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Discussion Starter #1
THere are many philosophies regarding cruising and, more so, circumnavigating. There are those that may tend to go over the top (much like myself, to admit honestly) where I want to travel in comfort and as much safety as possible. On the other side of the scale, is the "KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), Go smaller, go now" philosophy.

I would invite both the new and seasoned sailor into this discussion. I believe there should be some disclosure up front as to your sailing experience. It would add merit to your comments and philosophies. Your experience is not meant to remove the validity of your arguments... it is to help the discussion along.

Let's remember thgat we are all friends here and each person is granted his own opinions. Respect them and try to understand their point of view - whether you agree with them or not.

I would like this thread to be informative and a good guide to current and future sailors who wish to embarq on the dream of the deep blue.

Let's kick it off and have fun with it.

Brian
 

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After crunching the numbers in my head, the only over-riding philosophy for going bluewater to me would mean get a boat thats either:

1) Paid for/off completely (cash)
2) Pay for the boat with home-equity or other sources of cash

If you're going to buy a bluewater boat, even those as storied as Valiants, will require you to have insurance and all the associated restrictions/covenants that go along with it. Bluewater insurance on a boat thats got a note on it is prohibitively expensive.

Now, if you get a boat with cash or home equity - there's a certain aspect of "self insurance" that goes along with it. Have enough equity on top of it to be able to limp back home if something happens to your bluewater yacht.
 

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Circumnavigating I don't get or understand. It has been done so many times now. Saying I want to sail to Spain and then Greece and maybe Africa, I do understand. Circumnavigating seems more like something people say when they don't know where they really want to go, me I rather sail to Spain then Greece and then ......
 

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At this point in my super-newb career, I honestly have no desire at all to circumnav. I like the idea of coastal cruising and island hopping - and maybe a crossing at some point. And that's what I'm working up toward.

But I'm with Free - I just want to have some destinations and get to them as safely as possible - then drink.
 

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Well on OP big race boats

I have never gone more than 48+ hours non-stop (3 to 4 hour watches) BUT it was a whole lot of distance races over a 3 season time frame and it was really intense with there being no such thing as a weather window

If it stopped blowing we anchored if it blew 50 double reef and Kevlar #3 and we got really freaking wet.

On my own J24 which we bought when we were twenty something's it was picked because it could sail well and it has 4 places to sleep.

It was equipped with a boom tent for the rain a curtain around the porta potty and two solar shower bags tied around the mast base to get clean.

I really cant tell you how many weekends myself wife and her twin sister and husband spent camping on the boat but it was a lot as the Jamesport to Montauk area was hard to get bored with.

In the present i bought a another J24 because a J80 cost to much :) and the J80 mast is a bit to tall to step yourself and we still refuse to put up with being held hostage to the Long Island boat yard Mafia.

I still like doing foredeck on big race boats and you cant pay me to camp in a J24 anymore


And anything more than a good 200 mile race is still more than enough time on a boat for me :)
 

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My personal philosophy on cruising/circumnavigating/bluewater sailing is admittedly largely based on my anticipated budget. Obviously if I had unlimited funds I'd opt for a big Oyster with air, heat, refer, radars, watermakers, RIB's, lifeboat, solar/wind/diesel generators, hotwater, SSB, autopilot, sat phone, redundant chartplotting GPS's, and just about any other piece of fluff available.

However, the reality is that I don't (and won't) have an unlimited budget. If I ever circumnavigate or make a major bluewater trip it will likely be in an "old shoe" that can be had for less than $75k (read Westsail 32/28, Southern Cross 31, Baba 30/35, PSC 27/31 Mariah, etc.). My techno and safety must-haves will be a liferaft, windvane steering, at least two GPS units, solar panels, plentiful tankage, raincatch system, and likely an SSB (perhaps only receiver). I'm with the Pardey's when they say "go small, go now". If I wait for the fully loaded Osyter with all the cozy comforts, I'll never go.

As has been said many times by many long-distance cruisers: The extra fluff on a boat doesn't make the scenary in Hiva Oa any prettier or the wildlife in the Galapagos any more exotic or the weather any better in the Seychelles. In fact, I've heard many bluewater cruisers say their only regret is not having cast off the lines sooner in life. My goal is to make the adventure happen before my kids are too old to not want to come along.
 

