Join Date: Aug 2001
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Can''''t live withouts
Can''t live without:
Good understanding of navigation -- not just electronic, but basic piloting & navigation. Make sure you KNOW how to do this BEFORE you leave the dock. US Power & Coast Guard Auxillary Squadrons around the country offer invaluable courses -- take them! Then decide what navigation equipment you want on the boat & make sure you have redundant ways to know your position.
Self-steering -- we have both a windvane & autopilot, if there''s just two of you, you need the "extra crew" so one of you can sleep & the other can navigate/keep watch/etc.
Reliable ground tackle that works -- we have 150'' 5/16 High Test Chain connected to 150'' 5/8" 3 strand nylon connected to a 44 lb steel Spade anchor. We use it with a nylon snubber line and a Kiwi Anchor Rider -- basically a heavy weight that slides down the rode keeping the catenary low so the anchor doesn''t pull out plus keeps your rode out of range of other boat''s props.
Safety equipment. Start with lifejackets that you''ll WEAR. Then harnesses & jacklines and make rules when you''ll use them and STICK WITH THE RULES (we use them after dark no matter how calm the weather and we''re not allowed to go out of the cockpit without the other person on deck at night). Then decide on the rest of your safety equipment. We have a 406 EPIRB & Liferaft & ditch bag. We''re also thinking seriously about a way to lock the boat securely from the inside when we''re asleep in secluded anchorages & for when we leave the boat.
Shade -- this is one of the hardest parts for us, shade can be hard to come by, take it seriously.
Solar Sun Shower on deck. Even tho'' we have a separate shower stall, we don''t like the extra humidity inside the cabin. Besides, it''s fun taking showers on deck.
Extra polarized sunglasses -- no fun when you lose a pair halfway through a trip when you can''t get anymore!
Weather Info -- this is critical. Coastwise you can use your VHF, but to get info a few days from where you are, you''ll need some access to weather info. NOAA has a variety of options, make sure you have reliable weather info before going anywhere. Don''t count on others. Make your own decisions.
Communications. We use a cell phone coastwise, a GlobalStar satellite phone for out of cell tower communications including e-mail & web access, altho'' only 9600 baud. We''re also adding a ham/ssb radio with Winlink e-mail as yet another layer of communications & weather. Also, we have a couple of Family Channel Radios onboard for at anchor to ashore communications.
Food. Don''t underestimate the importance of what you plan to eat. Any trip is so much more fun with "real food" like what you''d usually eat at home, rather than PB&J morning, noon & night.
Dry Bags to transport "stuff" in the dinghy to shore without risk getting it wet. This particulary applies to phones, radios and cameras.
Water Camera -- we like having the water camera to take in the kayaks, diving & snorkeling.
Our own dive masks, fins, snorkels, wetsuits, BCD''s etc.
Plus, we''re wusses and prefer to have cold drinks especially when sailing in the tropics. We have refrigeration & the necessary power to run it. We also recognize that refrigeration on a boat is marginally reliable, so we have an ice box and an extra cooler for ice. We don''t have alot of other "necessities" -- A/C, microwave, TV, VHS, generator, satellite radio or tv, etc. If you like "camping" on the water, you''ll love cruising.
I''m sure I''ve forgotten alot of stuff...
Fair winds, go sailing! Jan