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JodyKS 03-09-2007 10:47 AM

Brand new to sailing... what is necessary gear?
My husband and I have a Macgregor 22, it is our first sailboat.. and we recently leased a dock on a lake in Kansas, (Cheney). My question is what gear is necessary to safely dock and sail... I know about the life jackets & 4 dock lines and a few bumpers... but what else would/might be necessary for our first time sailing...


sailhog 03-09-2007 11:05 AM

You might want to have a friend with some sailing experience take a look at your boat and give you some advice. It's going to be hard for anyone online to tell you what you need. Sailing isn't much fun when you're frustrated out of your mind. And the idea is to have fun...

goose327 03-09-2007 11:16 AM

Welcome Jody. Not sure what your'e looking for but hogs advice is good. Talk to the other sailors moored around you, read all you can on here(and the other sailing sites), and ALWAYS have fun. Patience, and a "I'm here 'cuz it's fun" attitude is all you need for now,, the rest will come. Also, check with
they'll have all the info on safety and outfitting for your area.

nolatom 03-09-2007 11:53 AM

Beyond the required safety gear mentioned above, you might find a boathook handy, and maybe 2 more dock lines to act as spring lines (depending on how the boat fits the slip). Don't know your lake, but maybe a compass and a chart. And just in case, a portable VHF radio is not a bad idea.

Best idea might be to bring an experienced sailor along, whose tips about sail trim, weight placement, etc, etc, might get you off to the best start.

saladpe 03-09-2007 12:32 PM

If you can't find a friend to teach you, I think you should consider reading a beginners book or two before anything. Well before you even get to sailing, you'll basically need to be able to operate your Macgregor 22 as a motorboat. Is your battery charged so that you can you start the engine? Do you have fuel? Can you shift it into neutral, reverse? Can you control the throttle so you can increase or decrease speed? There are no breaks on a boat (!), so you'll need to have a good understanding of how you thrust the engine in reverse to slow the boat so you don't smash into your rented dock space. Sailing books like Sailing for Dummies should also discuss how to leave the dock and return.

You should consider bringing an anchor and anchor line with you in case you have problems returning to the least you'll be able to park the boat and won't have to panic. Definitely bring a VHF or at least a cell phone.

And suncreen :)

sailingdog 03-09-2007 03:32 PM

PFDs, Flares, throwable PFD or cushion, air horn or some other type of horn, fire extinguishers (at least 2), throwing rope, compass, charts, VHF are all good ideas... also a good strong flashlight, and warm clothing...especially if you accidentally fall in.

An excellent book to sink your teeth into is David Seidman's The Complete Sailor.

The stuff in bold is USCG required, the other stuff is optional.

Oh, last thing... a nice breezy day... say 10-15 knots of wind... less than that is no fun...more than that is no fun for a first timer...

TrueBlue 03-09-2007 03:35 PM

If your boat doesn't have a means to get aboard from the water, a folding gunnel mount access ladder will be more than a convenience if someone falls overboard, or you simply want to swim off the boat.

sailortjk1 03-09-2007 04:44 PM

Not that it has anything to do with equipment, (I'm jumping ahead a little bit) but, the article section of this site has some outstanding information for first time sailors.

The first thing you need to learn are the different points of sail and sail trim. (That is assuming you can make it off the dock: I guess that would be the first thing you need to learn)

One thing that some new sailors don't realize is that you can't straight into the wind. I have no idea how new you are, but this is lesson number one, or maybe lesson number two after you have left the dock.

Its amazing how many people we see out sailing, that never trim thier sails. Raise the Main, Raise the jib, sheet them in a little, and were done. Sure the boat is moving, but its not moving very effeciently.

Sorry, I left the equipment question and jumped ahead, go out have fun, make mistakes, and learn. But first do some basic reading on sail trim and points of sail.

sailingdog 03-09-2007 04:48 PM


One thing that some new sailors don't realize is that you can't straight into the wind. I have no idea how new you are, but this is lesson number one, or maybe lesson number two after you have left the dock.
But it is so much more fun to let them figure this out for least for the people watching... ;)

taandel 03-09-2007 04:54 PM

When I got my boat it had no running lights on it. I found that I wante those on right away to be seen in twilight. An Anchor & Rode plus a ladder to board from the water are great suggestions. Finally, a horn (even a handheld air horn) will help safety.

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