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  #31  
Old 04-07-2009
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If I can add my 2 cents worth, I would scale back on the electronics unless the skipper asked you to bring sat phone, gps, vhf and all that.
As for a lanyard, before you run out to a boating store and spend $60 on a lanyard check if there are any construction safety supply stores in your area. You can get a fall arrest lanyard for about $40 and they are much stronger than anything I have seen for sale at West Marine and the like.
I always bring a pack or two of candied ginger, check the international food isle at the grocery store, even though I don't usually get seasick. I eat a piece before going on watch and another before bunking down.
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  #32  
Old 04-08-2009
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I'd be very wary of the South African guys. They have weird habits - eat lots of beef Jerky, BBQ rolled up spicy sausage, drink stuff called 'spook and diesel', tell funny but non-PC jokes (usually a bit rascist or off-colour), watch a different kind of football, etc.
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  #33  
Old 04-13-2009
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I think you are obsessing a bit on covering everything. The boat is well found presumably with a very experienced owner and captain. Ask them what you should bring. I would expect they would have pfds with crutch straps and tethers. They may also have the wet weather gear. They will have the SSB and gps.
I would expect you to turn up with one bag. That should have your clothing and personal gear - no medical kit there would be one onboard. You certainly want need binoculars - you are not equipping the boat.
If you need to get the sailing gear okay but more to carry around.
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  #34  
Old 04-14-2009
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  #35  
Old 04-14-2009
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While I agree the OP may be obsessing and over-equipping himself, I would still recommend bringing your own harness, PFD and tether, and don't forget at least one or two spare refill and trigger kits for it. Unless I know a person fairly well, I don't trust their PFDs...since I don't know how they've maintained them and such. Foul weather gear is also too personal a type of gear to not have and bring your own. It is unreasonable, IMHO, to expect them to provide decent foul weather gear, which is of the quality and durability you'd need for an Atlantic passage.



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Originally Posted by chris_gee View Post
I think you are obsessing a bit on covering everything. The boat is well found presumably with a very experienced owner and captain. Ask them what you should bring. I would expect they would have pfds with crutch straps and tethers. They may also have the wet weather gear. They will have the SSB and gps.
I would expect you to turn up with one bag. That should have your clothing and personal gear - no medical kit there would be one onboard. You certainly want need binoculars - you are not equipping the boat.
If you need to get the sailing gear okay but more to carry around.
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  #36  
Old 05-02-2009
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Wow! What a post and a host of replies. I too think you are taking too much stuff. Stuff you should really expect the boat to provide. You may have already covered this, but check with the owner (if you havn't already).

One thing I would definitely take is a digital camera, with lots of memory and spare batteries - it's going to be something you want to record.

Another is a headlamp, especially one with a red light option included - I use mine all the time on night watches (again with spare batteries).
I'm not sure of the regulations on taking an inflatable PFD (we are allowed to call them life jackets again now) on a plane - you might have to ditch and repurchase the inflation canister.

Then what are you going to do with all this sailing stuff once you hit the ground and start travelling? Ship it home? or carry it around with you. If you are going to ship it home you need to add in that cost. You may be able to sell / donate / ditch stuff, but first think if you really need it.

Why are you paying for all that food? They are getting crew, presumably they aren't paying you, I would expect them to feed you on the crossing - but maybe you've come to a mutual arrangement on the food thing.

I agree with other posts - you need to expect to turn up on the boat with one soft bag! I presume you'll have a back pack for the rest of your journey once you hit Europe?

