I think missing boat threads are an important part of our community. They are usually started by a cruiser friend who is concerned, or a family member
who is desperate to hear something...
As fellow cruisers we help if we can.
Basic safety equipment
is important, but use your brains and don't be 'guilted' into thinking you're an idiot if you don't have one of everything in the West Marine
... sextants? You're kidding. This is the 21st century. Learn celestial navigation
by all means as a hobby or interest.
Like most cruisers these days we have a chartplotter
We also have Open CPN
with the worlds maps as a back up, all free and we run it on an old laptop
worth maybe 50 bucks.
Sandy has an ipad
with an ap of some kind and she adds navionics charts
to it occasionally, so that's backup no.2
We do always carry paper charts
and have a hand held gps
and a bucket of batteries.
That's 4 totally independent systems as cheap
Eyes... nearly forgot... we use our eyes a lot.
I did decide to install an AIS
and it cost around $500.
Sandy and I do passages and it's just one more safety
item in case someone on watch should nod off. We've often seen ships altering course a few points while still way out.
It wasn't essential but its a 'nice to have' and beats hell out of a radar