi waterproof bag, preferably with flotation.
Water proof bag with:

Passports, Money, Credit Cards

Boat papers, Clearance Papers

Cell phone, Hand held GPS + spare batteries

Ocean Chart.

2x Travelers towels

Sea sick pills, Any crew medication.

Flares:- Hand held Orange 4x, Red Parachute 4x, dye marker 1x

Hand held VHF waterproof, Spare Batteries

Torch, Spare batteries, spare bulb.

406 Epirb Basic first aid kit, sea sick pills.

Water, usually the packet type (keep a ¾ filled 20lt container on deck with a length of line attached with a clip on the end)

Basic food, lunch bars, barley sugars, be aware some foods will make you thirsty.

Packet electrolytes

Survival blanket.

Strobe light Anything else you feel you may need

If you need readers put a pair in a solid glasses case

Tips for a safe passage


Take the time to prepare your boat well. Work with your safety inspector or use the C&OC Safety Checklist Linked Below.
Plan your passage in advance, don’t try and do it on the fly. Have a back up route and destination in case of emergency.

Make regular radio skeds, email reports or use PredictWind tracking to advise a shore contact of your plans, destination, position and ETA.

Prepare your crew. Practice sail work, explain the boat’s systems and talk about safety procedures and where to find everything.

Check if your crew is on any medication, if they get seasick they wont be able to hold down their medication

If any of your crew are the least susceptible to sea sickness, have them start taking something for it, BEFORE you set sail.
Have a grab bag handy at the foot of the companionway in case of emergency.
Set up a watch system. Whether it’s two, three or more crew, set up a watch system so everyone knows what they are expected to do. Always keep a good lookout.
Set up a schedule for chores and make sure everyone has their fair share. Leaving all the cooking and cleaning up to the misses is one sure way to have a grumpy partner.
Pre-cook some passage meals BEFORE you leave, one pot meals are best and where possible have them pre-frozen ashore.
Make a box full of sandwiches to have available for the crew whenever they are hungry.
Have lots of high energy snacks on hand.
A well fed and rested crew is a happy crew.
Reef down early, it’s easier and safer. It’s a good idea to reef down before dusk if the forecast is even a bit uncertain.
Have a daily check around the boat for chafe and things that can come undone, like shackles etc.
Most important of all, keep the skipper happy. Remember he or she takes ALL the responsibility and a tired skipper is more likely to make mistakes.
To the skipper, remember you are the boss but also remember what happened to Captain Bligh