Anyway - only a week or so more to go - have a great time - and enjoy your graduation

Finally, once you get to Europe you are going to be looking for cheap digs - here is a site I was told about recently called Couch Surfers - where people can potentially let you crash in their home for free... Pretty cool eh? Of course you need to be respectful, and they are fully entitled to say no, or simply ignore you - but it may help your budget, and you'll certainly have a story to tell. CouchSurfing - Participate in Creating a Better World, One Couch At A Time
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  #37  
Old 05-11-2009
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Mate Ive been sailing/delivering yachts for over 40 years. Its quiet simple
Forget every thing about GPS/ safety equipment as a personal expense. If the boat owner does not supply all of that type of gear - find another boat.
Suggestion - Go to Safety Regulations for Category 1 "Off Shore" racing and look at minimum requirements. If the skipper is going to sea without these - He is not a skipper - he is a driver without taking responsibility for his crew. In the Southern Hemisphere he would not get clearance to clear the dock.

Under International law it is the skippers responsibility to prove adequate safety equipment.

Some often overlooked items are:

Securely anchored Safety harness wires that should run so that you can attach the tether on your harness whilst in the cockpit and allow you unimpeded movement to the bow. Get your own harness)

A detailed instruction period so that all crew members are FULLY AWARE of their rolls in difficult situations. - which button on the GPS to push if you have a man overboard situation - do you do this prior to throwing a life ring overboard - Which life ring should be thrown (One should be attached to a "Danforth" pole with red flag attached - Day time- , the other should be set up for night time and have a flashing light which will activate when immersed in water.
Your own personal comfort is up to you - My advise is take the bare minimum plus a couple of extra bits. Decent wet weather gear is a must along with good sea boots On ocean voyages - learn to share - A wee trick that I do is to tightly roll a pair of underpants, a tee shirt and a pair of socks into a zip lock bag - On an estimated 20 day ocean voyage without laundry facilities - I would pack 8 min. Packed tightly enough this will take up less room than 4 folded tee shirts.The dirty gear can be put into these and thus reduce the stench aboard

If you dont know the skipper well- pack your personal papers the same way and give him copies of your documents. Take several other copies and put them in other sealed bags. Spread about your space on board.

Check that the Life Raft has a current certificate and is of sufficient size for the crew?

Every Off Shore boat will have a "Grab Bag" which is used in an abandon ship circumstance and at the first sign of major trouble is clipped to the Life Raft for later recovery. This should contain all those Items that you may need beyond the standard Life Raft pack. - Portable VHF radio, special medications etc. Make sure that the bags, containers are waterproof.

I could go on and on about the check list I have for myself and my crew, Hopefully this will open up the "Box" that you need to consider.

The most important thing is however to have faith in the seaworthiness of the vessel., the capacity of the skipper and believe that you will have a fantastic time.

Follow your gut feelings - If it feels OK it will in 99.9% be just that.

Have a great trip.

From an old salt

If you skipper has not thought about such things - Get another boat
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  #38  
Old 05-27-2009
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Bermuda

Hey all,

Just thought I would give an update. We have been in Bermuda now since last Tues waiting on parts and exchange of crew and are pushing off for the Azores first thing in the morning. Our delays have put us in a more favorable weather window, and we have seen three of the ARC boats return for various reasons. One, a Dufour 40 something returning without a mast and stbd life lines.

I also wanted to thank everyone for their input and advice. This forum has a great base of knowledgeable sailors. I would have visited earlier but its rather difficult getting an affordable/reliable connection on island. If you are interested in following along, my family and friends will be updating my blog (I'm Heading East!) for me while I am away.

Thanks again and I'll check back in when we arrive in the Azores.

Last edited by kananumpua; 05-27-2009 at 03:36 PM. Reason: Link error
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  #39  
Old 05-27-2009
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Ah, sorry. I just noticed the new-to-me responses.

The origional boat fell through and I am now in a much better situation. Not only is the food now covered but I feel more confident about the boat and the skipper who is very experienced and qualified with safety being his major concern. Once on board we went through an thurough (1-2 hr) seminar on the life jackets alone. He showed me all the inner workings and deminstrated an auto inflate and how to change the bottles. He also had us inflate the jackets, store them over night, and check for leaks. I have become very comfortable with my jacket. I have attached my PLB, mirror and glow sticks along with the standard kit.