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I started sailing my own boat in 1991 after taking basic1,2, and coastal ASA on S.F. Bay. 18 months later I left alone with my ex-wife standing on the dock. I sailed as far as Cabo, and back alone. I also did a sail over to P.V. Mexico with one crew. My wife to P.V., and a friend back to Cabo. Frolic is a 30ft. Columbia shoal draft.

I was of the mindset of go now, and go with the minimum. I stayed a total of 5 months in Mexico. While Frolic stayed 2 years. I flew in, and out as I earned money. I was 41, fit, poor, enthusiastic, and life was grand.

After returning to S.F. I stumbled around from job to job, and eventually opened my own business. The business was a huge success, and after 5 years I sold out. I bought Imagine in St. Maarten in 02. In 03 I, and my new wife with only 2 afternoons of sailing flew to St. Maarten to board Imagine.
A friend joined us, and we three sailed for Florida. Over the next 4 years my wife, and I have managed Imagine alone. Sailing the east coast of Florida, and months at a time in the Bahamas using South Beach as a hub.

For nearly 3 years now I have been back to work. Last June we took the month off, and raced to Miami, Acklin Island, and back to Jax Florida. Hopefully SOON I will quit work, and we will sail for the Philippines.

I put 4k miles on Frolic alone going to, and from Mexcio. I weathered 50+ mph winds around Point Conception with 20ft. + seas. I hand steered for 48 hours trying to beat up the coast of Mexico when the autopilot failed. I was thrown across Frolic's salon, and my head split open in a storm. I was thrown from her deck in yet another storm only to be drug back up onto the house by my harness. It was a strong learning curve, but all it did was deepen my desire to sail.

We have sailed Imagine nearly 10k miles in the areas described. We have seen 40 mph winds from every direction a boat can sail in. Imagine is a cold molded 46ft. cat built in Berlin by the Schmidt boatyard in conjuction with the original owner.

She has so much storage we can't fill it. She is approximently 15k pounds according to the designer Roger Simpson. The surveyor told me she was strong enough to break icebergs. I don't plan on testing his opinions although sometime in my life she may see icebergs. One never knows where life will take them.

Imagine is a speed demon compared to Frolic. We have managed 450 miles in in 48 hours. The last part of the trip from West Palm to Miami we crawled with one hull on the beach fighting the Stream. Imagine is palacial compared to Frolic. My first 4 years on Imagine I didn't work.

So here I have had 2 boats. One slow, and with the minimum of comfort as compared to the other. 2 different scenarios, one being broke, and the other with money. I can say this about Frolic, and being broke. The sunsets were as pretty. The chilled beer was just as tasty. I was younger, and could tolerate more discomfort.

My body aches, and my nimbleness is not so nimble anymore. I want more comfort, and I was able to afford it. Imagine sails flat all the time, and things stay in place. As you can see I have experienced both. All I can suggest is to just go. Go when you can, and with what you have. You can always make more money, but you can't make more time. This hits me hard especially right now. A friend of 40 years died yesterday at the age of 55. I have lived my life with no what ifs. I have not regretted living in this way.

We all get through life differently. We all have different needs, and wants. I worry that if I had waited until I could have afforded Imagine. It may not have happened. You see it was Frolic that made me focused. It was the being thrown overboard, my head split open, and all the discomforts in sailing that made me focused, and to become successful. Many of my friends call the trip on Frolic a failure. I call it a success, and an adventure that deepened the desire to sail. Go with what you have, and while you have your health.......BEST WISHES in sailing into adventure......i2f
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My disclosure:

I have been sailing "large boats" for approximately 15 years or so now. I have sailed in Galveston through the shipping channel, off the coast of California, I have been offshore from Oxnard to Catalina Island and San Diego. About 8-9 years ago, I moved to S Florida with my wife and young child. We lived aboard and cruised about every inch of land including considerable time in the Tortugas. At this point I have 2 children, Chase is now 8 about to turn 9, Glen is 5. We spend almost every weekend on our Catalina 400 on Lake Texmoa, about 100 yards from where they lay up Valiant Yachts. My parents, who did some cruising with us (especially dad), have purchased a Tayana 42. We work together on both boats, so I can comfortably say that I am as knowledgeable of a Tayana 42 as I am my 400, my 380, and not as much as other boats I have sailed.

My philosophy is safety and "comfort". I do not believe in purchasing every gadget known to man, but I have found many of the modern "gadgets" add a level of safety and comfort which I will not leave home without. I also believe that they have made further destinations/shores within the reach of more people that otherwise might never have considered them.

