I don't know what kind of self steering
you have but consider a wind vane
that can double as an auxiliary rudder
. The majority of boat abandonment I've heard of are from rudder
failure. That's not to say it's common, but it's still the biggest reason I've personally seen for ditching a boat.
In our ditch bag, just off the top of my head
- we toss handheld VHF
in before the passage
in a ziplock, batteries out, batteries in a double ziplock bag nearby.
- MSR dromlite water bag
- signal mirror
- pedialyte dry mix (electrolytes, a bit of sugar)
- granola bars
other things I pack:
- cable clamps (not hose clamps). if a stay snaps at the deck
you can make a loop from the cable with the clamps.
- some spare amsteel / dyneema
. temporary rig supports.
- good knot
- the BIG edson
manual bilge pump
(1 gallon per stroke)
- a piece of stainless bar stock for making a spare chainplate. doesn't need to be pretty. cobalt bits to drill through, or drill some holes in it in advance. have fasteners.
- a thick piece of allthread, a thin piece of allthread. matching nylocs and washers.
- spare starter motor
, spare alternator
. you can get chinese knockoffs on ebay.
- keep 5 gallons of fresh water in a jerry jug and don't use it. put it in the back of the quarter berth.
I know we have more stuff onboard but honestly maintenance
and good sailing chops can really reduce your chances of problems. Have a clean and organized deck
, don't trip, plan out anything on deck (sail changes, anchoring
, etc) in advance and think of everything you'll need.