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  #1  
Old 07-08-2011
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Safety equipment aboard and priorities

It's been a few months since I got my first boat. The boat had not been used much before so it is not equipped well. The engine and rigging and sailing gear are in good order but that's about it. The only other working thing is the depth sounder.

So far, as I am learning, all I have been doing was about 3-4 hour long rides in the south SF bay. I feel like it is about time I ventured a little further on longer day trips or weekend cruises. But first, I need to make sure I have at least the basic safety equipment aboard and in good order. Money is issue so I am prioritizing from most essential and cheap towards less critical and expensive. Here is my list:

EDIT - See updated list at the end of the post
  1. Connect and test VHF antenna (antenna is there and coax runs to mast base. Currently not connected to VHF. The wire will need extending and routing and ends fitted)
  2. Get wooden plugs for leak emergencies
  3. Assemble and mount man overboard pole
  4. Fix nav lights (a few bulbs out on hull fitted ones. Masthead is not connected yet but I haven't been doing any night sailing)
  5. Get bronze caps for unused seacocks
  6. Get spare hose clamps of various sizes
  7. Get a horn
  8. Get flares
  9. Get a good flashlight
  10. Get paper charts (currently using iPhone + navionics app)
  11. Get a high capacity second bilge pump (I have a low capacity one I am sure, though I can't see the label since it is covered in grime. Bilge cleaning is in progress. Also float switch works intermittently)
  12. Fit a handle for the manual bilge pump (the unit is there, handle is missing)
  13. Upgrade throwable PFD. (I have one but a lot of UV damage on it)
  14. Get mayday Scripttie
  15. Get first aid kit
  16. Get mirror
  17. Get binoculars
  18. Get new extinguishers
  19. Get a second anchor (currently only have a single CQR 45 lbs)
  20. Get spare anchor rode
  21. Get spare engine parts (belt, impeller, oil, various hoses)
  22. Get boat hook
  23. Get an anchor windlass (none installed currently)
  24. Get foul weather gear
  25. Fit davits for dinghy (I have a rigid dinghy but I don't carry it. I am afraid if I tow it, it will fill with water and/or capsize)
  26. Get handheld VHF
  27. Get handheld GPS
  28. Upgrade VHF to a combination unit with AIS
  29. Fit jacklines and get harness

So these are the things that I can think of. Feel free to bash me for going to sea with the long list of non-equipment. I would appreciate your comments about possibly what to add/take out from the list and how to prioritize. Mind you, some items are cheap and easy. Some are not and will take time to save for. So I want to take care of small stuff first. Also, as you can tell, I am mostly concerned about taking in water. What do you have aboard to fix small leaks at sea and slow the large leaks?

I didn't include the ditch bag since that is what comes after all else fails and it's contents is a whole other discussion.

EDIT: Updated list:

Note:
Red - Required by law
Blue - Bare essentials

Boat watertight integrity:
  1. Correctly sized wooden plugs attached to each seacock for leak emergencies
  2. Rubber mallet to shove the wooden plugs
  3. Bronze caps for unused seacocks
  4. Spare hose clamps of various sizes
  5. Spare hoses of various diameters
  6. High capacity second bilge pump
  7. Manual bilge pump

Staying on the boat:
  1. Jacklines and harness

Man overboard:
  1. Throwable type IV PFD
  2. Man overboard pole
  3. A long floating line
  4. Life sling and dedicated rope boomvang
  5. Portable ladder

Signaling and communications:
  1. Fixed VHF
  2. The Mayday Scriptie placard
  3. Handheld submersible VHF attached to life vest
  4. Sound device (air horn)
  5. Flares
  6. Mirror
  7. Bell (required for my boat)

Collision avoidance/limited visibility:
  1. Working navigation lights
  2. AIS transponder/receiver
  3. Radar

Navigation:
  1. Paper charts and tools (ruler, etc...)
  2. Chart no.1
  3. Depth sounder
  4. GPS
  5. Secondary GPS
  6. Binoculars

Anchoring:
  1. Primary anchor
  2. Secondary anchor
  3. Spare anchor rode
  4. Windlass

Crew health:
  1. Foul weather gear
  2. First aid kit
  3. Emergency stash of bottled water
  4. High calorie packaged foods (energy bars etc...)

