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jkzdad 04-10-2013 01:02 AM

Ditch bag
Any good ideas on thoughtful ingredients to build a good ditch bag for offshore / coastal cruising? thanks

HardTAC 04-10-2013 01:33 AM

Ditch bag
First of all the ditch bag should be buoyant (in case you drop it in the water trying to get into the raft). Inside you want some good rescue gear and survival gear.

On a double-handed trip to the Galapagos, we had in our bag:
Waterproof VHF & extra batteries
Signal mirror
Strobe light
Food rations
First aid kit
Handheld RO water maker
Glow sticks
Photocopies of ID (passport)
I think we also had a little fishing kit

We also kept a handheld gps nearby. The hope was we'd grab it too.

There's other personal things to consider, like prescription meds, and eyeglasses.

The other trick is to update the bag every year. Batteries go dead, rations & meds expire, etc.

chef2sail 04-10-2013 02:24 AM

Re: Ditch bag
Think also about a PLB like Aqua Link Rescue to attach to you PFD also

SVAuspicious 04-10-2013 08:36 AM

Re: Ditch bag
HardTAC's list is good.

Some thoughts:

Landfall Navigation has a great waterproof ditch bag with 100 lbs of flotation.

I have a charging station next to the companionway for VHF radios and phones. The EPIRB is mounted on the other side of the companionway. The ditch bag sits under the companionway ladder with our shoe basket and snack bag. There is a large first aid kit on a mount forward of the nav station (a couple of feet from the companionway ladder) in addition to our regular use kit in the head.

I have a big flare kit in the cockpit locker.

My life raft includes flares, strobe, whistles, food, water, flashlight, signal mirror, and small first aid kit.

Knives are in pockets. PLBs (for those that have them) are on PFDs.

The ditch bag gets originals of the ship's document, passports, current zarpe, and prescriptions. Also spare eyeglasses and copies of glasses prescriptions, spare batteries and the handheld VHF disposable battery tray, additional flashlights, and handheld GPS. There are also a couple of space blankets. I fill up any additional space with water. Documents are either vacuum sealed or in a Ziploc bag.

I usually stick my portable shortwave radio in the ditch bag.

I like the fishing kit idea.

killarney_sailor 04-10-2013 12:08 PM

Re: Ditch bag
Something else to think about. How many crew do you have? How strong are they? Work out the procedure that you will follow in the event you have to abandon and who does what? It is possible to have a ditch bag which is too heavy. Also assume that you will not be loading the ditch bag from your boat to the raft. Think about having a security line on it that you can attach to one of the people.

Reefpoints 04-18-2013 03:25 PM

Re: Ditch bag
I second HardTAC's list.

CarbonSink62 04-18-2013 03:36 PM

Re: Ditch bag
Based on an article I read over the winter, I would add $500 cash and/or a valid credit card to the list.

SoOkay 04-18-2013 03:43 PM

Re: Ditch bag
We also have a few drinking water packets in our bag and some thermal blankets (the impossibly thin metal ones).

Then there's a second canister that has more flares, water and food. It sits behind the ditch bag. If possible I'd throw both overboard when stepping up to the water. The ditch bag really has all I need but comforting to know there may be two flating things that could help out.

And ditto on the liferaft prepacked with survival gerar also. Last piece of advice would be to do a float test with it after you pack it all.

rockDAWG 04-18-2013 11:01 PM

Re: Ditch bag
When I was in the C1500 gathering, someone had mentioned to pack a few rolls of toilet paper. I thought its funny, but he meant it. I can't figure it why. I would rather take a box of Oreo. :)

jackdale 04-19-2013 12:04 AM

Re: Ditch bag

Originally Posted by CarbonSink62 (Post 1018171)
Based on an article I read over the winter, I would add $500 cash and/or a valid credit card to the list.

And passports. $500 is not much. I would recommend a credit card with a huge limit or no limit.

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