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  #1  
Old 12-22-2007
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Safety and Support Gear

I am looking at several cruisers that I would sail in Puget Sound and the San Juan. One of the boats that I am looking at does not have much in the way of gear that I will need for safety support and basic comfort. Most of what I am referring to is aftermarket stuff.

Would appreciate it if someone could advise me on what I will need to purchase in those categories. I know about PDFs, a dinghy and motor, perhaps safety harnesses but what else should I budget for? Thanks.
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Old 12-22-2007
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Hmm...

USCG requires:
  • PFDs for each person aboard...
  • At least one Type-IV throwable PFD
  • Flares—or some other visual distress signal (I highly recommend getting SOLAS approved flares, since they're much better than USCG approved ones)
  • A horn—The EcoHorn is a good one and rechargeable using a normal bicycle tire pump.
  • Good navigation lights would be nice... and required by USCG
These things would be nice to have, but not required by law.
  • A throwing line would be a good idea
  • A good anchor and rode.
  • A VHF radio would be a good idea
  • An SSB radio would be a good idea if you're going on longer offshore passages
  • A LifeSling2 would be an excellent idea.
  • Tethers and harnesses for everyone aboard would be a good idea (I recommend getting ISAF approved tethers and harnesses)
  • Installing Jacklines is a very good idea (I prefer the spectra line in 1" dacron webbing jacklines)
  • Getting rigging knives, whistles, and strobes for all the PFDs or harnesses is a very good idea...
  • If you're going offshore, and planning on making any longer passages, an EPIRB would probably be a good idea. If you aren't normally going to be using the boat offshore, but have to make a longer offshore passage, you can rent them from BoatUS.
  • A good dinghy and a motor is an excellent idea, as well as a necessity for many anchorages and harbors.
  • If you're going offshore a Jordan Series Drogue is a good idea.
  • A storm jib and trysail might be good investments if going offshore.
  • A radar reflector is an excellent idea... if you can afford it, an upgrade to a Sea-me would be even better.
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Last edited by sailingdog; 12-22-2007 at 03:45 PM.
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Old 12-22-2007
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A radio, you must have a vhf radio.
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Old 12-22-2007
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Rusty...good luck with the purchase decision. All good advice above but I would add that perhaps the most important piece of safety gear on a boat is the anchoring system....and this is often an afterthought on many coastal cruising boats that have been lightly used.
You need a quality anchor that is reliable in the bottoms found in your cruising grounds...you need a rode that will keep the anchor set and is of sufficient length to provide storm scope AND is not 10 year old nylon twist that has lost 50% of its' strength...depending on the size on the boat and your planned , an adequate windlass may be needed and you'll need a secondary/backup anchor/rode as well. There are lots of anchoring threads here to search on for more info...but since these can be costly systems and safety related...don't forget to consider them during your purchase.
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Thanks guys. The responses were just what I needed to know.
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