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JulieMor 11-16-2012 11:06 AM

The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
Just curious how you would rate the contents of this ditch bag.

How to pack a ditch kit: The Complete Overboard Bag | Cruising World

killarney_sailor 11-16-2012 11:34 AM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
It appears quite well thought-out. I have only a few concerns. One is weight. We have a standard ditch bag with lots of flares and water along with some food and miscellaneous stuff. It is quite heavy and would be quite a load in rough conditions which certainly could be the case in an emergency situation. This bag has more stuff than we have so would be heavier. Next concern is how bulky it would be with the Jerry can and float. Would be hard to stow on most boats. Final concern is that the EPIRB should not be in the bag since you might well want to fire it off hours before getting in the raft. Also we have our portable VHF out since we use it. Could have two I guess but it makes more sense to be using it frequently since you know it is working well. One in the bottom of the bag might not. In our emergency plan, the responsible for the bag first puts the EPIRB and VHF into outer pockets.

chucklesR 11-16-2012 11:57 AM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
Ditch bags depend entirely on area of anticipated use.
This kit seems to be a kitchen sink approach - nice to think of everything but seriously impractical - for example he puts everything in 'layers according to use' - that means his passport (document bag) is somewhere on the bottom of the bag.
Want to bet on that?

Reading material? I mean seriously? I read a book a day when I'm bored, how many days to I need to be entertained while waiting for rescue.

Nice article, props to Alvah, but doubtful in practice.

zz4gta 11-16-2012 04:31 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
The contents are good. Same bag could be brought onboard an airplane everytime you fly (just add a parachute). Lots of stuff but chances are you'll never use it. Even if you go over.

All waterproof:

visual signal device.

That should cover 90% of all people sailing. Offshore (which I'm assuming this article was about) a lot more stuff is nice. But things like a first aide kit and liferaft repair, need to be already packed into your liferaft before it inflates. So you throw it over, and it's already there. And that thing is going to be heavy. 1 gal of water is 7 lbs. This is the reason that racing regs make you place a liferaft in a place that you can deploy it in xx amount of seconds. Those things are like 70 lbs and you can't lift them up companionway steps in a seaway.

GeorgeB 11-16-2012 07:06 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
Interesting list. The “assembly” looks a little bulky and ungainly to me and I wonder where it would be stored and ease of deployment. For part of our Pac Cup safety inspection we had to demonstrate the ability to deploy the life raft in 90 seconds. No easy feat when it was an eight man weighing around a hundred pounds plus having to move the ditch bag up the companionway at the same time. Like others, we configure our ditch bag for current needs so the contents vary from time to time.

MarkofSeaLife 11-16-2012 07:42 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
1 Attachment(s)
Holey ducks bum! There's more equipment in that bag than my whole boat!

I bet Cruising World is gunna start selling that thing for thousands!

All the old salts are going to hammer me, but I don't rate getting in the life raft as a survival option. It's rank last in my mind and I'd prefer to scoop floating junk off the surface than have my emergency COmunications kit stuffed into my bag.
I am with killarney_sailor in that I want the EPIRB at the nav station, my handheld in the cockpit in its spot, HF receiver where I can use it each day, etc.

What I do have in my grab bag is all the out of date and wrong canned food I've bought.... Ummm In France I bought some tins of meat but when I got home and translated the label... :puke. Anyway I don't want to have to eat the stuff.
Bottled water, can openers etc, flares. That's about all. Oh, the stupid little mirror.

My first aid kit is very close, but not in it. My wetsuit is also close. That I want on before anything, even in the tropics.

So my grab bag is Not able to be grabbed in a mad rush... But few emergencies are that much of a mad rush. And as I said I will not rush into a liferaft.

To fill my grab bag would take only one minute. If I don't have that time then the situation would probably be fatal anyway.

If I threw the Cruising World grab bag into the liferaft it would sink it. :eek:


rockDAWG 11-16-2012 08:01 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
I agree, way too much good stuff for me. With the sailing I intend to do, I should be rescued within 5 days, if weather is bad, 10 days.

My ditch bag is small.
Manual water maker and plastic cup
Waterproof energy bars x 5
Mirror and dye
Fishing hooks and line, just give me something to do
Portable VHS, Eneloop batteries, solar charger (optional)
Emergency blanket and washcloth

With my fanny pack on me all the time, I will have sunglasses, WP iPhone, multi-tool, and other goodies.

I always prepare my ditch bag. Just like bringing an umbrella, it you have it, it will never rain. It works every time; my grand Mom said so. :D

MedSailor 11-16-2012 09:29 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
Looks good to me. Well thought out I think and I like that he addresses warmth. Protection from the sun/heat and the cold are important and often overlooked.

The only item I have a real issue with is the canned fish. Really? Hopefully you can catch fish and you won't want any more from the can. Also canned foods are too heavy and subject to corrosion. Additionally protein requires a lot of water to digest and carbohydrates will be scarce so you should pack as much carbohydrate and fat rich foods as possible.

If you recall, Steve Calahan's most useful tool was his spear gun. I would pack a Hawaiian sling myself.


PaulinVictoria 11-16-2012 10:50 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
I think if someone tried to read War & Peace to me in a liferaft then there would soon be one less person in said liferaft, and a lot more peace ;)

Capt.aaron 11-16-2012 11:01 PM

Re: The Complete Overboard Bag - Rate It
Would I want that bag if I was ditch'n?.. yes. Will I ever put something like that together? doubtful. I gave it a five because my lifeboat training and stcw endorsement say's I have to, but my actual ditch bag is Often a trash bag full of bottled water and some granola bars.

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