This is a good topic and there is no one answer because it depends and so many variables, the main one being the size of boat and how many are aboard.
Bigger boat = more maintanence and higher cost. If the comfort etc is worth that then you will look at the more complex systems associated with larger yachts.
But in a more general sense if you chose a large ENOUGH yacht to be comfortable what might that be like for a couple?
This is crucial because you spend most of your time at anchor
. If you move around that means you need to be able to easily set and up anchor
. This must not be a chore! It must be secure! For me this mean all chain, a good snubber system and a vertical windlass
with a rope gypsy
. This allows me to use a second anchor with rope
and use it to go aloft! Anchoring
for me is so stressfree that I think nothing about moving the boat to a new spot or motoring to the dock
etc. Anchoring is very high on the list of sensible crusing.
This is part of safety
, knowing where you are. I find that GPS
and chartplotters are supper for this. I carry paper charts
, and charting tools and know how to do it "old style" (back up). If you want the KISS approach use "old style) but I think sensible cruising would be to have a chart plotter with a back up and carry paper charts
. You should also have a good cruising guide for your area. Incredible information alll laid out for you including local knowledge for entering harbors. A must.
Here you need a reliable motor
, which will make electricity of course, but helpful in anchoring and necessary with an electric windlass
(highy recommended). You need some form of self steering
. It could be a wind vane
(don't work when you motor
in no wind) or a basic pilot. Smaller boat can do with a wheel
of tiller pilot. Bigger, heavier boats benefit from a below decks one. You don't want to be at the helm
all the time. That's insane. Self steering
a must, Spares and knowlegde of basic repair. If it fails you gotta steer, learn how to rig the boat to steer without a pilot or helmsman. Good sails
go without saying with a good reefing system.
Absolutely essentiual for cruing because you will be at anchor 99% of the time. You can go simple and row. Good for your heath, but slow and usually small and tippy. Your dink is your life line to shore, provisioning
, interacting with other boats and shore side activities. Inflatables have many advantages. get one with large tubes - drier. You don't need a large OB unless you anchor miles off. But you need to consider the fuel
issue and stowing or towing. Towing offshore
is ill advised. Think this through and get the right dink. You'll use it every day several times and a good one is required for sensible cruising.
Commication is also key here, VHF
at the very min. SSB
will allow you access to weather
info and long distance communucations. This is a safety
Make sure you have all the safety features such as harnesses, life jackets, MOB gear
, flares etc. and know how to use them. A sea anchor
is something you might consider as well in addition to the items mentioned above. And don't forget a well equipped ditch bag.
A sensible crusier has spares, tools and the knowledge to maintain the boat and do repairs
. This may include line, hardware
wire, norsemen or stalocs, fileter, oil
, pumps and assorted engine parts
. If youy don't use the spares, fine. When you need them they are invaluable and often hard to find out there and much more expensive. If your alternator
goes south or a engine
pump you could be stuck for weeks.
Whatever you feel you need to be comfortable at sea and at anchor is sensible. I like hot showers and if you do consider a large enough tanks
and a heat exhanger from your engine. Entertainment means electricity and powering comm gear
, nav gear, auto pilots, pumps, lights require power. A sensible cruiser will have adaquate battery storage
regimen for them which may include wind
or just an high output alternator
and a system monitor
. In this category I would include a sensible accommodation plan and a decent galley
and nav station and berths which can work for at anchor or underway and a large enough cockpit
which is reasonably protected. At anchor you'll be in it a lot so it should be comfy and functional. You'll want good ventilation and probably some sort of awning or sun protection. This will keep the boat cooler by 10°.
Reasonable expectations and a good attitude
There is lots to see so take your time and be humble when you visit other countries as you are a guest in their nation. Live by the clean wake philosophy and you will be welcomed and bnuild good will for the other cruisers out there.
What did I miss?