Join Date: Dec 2009
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I accept with information:
1) Autopilot. If youa re going to do any long distance sailing, I cannot imagine going without a windvane or autopilot (the latter having both its positives and negatives). I believe one of the two is a must. A windvane is prefered by many offshore sailors as it requires no power and does better in storms. The autopilot is preferred by many because it account for XTE and interfaces with a Chartplotter to make passages a breeze. They each have their positives and negatives, not to mention costs.
2) EPIRB. Don't leave home without it.
3) Solar/Wind generation. You are required to run lights at night, your electronics draw considerable power, even the bilge pump will pull 5 amps/day. Since most boats are limited in their capacity to incorporate many batteries (with 2-4-D's being typical), you have about 24-48 hours max without power regeneration of some type. Solar and wind can vastly increase the amount of time away from mechanical power generation. We did not have solar or wind on our 380, but we had a diesel generator. Solar is better - much better.