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Old 19-01-2015, 09:46   #16
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Boat parts are the big thing that comes to mind. Some things you may seldom use such as fuel filters you can go through quickly if you get bad fuel or stir up all that stuff normally sitting happily on the bottom of your tank. Being in need of such a thing in a foreign country, where nobody has it locally can turn into a major headache. Belts, impellers, filters, spare wire, hose, hose clamps, bulbs, plugs, etc.

The more time you spend on board, the more sense it makes to get power from sources other than your engine such as solar and wind.

For coastal in warm water, I personally don't feel a need for a life raft if I have an inflated tender, but I think everyone needs to assess their own situation, budget and risk.

Certainly, jacklines, harnesses, tethers, etc.

Communications - how will you stay in touch with people back home, get weather reports, etc.
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:00   #17
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

We are leaving this October for this same trip. Here are some of my thoughts.

Engine
I spent a lot of time over the last 4 years getting my engine dialed in and reliable. This was a big thing for me because we plan on the using the ICW. Also, our diesel engine is going to be one of our means for generating electricity.

Sails and Rigging
Everything is original on our 14 year old boat. I had the sails looked over and restitched where necessary by the guy in Quincy. It cost about $1,000 total for everything. I think he was a little high (that's why I am not using his name but since you are local I presume you know who it is). We are going to get a spool of line for new sheets and halyards. I have started learning to do my own splicing. We will fix along the way when needed.

We also plan to get the standing rigging inspected this spring. I don't think we will have any repairs there but you never know.

Electronics
We have an older chartplotter with radar built in. We only use it for the radar. We use an iPad for navigation. We just got a small sponsorship from Navionics in the form of a Sonarphone that will add depth sounding and fish finding to our iPad. That will be installed this spring.

We have a standard VHF with DSC but no AIS. We might upgrade it but at over $300 for a setup with a RAM mic I doubt it.

We have an SSB receiver (cheap Sony one for under $100 used). We can get the cruiser net, Chris Parker Weather and weather fax. A friend has an SSB radio for us but it's older and used. We might take it and install it later.

Solar
Just ordered 200 watts of semi-flex solar panels. Should be here today actually. We are doing this upgrade in two parts. 200 watts now and we can add another 200 watts later.

12 Volt DC System
We already upgraded this system extensively with new batteries, a revised charging and distribution system, LED lights, etc. We don't have an inverter now but will likely add one before we go or along the way.

Ground Tackle
We have a 35 lb Manson Supreme (oversized by 2 based on the sizing charts) as a primary anchor with 30 feet of chain and 250 feet of rope. Will probably add another 60 feet of chain along the way. We have a secondary anchor, 25 lb danforth, with 30 feet of chain and 200 feet of rope in the anchor locker as well. We have a 50 lb folding fisherman's anchor with 30 feet of chain and 250 feet of rope as a storm anchor. We have a FX-11 Fortress for a stern anchor, rhode and setup to be added this spring. I had two other anchors but ended up taking them off and selling them.

Dingy
We went expensive here and got an aluminum hull RIB. We have a Nissan 9.8 hp 2-stroke for that. We are very comfortable with this setup. The dingy will be inflated and strapped to the deck during passages. This would be our liferaft if need be.

Tools and Spares
We have been doing all of our own work on Smitty since we purchased her. This gives us a big advantage of knowing what we need in way of tools and spares. I developed an inventory for these items and we will carry enough to get us through 2 years give or take. I don't plan on carrying things like spare starters or alternators because we won't be too far out where we won't be able to get those things. I will have a rebuild kit for things like the alternator and water pumps.

Safety Equipment
We have jacklines, tethers, harnesses, life jacket's etc. Most of the standard stuff. Got all of it at the marine consignment shops in Fall River, Rhode Island and Mystic, CT for fractions of the cost.

We've talked about some other upgrades like a watermaker and a 12 volt freezer/fridge. But we decided to just go and see if we need it. The $3-4K for a watermaker will buy a lot of water. We can carry 35 gallons of usable water in our tanks and that usually gets us a week. We will add another 10 gallons in Jerry Cans. Same with diesel and gasoline. Given our cruising plans it won't be too difficult to change our mind on these things and add them while cruising.

This plan isn't as low budget as many in the $500 a month crowd but it's not as big as the $5,000 a month crowd. We feel its a step above camping but not quite like living in a waterfront condo either. It's a good balance for us. More importantly, it's a balance we both are willing to live with.

Hope to see you out there.