Also, because the skipper is an RYA Instructor and loves teaching, we go over all kinds of good theory. While most of it is review for the rest of the crew, it is all new to me. In fact, the last two days we discussed celestial nav and then busted out the sextants (he has 3 on board) and practiced taking sights on shore. He also had us all practice what he calls "bumps and grinds" on the wharf. While in Bermuda we all had to dock the boat stern to, bow to and along side. Similarly, once we got into deep water off of Nassau we all had to helm a MOB situation. So, needless to say it has been a great learning experience for me.

Alrighty, have to help cram more food on board now.

Take care.

Last edited by kananumpua; 05-27-2009 at 03:56 PM.
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  #40  
Old 05-27-2009
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"I'm not sure of the regulations on taking an inflatable PFD (we are allowed to call them life jackets again now) on a plane - you might have to ditch and repurchase the inflation canister"
The international regulations (UN) require that they be allowed in the cabin as essential lifesaving equipment, complete with inflators. The US is a signatory to that. But, each airline can set their own policy and no one sc0olds them about that. To make things worse, the TSA banned them (violating the international treaty laws) and then more recently the TSA has again ALLOWED them. Except, any TSA airport manager or inspector has the discretion to override TSA policy and ban anything they please.
Bottom line? You have to put it in the checked luggage, not carry-on, or ship it ahead (probably as hazmat because it is compressed gas), or get to the airport real early and figure the odds are 50-50 you'll have to throw out the cylinder. Do pack an extra "aspirin tablet" or bobbin or whatever the vest uses to trip the cylinder, as well.

Crotch straps? Have you ever used your SCUBA BC to float on the surface in 2-4' waves? Try it with and without a crotch strap, one is enough. With the strap the vest can sit lower, keeping your face out of the water further. If someone has to lift you out of the water, that strap may hurt but it will also keep you in the vest. And, like a BC, you may want to try the PFD in the water to get it adjusted for best fit. Spray masks and hoods are also becoming the norm, as part of the PFD.

3M sells ScotchLite reflective tape in SOLAS grades, it has a hexagon pattern on the surface and it flexs (so it stays attached) much better than the plain stuff. Sold on the web or at higher prices in marine stores. Sticks on much better if you run a bead of Aquaseal or something similar around the edges.

Sturgeron: Great for some folks, but like all seasick meds worthless for 2/3 of the folks who try it. For me, scope is the drug that works absolutely all the time. Scopace, oral pill form, is more flexible than the patches. But like all serious seasickness meds, it should be tried in the comfort of home one weekend well before you go to sea with it. The adverse reactions can be quite significant.

Towels? Waste of time and space, get a "sport towel" aka a synthetic chamois and use that. Works great, packs small. Two sunglasses? No way, buy a "croakie" or other floating strap to use with your specs, and just take care of them. Personal first aid kit? Hell no, in the worst case if there are no aspirin and bandaids and antiseptic on the boat--buy them before you cast off. Your captain SHOULD go over the boat with you, from stem to stern, including showing you where all the emergency equipment is, so you'll be able to see what they have.

Skip the satphone, buy mom some tranqs. If you buy the SPOT, impress on her that it is NORMAL for all the gizmos to not work and if it doesn't work for a couple of days, that's normal in midocean. "No news is good news" as opposed to a distress signal.

DO put together a float plan, with the boat's name and registration, the color of the hull and deck, sail configuration, etc. and leave that with mom (or someone more objective). You can find them online and you can also call your local USCG station--any of them--and explain "I'm going from A to B and want to leave a complete float plan behind. If I'm overdue and someone needs to call SAR, what do you need?" They used to have about a ten page long set of forms to fill out, which they would gladly fax out on request. Get what you can, seal it in an envelope, mark it "Open if we still gone on (date)."

And, you might want to throw in some good paperbacks, or an MP3 player, for long watches and off-watches at sea. Enjoy the crossing!
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