Abandon ship:
  1. Ditch bag (contents another topic)
  2. Dinghy on davits and/or life raft
  3. Some of the above (handheld VHF etc... applies here too)

Miscellaneous:
  1. Fire extinguishers
  2. A few good flashlights
  3. Toolset (wrenches, screwdrivers, saw etc...)
  4. Sharp knife
  5. Spare engine parts (belt, impeller, oil, various hoses)
  6. Spare fuel
  7. Boat hook
  8. Wire cutter
  9. Emergency tiller
  10. Sail repair kit
  11. Extra lines
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Last edited by turbulicity; 07-08-2011 at 07:06 PM. Reason: List if kept up to date with suggestions below
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Old 07-08-2011
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- MOB pole
- Existing and spare hose clamps should be AWAB.
- Chart #1
- Create a Mayday scriptt and paste it up next to your VHF
- Check propane locker drains for clogs
- Spare anchor rode
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Old 07-08-2011
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I have a MOB pole but it is not assembled, i.e. no use. It should probably be attached to the backstay with some sort of quick release. Good reminder.

Quote:
Create a Mayday ****** and paste it up next to your VHF
A little more explanation on that?

Propane locker drain works well. Anchor rode is noted. Thanks. I will update the list as suggestions pile up.
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Old 07-08-2011
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The Mayday Scripttie, is a "placard" you put by your radio if you have to call for help. There are some radio tips here. My limited opinion is that you should have at least what the Coasties say you HAVE to have on board. if you are single handing or limited experience crew, jack lines and harness are very important.

My 2 cents.

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Old 07-08-2011
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Jacklines and harness are important. I updated the original list. But they went down to one of the last priorities as they are also high expense items (no jacklines fitted on the boat yet) and I am for now in protected bay waters in a relatively large boat.
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Old 07-08-2011
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cb32863 makes a good point, in fact the first thing I thought of when I read your initial post. May I suggest you contact your local Coast Guard Auxiliary and get a (free) safety inspection? They won't/can't write tickets and may note some things that haven't made you list. In general the list from them is probably going to include the high priority items. Oh - move boat hook to the top of your list. *grin*

Far from beating you up, I think you can be pleased with yourself for getting off the dock and not letting "the list" keep you from sailing.

Although you said you are budget conscious, consider unlimited towing from Boat/US or SeaTow -- whichever is more prevalent in your area. Cheap and very helpful.
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Old 07-08-2011
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I think these belong higher, if you ever see yourself on-deck in a blow...

Quote:
Originally Posted by turbulicity View Post
Jacklines and harness are important. I updated the original list. But they went down to one of the last priorities as they are also high expense items (no jacklines fitted on the boat yet) and I am for now in protected bay waters in a relatively large boat.
...or in the dark or alone or when the water is cold. Most of the time, I think.

They need not be expensive.
Sail Delmarva: Climbing Gear for Sailors--Jacklines and Harnesses for the Unemployed. Far cheaper than some other items you have listed, and far more likely to save a life.
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Old 07-08-2011
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The safety list will also depend on how much you singlehand. Obviously things like MOB pole would not help a singlehander, whearas, a water proof handheld VHF clipped to your lifejacket would.

Seems to me that compared to the operating expenses of a 50' boat, this list of safety equipment should not be too difficult to handle.
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Old 07-08-2011
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I beleive that a list is essential and may be more important to some individuals. But I hate list because I am a rebel. In most case common sense prevails. Having a list in compliance with it does not save your life.

For example, everyone has a medical emergency kit on board. Many just buy an overpriced kit from WM. If you look into what in there, it is so absurd. It won't save your life if your life depends on it. So having the kit is no more than just a placebo effect.

For my approach is practice, practice and practice especially in the adverse condition. Think about what if. Look for holes and deficiencies in your knowledge and inventories. Correct as you go.
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Old 07-08-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barquito View Post
The safety list will also depend on how much you singlehand. Obviously things like MOB pole would not help a singlehander, whearas, a water proof handheld VHF clipped to your lifejacket would.
or SPOT or other equivalency
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