The items I feel are essential to cruising are:

1) SSB - I have to be able to have some link of communication and be able to get weather information. You lose that about 20-25 miles offshore with only a VHF. Also, the ability to email is a cheap way to stay in touch with family and friends back home.

2) Radar - I doubt there is a piece of equipment on my boat I value more than radar. I remember one time in particular when coming in from Catalina Island and being RUN OVER by all the frieghters. Several changed their course at the last second (or so it appeared to us at the helm). THey are litterally on you in minutes. But even more so, it allows me to see markers when coming into a harbor at night, it allows me to watch for other, smaller boats, it can track the rain storms and how then are moving, and gives you eyes in the fog or when visibility is poor. I would NOT go crusiing without radar unless I never left sight of land.

3) Chartplotter. I MIGHT go cruising without a chartplotter, but it would be out of neccessity. The value in a CP cannot be overestimated. It allows you to consistently know exactly wher eyou are and if nothing else to verify your bearings that you have plotted on paper. It makes night navigation vastly easier and safer. It allows you to set in waypoints arnd areas of danger. It allows you to plot courses to minimize your passages. I do not consider it a toy for those too lazy to plot on paper - nor do I put all my trust in it. I do plot on paper every 30mins offshore. I have had them fail twice on me (once I think to lightning... to be fair). Still, it is a great safety and convenience tool. I agree with those who believe that it is too heavily relied on, but it has many positives which make it pretty hard to leave home for me.

4) Autopilot. If youa re going to do any long distance sailing, I cannot imagine going without a windvane or autopilot (the latter having both its positives and negatives). I believe one of the two is a must. A windvane is prefered by many offshore sailors as it requires no power and does better in storms. The autopilot is preferred by many because it account for XTE and interfaces with a Chartplotter to make passages a breeze. They each have their positives and negatives, not to mention costs.

5) EPIRB. Don't leave home without it.

6) Solar/Wind generation. You are required to run lights at night, your electronics draw considerable power, even the bilge pump will pull 5 amps/day. Since most boats are limited in their capacity to incorporate many batteries (with 2-4-D's being typical), you have about 24-48 hours max without power regeneration of some type. Solar and wind can vastly increase the amount of time away from mechanical power generation. We did not have solar or wind on our 380, but we had a diesel generator. Solar is better - much better.

7) Refrigeration. This is not a necessity. I understand that. But I want to enjoy my time at sea, and not live off of dried foods and can foods. I want to enjoy my time at anchor (where you spend 99% of your time) as the same.

8) Tankage. Lots of it, both water and fuel. Each person must consume in water 1/2 gallon-day in normal circumstances or you will dehydrate. However, when sitting in the hot sun of the tropics or working a winch or doing other strenuous activities, that number will go up considerably. You also have to have some water to cook. You have to have some water to wash your hands before cooking and hopefully after you use the restroom. You have to use your main for power regeneration and to motor through some storms and to get off a lee shore, and to go down the ICW, etc. Tankage has to be a serious concern.

9) Boat. I believe a boat should be comfortable down below. It is your home, not a weekend vacation where roughing it is fine. It has to have a lot of room for storage of goods and spare parts. I believe in a well-performing boat, boat one that can take a beating in the 5% storms you will encounter. We can discuss this in more depth later.

10) Room for a tender. I believe you must have a tender. We ended putting countelss miles on ours. I think the resano for this should be obvious.

This is not my complete list, but it is a start. It gives you a good idea of my philosophies and what I believe a cruiser (especially a circum) should take. I would apprecaite other's thoughts.

- CD
 

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My disclosure:

I have been sailing "large boats" for approximately 15 years or so now. I have sailed in Galveston through the shipping channel, off the coast of California, I have been offshore from Oxnard to Catalina Island and San Diego. About 8-9 years ago, I moved to S Florida with my wife and young child. We lived aboard and cruised about every inch of land including considerable time in the Tortugas. At this point I have 2 children, Chase is now 8 about to turn 9, Glen is 5. We spend almost every weekend on our Catalina 400 on Lake Texmoa, about 100 yards from where they lay up Valiant Yachts. My parents, who did some cruising with us (especially dad), have purchased a Tayana 42. We work together on both boats, so I can comfortably say that I am as knowledgeable of a Tayana 42 as I am my 400, my 380, and not as much as other boats I have sailed.

