Originally Posted by Pacific
I have a new Beneteau First 36.7 on a lake and taking her out to salt water
for the first time next month (San Diego to Mexico).
On a tight budget. Need to add additional safety equipment
and would like some advice as to what is essential.
You want to prioritize things that will keep you out of trouble. So,
#1 anchors: two is fine but make sure they are both good sized and that you have adequate rodes. Mexico
has some difficult anchoring
#2 Take a close look/inspection at your rudder
and at your rig. Its worth spending some money
here to avoid serious problems later.
#3 Bring a decent collection of tools and spares. Its hard when you are starting out to know exactly what to bring and it varies boat to boat (depending on specific equipment
and age). But you spares which will ensure you can get the engine
to start (spare injectors, impeller, perhaps starter) and the sails
to go up and down (spare halyard
, spare main sheet block, sewing materials and sail slugs). Also carry stuff to plug
leaks/openings - wood plugs, epoxy
and screws and battery
#4 I think a chart plotter with current
chart chip is a 'safety device'. As it tells you instantly where you are when its 2am and things are going to ****. It also can tell you definitely if you are dragging anchor
. That can keep you off the beach.
#5 You can tow the dink during day sails
, but you should not on the Calif/mexico outside. Thats just asking for trouble. Get an inflatable
. It would be best if you could stow it on deck
inflated (quicker launching), but if you don't have the deck
space then stow it deflated and get a 12vt electric
Hopefully you will keep out of trouble but if you have to call for help the priorities are:
#1. Make sure your vhf
is well installed. Very many boats have really poor antenna
installations and only get half or less the range the should. Usually this is because of poorly done pl259 connectors in the cable. You will be within vhf
range the whole way to Mexico
#2 An Epirb is the best offshore signaling device, bur for your route
would I think be optional.
#3 Radar would also be an optional nice to have. There is some fog
around/north of Diego but not much south of that. I would rate a chart plotter much higher. A receive only AIS
would also be a nice to have.
#4 the life raft is a controversial and difficult one. We have never carried one, and I think its more important to invest in ways to protect and save the boat. If you can stow the inflatable
dink on deck inflated I would suggest you are well covered. If you don't have the space for that then its a risk/$ trade-off for you. There are scenarios where you could need one (like a whale attacking/breaking the boat) but their probability is less than the proverbial lightening strike, and if you have good pdfs and an epirb you will probably still be found and picked up out of the water