Good luck and fairs winds,

Jesse
s/v Smitty

P.S. saw you posted on SBO too. Just responded here because its more of a cruising question.
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:30   #18
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

For me its anchoring arrangments; several anchors each with chain and a powerful windlass, followed by self-steering - autopilot in my case.
After those two and in particular order: solar panels and a 12v water maker (Spectre). Good refrigeration makes proviosioning so much easier. We do not carry a liferaft but have a fully kitted out dinghy with its own drogue. A weatherproof hand held VHF and a SW receiver (tranciever better). Some disagree but with four children we also have a washing machine! We always carry a drogue and actually get to use it more than we thought we would. There is a stack more, but it all starts becoming conjecture without knowing more.
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:30   #19
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
We have a standard VHF with DSC but no AIS. We might upgrade it but at over $300 for a setup with a RAM mic I doubt it.
The $300 price floor for a NMEA 2000 VHF with wireless RAM and AIS receiver has been broken. Although for the ICW, I might make an AIS transponder a higher priority. The conventional wisdom seems to be that receive-only is acceptable for coastal cruising and transponder for offshore, but I feel like the more confined the waterway the more chances I want to give the other guy to see me coming - especially with blind corners.
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:42   #20
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

I'm surprised at people considering their inflatable dinghy a life raft. Particularly when it is lashed upside down on deck. I'm assuming these people have not been in any bad conditions before - and certainly not in a dinghy? There is no way an inflatable dinghy less than ~16' heavy RIB will be stable in any real seastate. I have seen dinghies flip in anchorage chop. We have a 300lb 12' RIB ready to deploy on davits that I don't consider usable as a liferaft in heavy seas. I have had it out in lesser conditions where it requires active driving to keep upright.

We don't have a liferaft, and would attempt to use the dinghy if absolutely necessary, but not count on it. However, that brings me to the point of EPIRB's. For the OP's route and area, SAR response will be measured in minutes - possibly a couple of hours at most. If the ship is definitely going down, early use of the EPIRB while attempting to keep the boat afloat - with possible short deployment to dinghy if it sinks - should be sufficient.

You will not need to spend days in a life raft, but you will need an EPIRB. Thinking a VHF is sufficient is silly - you can be out of VHF contact just on the ICW - even with DSC. You will for sure being spending pretty much every passage outside of VHF contact of anything. Then there is the issue of physical and electronic damage of the VHF system - relying on a backup handheld will limit you to a mile or so range.

There are a lot of possible safety items I would consider optional for this type of cruise, but an EPIRB is not one of them.

Mark
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:55   #21
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Compared to some of the equipment being discussed here, the cost of an EPIRB is peanuts.
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:57   #22
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

So much doom and gloom. I spent a couple of minutes making the following that I will add to during the next year to check and consider the items:

Autopilot
Chart plotter/gps/charts
VHF
Engine filters and oil
Various electrical connectors and wire
Good primary anchor & secondary back-up
All normal safety items (vests, flares etc.)
Couple good flashlights
Good dinghy and outboard
Way to charge batteries other than main engine
Refrigeration
Good batteries before leaving US
Dodger and bimini/sun shade
Cockpit cushions and outside pillows
Extra fenders and dock lines
BBQ
Good mattress
Good cookware
Music
Way to watch a movie once in a while
Non-raggy sails
At least 50 gal fuel tankage/storage
At least 100 gal water tankage/storage
Curtains
Fans
Heat
Good company
Good salon cushions
Board/card games
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Old 19-01-2015, 10:59   #23
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

I am amazed that a participant of this site with over 8,600 posts would feel the need to ask this question, and especially to ask it in such an open-ended manner. Seems like you would have picked this up along the way. I have seen this question posted many many times but not surprised by when posted by cruiser newbies. Not meaning to be rude but I am amazed.

You should at least have, or planning to have, or at least identified and considered, the basics like a life raft, ditch bag, radar, tools, med kit, and such. I do think you should be more specific or at least list what you do have or plan to have so the community wouldn't have to just throw out a big list of stuff that you already have.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:09   #24
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm surprised at people considering their inflatable dinghy a life raft. Particularly when it is lashed upside down on deck. I'm assuming these people have not been in any bad conditions before - and certainly not in a dinghy? There is no way an inflatable dinghy less than ~16' heavy RIB will be stable in any real seastate. I have seen dinghies flip in anchorage chop. We have a 300lb 12' RIB ready to deploy on davits that I don't consider usable as a liferaft in heavy seas. I have had it out in lesser conditions where it requires active driving to keep upright.
Did those RIBs that flipped have any weight in them? I could see this for an empty RIB but not one with people and gear in it.