My philosophy is safety and "comfort". I do not believe in purchasing every gadget known to man, but I have found many of the modern "gadgets" add a level of safety and comfort which I will not leave home without. I also believe that they have made further destinations/shores within the reach of more people that otherwise might never have considered them.

The items I feel are essential to cruising are:

1) SSB - I have to be able to have some link of communication and be able to get weather information. You lose that about 20-25 miles offshore with only a VHF. Also, the ability to email is a cheap way to stay in touch with family and friends back home.

2) Radar - I doubt there is a piece of equipment on my boat I value more than radar. I remember one time in particular when coming in from Catalina Island and being RUN OVER by all the frieghters. Several changed their course at the last second (or so it appeared to us at the helm). THey are litterally on you in minutes. But even more so, it allows me to see markers when coming into a harbor at night, it allows me to watch for other, smaller boats, it can track the rain storms and how then are moving, and gives you eyes in the fog or when visibility is poor. I would NOT go crusiing without radar unless I never left sight of land.

3) Chartplotter. I MIGHT go cruising without a chartplotter, but it would be out of neccessity. The value in a CP cannot be overestimated. It allows you to consistently know exactly wher eyou are and if nothing else to verify your bearings that you have plotted on paper. It makes night navigation vastly easier and safer. It allows you to set in waypoints arnd areas of danger. It allows you to plot courses to minimize your passages. I do not consider it a toy for those too lazy to plot on paper - nor do I put all my trust in it. I do plot on paper every 30mins offshore. I have had them fail twice on me (once I think to lightning... to be fair). Still, it is a great safety and convenience tool. I agree with those who believe that it is too heavily relied on, but it has many positives which make it pretty hard to leave home for me.

4) Autopilot. If youa re going to do any long distance sailing, I cannot imagine going without a windvane or autopilot (the latter having both its positives and negatives). I believe one of the two is a must. A windvane is prefered by many offshore sailors as it requires no power and does better in storms. The autopilot is preferred by many because it account for XTE and interfaces with a Chartplotter to make passages a breeze. They each have their positives and negatives, not to mention costs.

5) EPIRB. Don't leave home without it.

6) Solar/Wind generation. You are required to run lights at night, your electronics draw considerable power, even the bilge pump will pull 5 amps/day. Since most boats are limited in their capacity to incorporate many batteries (with 2-4-D's being typical), you have about 24-48 hours max without power regeneration of some type. Solar and wind can vastly increase the amount of time away from mechanical power generation. We did not have solar or wind on our 380, but we had a diesel generator. Solar is better - much better.

7) Refrigeration. This is not a necessity. I understand that. But I want to enjoy my time at sea, and not live off of dried foods and can foods. I want to enjoy my time at anchor (where you spend 99% of your time) as the same.

8) Tankage. Lots of it, both water and fuel. Each person must consume in water 1/2 gallon-day in normal circumstances or you will dehydrate. However, when sitting in the hot sun of the tropics or working a winch or doing other strenuous activities, that number will go up considerably. You also have to have some water to cook. You have to have some water to wash your hands before cooking and hopefully after you use the restroom. You have to use your main for power regeneration and to motor through some storms and to get off a lee shore, and to go down the ICW, etc. Tankage has to be a serious concern.

9) Boat. I believe a boat should be comfortable down below. It is your home, not a weekend vacation where roughing it is fine. It has to have a lot of room for storage of goods and spare parts. I believe in a well-performing boat, boat one that can take a beating in the 5% storms you will encounter. We can discuss this in more depth later.

10) Room for a tender. I believe you must have a tender. We ended putting countelss miles on ours. I think the resano for this should be obvious.

This is not my complete list, but it is a start. It gives you a good idea of my philosophies and what I believe a cruiser (especially a circum) should take. I would apprecaite other's thoughts.

- CD
Are you changing the original question ? What your saying now is more what equipment you need to go cruising.
 

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Good list CD. Well thought out.

How do you feel about life rafts?

I'm still not sold on radar as a necessity. I agree they are a nice luxury. However, they draw a lot of power when active. And the shipping lane example you gave about the ships bearing down on you and changing course at the last moment was because they were using radar, not because you were. So a radar REFLECTOR might be more valuable as a safety tool, though I've heard their effectiveness is debateable too.

