Some ideas are easy to latch onto and get discussed quite a bit on groups like this. You donít need to be too smart to realize that carrying some plywood, wire clips and some wire can be useful. I go at a little differently and spend a lot of time daydreaming about all the possibilities and making notes. I work the problem every way that I can think of. I look at each piece of gear and consider how important it is and what I would do if it broke. What tools and parts do I need to fix or fashion a replacement for each and every piece of gear and system on the boat. Do I even need that piece of gear or can I fall back to using some other method to get that job done. Do you need to carry a spare assembly or part for the things you canít fix on board such as an alternator or radio?
I donít just think that having a way to close up a port or hatch is important but I look at what things are on the boat that I can use as raw material to do the job and I plan everything out in advance. I try to consider every contingency and have a plan in advance to handle it. And that plan includes having the tools and parts needed for the solution. Getting into the thick of it and then trying to plan a fix using what you might have on board isnít the way to get the job done. Planning ahead is the way to get the job done. And funny enough I think planning ahead also prepares you for the unexpected.
I donít think it helps to just put up a spreadsheet with a list of parts because each boat and trip is different. Each skipper has a different skill set and will want to fix things in a way thatís consistent with his own skills. I think you need enough experience to make a plan and decide for yourself whatís needed for a trip based on how you sail and work. It also makes a big difference what equipment you have on board. One of the things that will set you apart from others is whether or not you can think ahead and formulate an overall plan for the trip. Having this skill might be one of the indications that you are ready to go offshore.
All the best,