As you said, you don't have a liferaft cruising the same ground as the OP stated. It's not a necessity.

Personally, I got the idea from the often cited Atom Voyages when they delivered a Catalina 320 from Georgia to St. Thomas traveling offshore.

Quote:
you will need an EPIRB. Thinking a VHF is sufficient is silly - you can be out of VHF contact just on the ICW - even with DSC. You will for sure being spending pretty much every passage outside of VHF contact of anything.
Personally, I find calling this a need is a bit far. People have been cruising this area and beyond without having an EPIRB for years. Is it nice to have? Sure. But its a function of an individual's risk tolerance.

And the "outside of VHF contact of anything" is crap. This is a well traveled route by many boats. You are not trying to contact land but other boaters for assistance. A VHF with a mast mounted antenna has a range to another sailboat of 20 miles or more. A handheld can be 5 miles depending on the unit plus more based on who is receiving your call.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:12   #25
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I am amazed that a participant of this site with over 8,600 posts would feel the need to ask this question, and especially to ask it in such an open-ended manner. Seems like you would have picked this up along the way. I have seen this question posted many many times but not surprised by when posted by cruiser newbies. Not meaning to be rude but I am amazed.

You should at least have, or planning to have, or at least identified and considered, the basics like a life raft, ditch bag, radar, tools, med kit, and such. I do think you should be more specific or at least list what you do have or plan to have so the community wouldn't have to just throw out a big list of stuff that you already have.
med kit (gets added to the list even though I have it)
radar - have it though it isn't on the list
life raft - not going to get one, search the site for old thread, but others will insist on it
ditch bag - reasonable idea
tools - yes I have tools

I have a lot of stuff, but I don't believe the question was "what other stuff does Don need"
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:15   #26
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
The $300 price floor for a NMEA 2000 VHF with wireless RAM and AIS receiver has been broken. Although for the ICW, I might make an AIS transponder a higher priority. The conventional wisdom seems to be that receive-only is acceptable for coastal cruising and transponder for offshore, but I feel like the more confined the waterway the more chances I want to give the other guy to see me coming - especially with blind corners.
Yeah. I saw that. That was why I said $300. But that would mean trading my wired, powered RAM Mic for a cordless one with only an 8 hour battery life. I suppose I could keep the one I have and install this one but that's more power consumption.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:18   #27
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

I think some people make so many presumptions/judgements - possibly based on limited experience.
We stopped carry a convetional liferaft many year ago. Trying to get them serviced was very difficult and having tried one out in controlled conditions (how many have done this?) made me realise that I would have little confidence in one. They are flimsy and can get destroyed and blown upside very easily. Check some of the heavy weather literature. As for saying you should not not to use a dinghy as a liferaft because .....blah, blah, blah. Without knowing the facts? Tinkers, made by Henshaw marine, made dinghies that were liferaft certified. However, it depends upon your dinghy and how it is equipped. A liferaft can sit gently mellowing in its container for an awfully long term between servicing without seeing the light of day. By contrast, my dinghy gets used every day whilst at anchor and we are all familiar with it and how it handles rough weather. Incidently, it is also certified in Australia as a lifeboat / rescue craft. Our dinghy sits on our aft plaftform, upright, ready to release and step into, with extra water cans clipped on, as well as having our grab bags also attached. Our 25hp outboard is also mounted along with two fuel cans also secured. We keep a drogue inside and an inflatable canopy is also included. Our dinghy is certified as unsinkable and is all aluminium, with a deep vee hull. Should the worst happen, considering our our cat is pumped full of closed cell foam, then we shall step into the dinghy, rig the canopy and the drogue, and once the weather (assumption being its poor) has abated, the windsurfer rig shall go up and we shall try sailing for a safety. In the event of a ship being in the vicinity we can start the outboard and go to that ship. Our grab bag also contains a waterproof Icom VHF, two small GPS's, a small rechargeable battery and a mini roll up solar panel plus the usual fishing gear, medical and food stuffs etc. Our criteria is based on experience garnered over many, many years and 75,000 ocean miles. It is presumed that people have watched the YM video of the life raft simulation at sea? ...and how hard it was on the testers? How seasickness quickly overtook them and lethargy set in? Have you tried using a decent semi-rigid at sea when its rough? Many inshore lifeboats use small semi-rigids for the very reason that they are incredibly sea worthy (not your common junky plastic jobs of course). Me thinks some people have not got the sea time that they wish to appear to have. By all means carry your life raft if it suits you but do not rely upon it. I could also relay the story of a mono-hull that sank in the mid South Atlatic a number of years ago and whose crew were picked up by a semi-rigid after their liferaft failed to inflate (the rescue boat was a catamaran Island Sprit 35). We picked up an American guy in the Red Sea after his timber hull split open - and we used our semi-rigid to do this in 50 knots of wind and short breaking sea's. Hmmmmmm, yes, I can smell the experience of the nay-sayers........... potentially false confidence?
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:21   #28
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
Compared to some of the equipment being discussed here, the cost of an EPIRB is peanuts.
The problem with that logic is where does it end?