I'm on the fence with EPIRB's too for circumnavigating and bluewater passagemaking. I believe that if you choose to circumnavigate and/or make a major bluewater passage you need to be fully confident in your sailing and survival skills and not rely one bit on rescue from others. If your EPIRB signal is being emitted, you've encountered a major problem and you're likely too far from help for it to matter in the immediate future. But I could be wrong. I'm a bit jaded about EPIRB's after having read Steve Callahan's book Adrift. His EPIRB didn't help and he was constantly rationing it's battery life.
 

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Cynthia and I are relative newbies to sailing. Our goal is to learrn the ropes here in the Chesapeake, cruise the East Coast, then maybe do some island hopping. Sane people would say that we are too old, we don't have enough money, our boat is older than our kids, and that it's nowhere near capable of crossing an ocean. So be it. We say we're not getting any younger, there is never enough money so we are lowering our expectations, the old boat keeps the water on the outside, I can pretty much fix everything else. And we're not planning to cross any oceans. So we are going, as soon as we can, with whatever we have on hand at the time.
 

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Well

Saftey stuff and when you wear it is mandated on race boats buy the A B C that defines the risk of a race from a day sail in a bay to open water

And the amount of training and required stuff is going up every year to the point of boats no longer being able to afford the required stuff
 

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Go with what you have, and while you have your health.......BEST WISHES in sailing into adventure......i2f
I'm not sure why this discussion between going now or waiting until we can afford something better keeps coming up. Why would we treat sailing any differently than other aspects of life. We didn't wait until we could afford a Cadilac before we bought our first car. If we waited for the perfect mate to come along we'd all be single. I don't imagine Smack waited til he could afford fine aged scotch before he took his first drink......anyway, the point is, we all love to sail or we wouldn't be here. As with everything else in life, our choices in sailing equipment is always going to be a tradeoff between what we can afford and where and how we want to sail. The amount we can afford will always dictate the where and how somewhat but it shouldn't dictate whether or not we go at all. As to whether we subscribe to the KISS theory or have to have all the bells and whistles on our boats probably has more to with personalities than economics. Even with inexpensive dinghies there is a wide range of how they are outfitted and where their skippers are willing to take them. Some of us like to push the envelope and some of us like to stay neatly sealed inside. Niether is wrong

Sorry, CD, You were probably thinking more in terms of actual outfitting when you started the thread but you did use the "P" word (philosophy) and that gives me license.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
There are no wrong answer in this thread as I think they all relate to each other.

The philosophy I am talking about is much about the equipment, as the comfort level, as the safety comfort level, as the boat. Your philosophy on cruising and where your comfort level is.

SOMe adhere to the get me out there on the water asap, I will take minimal precautions with my life and live very meagerly. If the ship goes down, she goes down. On the other end of the spectrum is the: I want every device known to mankind for safety and where is my satelite television!! I have seen both.

It is also a discussion of gear. What gear do you feel is an absolute mandatory? What is optional? What would you not take if it was given to you?

It is your philosophy on cruising, and in reality on life. I think it would be interesting to see different people's philosophy on this matter and how that affected their choices in what they took, their regrets, and what they would change looking back. For example, we did not have a watermaker. We REALLY rationed water. It was kinda tough with a kid, but we managed. Now, looking back, I would get a watermaker if at all possible. Same with an SSB... having that free communication with the outside world would sure have been nice!!!!

On the other hand, we invested in a diesel generator. In all disclosure, I have done so again. but I learned that we really did not run her that much (but when we did, MAN WAS IT NICE!!!). Where before I went I prioritized a generator high on my list so that I could sit in the Tortugas of the World and have Air conditining (like I assume deveryone else did), I get there and you really don't need it. We would run it to charge the batts or cool off the boat when it was raining, but that was about it unless we were feeling really adventurous!!!!!

What are other's thought?? I would like to here Imagine2Frolic's too. That would be a great perspective (from a cheap ole mulithuller... but we won't hold that against him!!).

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Good list CD. Well thought out.

How do you feel about life rafts?

I'm still not sold on radar as a necessity. I agree they are a nice luxury. However, they draw a lot of power when active. And the shipping lane example you gave about the ships bearing down on you and changing course at the last moment was because they were using radar, not because you were. So a radar REFLECTOR might be more valuable as a safety tool, though I've heard their effectiveness is debateable too.