EPIRB is only $500. Well that's a Class II. It's only $300 more for the Class I and II.

Well maybe I should get the personal PLB too, that's only $300 each and there's two of us.

A life rafts only $1,200. So let's add that too.

What about a SAT phone? Maybe I should get one of those too.

Everyone has their own risk tolerance and budgets to balance.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:22   #29
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
I'm surprised at people considering their inflatable dinghy a life raft. Particularly when it is lashed upside down on deck. I'm assuming these people have not been in any bad conditions before - and certainly not in a dinghy? There is no way an inflatable dinghy less than ~16' heavy RIB will be stable in any real seastate. I have seen dinghies flip in anchorage chop. We have a 300lb 12' RIB ready to deploy on davits that I don't consider usable as a liferaft in heavy seas. I have had it out in lesser conditions where it requires active driving to keep upright.

We don't have a liferaft, and would attempt to use the dinghy if absolutely necessary, but not count on it. However, that brings me to the point of EPIRB's. For the OP's route and area, SAR response will be measured in minutes - possibly a couple of hours at most. If the ship is definitely going down, early use of the EPIRB while attempting to keep the boat afloat - with possible short deployment to dinghy if it sinks - should be sufficient.

You will not need to spend days in a life raft, but you will need an EPIRB. Thinking a VHF is sufficient is silly - you can be out of VHF contact just on the ICW - even with DSC. You will for sure being spending pretty much every passage outside of VHF contact of anything. Then there is the issue of physical and electronic damage of the VHF system - relying on a backup handheld will limit you to a mile or so range.

There are a lot of possible safety items I would consider optional for this type of cruise, but an EPIRB is not one of them.

Mark
I think you address your own criticism. It's not that an inflatable dinghy provides everything a life raft does. It's that in fair coastal conditions, possibly having an epirb, one may not feel the expense, space and maintenance of buying and bringing a life raft is necessary. As you indicate, having to survive for weeks in the middle of an ocean if a boat sinks vs. a few hours in fairer weather coastal, are completely different scenarios.

I can't imagine crossing an ocean, especially in the days before 406 epirbs without a life raft, but I feel confident that when coastal cruising, I can survive until help arrives if need be without a life raft. The number of instances I've read about of life rafts failing to inflate, tearing, or being blown away makes me even more hesitant to rely on them and consider other strategies.
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Old 19-01-2015, 11:28   #30
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Re: Coastal cruising equipment and accessories

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
Did those RIBs that flipped have any weight in them? I could see this for an empty RIB but not one with people and gear in it.

Have you been in open seas on your boat during moderately rough weather before, let alone very rough? Have you been on a RIB in 6-8' seas before? I have experienced both many times and stand by my assessment.


Personally, I find calling this a need is a bit far. People have been cruising this area and beyond without having an EPIRB for years. Is it nice to have? Sure. But its a function of an individual's risk tolerance.

Yes, this is true, but I called it a "need" as referenced to a very specific case. I said that if one planned to not have a life raft, then the EPIRB is necessary to ensure help was available when the ship is sinking. I don't expect people will survive for days treading water. Now, the risk calculation on whether this event will actually happen is altogether different.

And the "outside of VHF contact of anything" is crap. This is a well traveled route by many boats. You are not trying to contact land but other boaters for assistance. A VHF with a mast mounted antenna has a range to another sailboat of 20 miles or more. A handheld can be 5 miles depending on the unit plus more based on who is receiving your call.
Again, we have actually been cruising these routes for over 6 years. I didn't make this up - it is direct experience. If you think you will be in constant VHF contact during these passages and routes, you are greatly mistaken. You will almost never be in contact with any SAR services, rarely in contact with any governmental bodies, rarely and randomly in contact with commercial shipping, - and all those other boaters???? They will either have bad radios, have the radios turned off, be asleep, be so far away as to be worthless, not speak any of your languages, or even pass right by you because they don't want to get involved.

Relying on VHF contact of other boaters for assistance outside an anchorage in the OP's proposed grounds is the silliest proposition so far in this thread.

Mark
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