I'm on the fence with EPIRB's too for circumnavigating and bluewater passagemaking. I believe that if you choose to circumnavigate and/or make a major bluewater passage you need to be fully confident in your sailing and survival skills and not rely one bit on rescue from others. If your EPIRB signal is being emitted, you've encountered a major problem and you're likely too far from help for it to matter in the immediate future. But I could be wrong. I'm a bit jaded about EPIRB's after having read Steve Callahan's book Adrift. His EPIRB didn't help and he was constantly rationing it's battery life.
Unless you have no value for your own life and do not care for the feelings of the family you leave behind, you have a responsibility to carry an EPIRB and take the basic precautions to preserve your life as you can. That is my philosophy. Other may differ, but I doubt few people that even go out without an EPIRB would not have pulled it when their ship went down. Keep that in mind.

Regarding the Liferaft, I will show you a pic:



I had it and hated lugging that thing around. It was a $5,000 pain in the but. But I have kids and I have a responsibility to them to do everything possible to be safe. If I wer eprimarily coastal, NO WAY I would buy it. THey are expensive, require lots of maintenance, are hard to see by, etc. Still, it is one of those things that you look back on and say, "Man am I glad I wasted $5,000 on that and never even used it." The alternative ain't so pretty.

Regarding the Radar Reflector, in my opinion, it should be required of EVERY boat that leave goes to sea, right along with life jackets. They are not expensive and can save multiple lives and property. I did not include everything in my list - but that was especially an oversight.

Brian
 

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Good list CD. Well thought out.

How do you feel about life rafts?

I'm still not sold on radar as a necessity. I agree they are a nice luxury. However, they draw a lot of power when active. And the shipping lane example you gave about the ships bearing down on you and changing course at the last moment was because they were using radar, not because you were. So a radar REFLECTOR might be more valuable as a safety tool, though I've heard their effectiveness is debateable too.

I'm on the fence with EPIRB's too for circumnavigating and bluewater passagemaking. I believe that if you choose to circumnavigate and/or make a major bluewater passage you need to be fully confident in your sailing and survival skills and not rely one bit on rescue from others. If your EPIRB signal is being emitted, you've encountered a major problem and you're likely too far from help for it to matter in the immediate future. But I could be wrong. I'm a bit jaded about EPIRB's after having read Steve Callahan's book Adrift. His EPIRB didn't help and he was constantly rationing it's battery life.

I see where you and CD are coming from, for what Steve Callahan was doing the EPIRB was useless because he was in the absolute middle of the ocean, if you are within a few hundred miles of shore you have a way way way better chance of being picked up. My grandmother used to own a southern cross 35 or 39 and was on her way from Bermuda to NY to visit. I was too young to remember but my dad got a phone call asking if my grandmother was supposed to be pulling her EPIRB and if he was aware she was in trouble, we did not so they sent a Greek freighter to pick 'em up. With out that EPIRB they could have easily lost there livee, my grandmother and step-grandfather. He was sick and she knew nothing about the diesel which had failed them. But you cannot live life with out a little risk. If everyone was too cautious Smacky would not have any BFS to read and there would be no thrill in sailing IMHO. I think you have to find the perfect balance between being over equipped and overly cautious which can take the fun out of certain things. But if you are under equipped such as an ocean crossing with only food and water and sails which is why people get killed. But then again this isn't a veteran blue water sailor that is saying these things.
 

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One of are big ones is a MOB pole that has to have a fast launch mount on the stern


A full crew PLB system (personal location beacon) requirement has become a hot topic as a high cost requirement
 

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I'm on the fence about the life raft. We won't be going very far off shore. The longest I anticipate would be Cape May NJ to Block Island RI. We'll wait for settled weather when doing that. Perhaps across the Bay of Maine to Nova Scotia. Other than that, all island hopping, coastal cruising. Yea, anything can happen but what are the chances of really needing it. EPIRB, yes for sure.
 

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With 3 summers of lake sailing under my belt, I bought Aria. Since that time, I have gone (with crew) from Texas to Tampa, and since then, I have been singlehanding (from Tampa as far north as Annapolis, back to the Keys and then back to North Carolina). No offshore, or even coastal experience (tides, currents), nor any training. What I had, was a desire to do what I wanted, as much in the manner I wanted to, as possible.

I could have waited a few more years, had more money (and wouldn't have to be working right now), but I would have lost those 3 years, as well as not met all the folks that I have as I've traveled. For myself, this is what I want to do, until I'm unable to do it any longer. As my first signature line said:

Within a dream, we may live a fantasy,
But never within a fantasy, will we live a dream.

That pretty well sums up my philosophy.
 
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