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Old 26-03-2015, 12:01   #31
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Re: The go/no go list

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
You have three things (Wife, 2 year old child, dog) on the boat that cause me to suggest the following as a priority over getting a BBQ or Microwave or WIFI:

1. PFD for the Child
2. Harness with tether for the Child
3. Lifeline Netting (helps keep the child and dog aboard)
4. Jacklines (to which you attach the harness of the child or yourself)
5. EPIRB
6. Life Raft
7. Life Sling
8. Boarding Ladder
Great basic list! The next question would be how deep are your pockets? You didn't mention nav. equipment? You said coast wise so no great investment needed but it is nice the know your location.


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Old 26-03-2015, 12:02   #32
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Re: The go/no go list

Food and water, a way to obtain more food and water. Aloe Vera, Sunscreen, boat, sails, gaff hook, fishing gear, snorkel, buckets, soy sauce for drying fish, small line. Extras: Good mattress in a place that doesn't leak on you, music player, a small refrigerator for chilled drinks, really good books, harmonica or guitar or ukulele. A peaceful mind set.
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:07   #33
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Re: The go/no go list

We leave the end of May to start cruising. Here's what we're taking from your list in blue.

"So I ask... What would you say is a "you must have X before you start cruising full time" list:
SSB (And VHF and handheld VHF)
Pactor modem (For weather forecasting via weatherfax)
Solar panels

Inverter won’t need this while cruising unless rarely docked. (Came with the boat.)
Wind generator
EPIRB (duh)
Iridium go/next device
Life raft (duh)
Reasonable dingy with an outboard. (Gotta get to shore to haul diesel.)
Spinnaker running rigging (I have a kite, but I need to run a halyard for it). (Sell it!)
Cutter rigging (I have the sail, the chain plate, but I need to run a halyard and I think I need two additional backstays) Not needed.
Watermaker (Water may be hard to find even in Mexico. And expensive.)
Self-inflating life preservers for my wife and I. (Plus regular life jackets for water sports.)
WiFi extension gear
• Barbeque (Came with the boat)
Autopilot (Came with the boat)
• Microwave (we won’t be using this while cruising. Too much of a power draw)
Refrigerator and freezer (12 volt, massively insulated, very efficient so far.)


We are going cruising to have fun. It is not an attempt for us to see how little we can live without or be miserable. Our plan took 7 years to put together. So excited we actually pulled it off!
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Old 26-03-2015, 12:23   #34
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Re: The go/no go list

RUM


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Old 26-03-2015, 15:05   #35
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Re: The go/no go list

Let’s look at this for a moment..

Some things are power eaters:
Inverter
watermaker
autopilot
• microwave
• refrigerator

Think about how you are going to power these and are they worth the space, energy, and money.

Some things are a near necessity:
• reasonable dingy with an outboard
SSB
Pactor modem

Some things make sailing easier and more enjoyable
Spinnaker running rigging
Cutter rigging
• a aft pulpit mounted barbeque

And some things are dependent upon your lifestyle and how you want to cruise:
• self inflating life preservers for my wife and I
WiFi extension gear•
Wind generator
Solar panels
EPIRB
• Iridum go/next device
• life raft

I have met a lot of cruisers around the world and it seems the less gear they have on their boats, the more they tend to venture out and have adventures.
Also if you look in the marinas you will find many boats loaded down with gear but the people are “going to go cruising someday”, but they probably will be there next year as well.

Might be better to think of what you don’t need, rather than what you need..

Remember, you are doing this to get AWAY from shore lifestyle.

Have fun!

Michael
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Old 26-03-2015, 15:27   #36
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Re: The go/no go list

If you are leaving soon I recommend heading north. Incredible cruising in the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, the Inside Passage, Alaska & more. Good for a shakedown but still in the US & plenty of IT work in Seattle. Once it starts to get cold you could head back down the coast & then the South Pacific or take the canal through to the Caribbean.
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Old 26-03-2015, 17:04   #37
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Re: The go/no go list

Quote:
Originally Posted by gathem View Post
Hello sailors!

We are looking for some guidance in the form of opinions.
What makes the cut for "cannot leave without it" in terms of gear.

Our situation: Family of 3 with a two year old + dog. We own a 44 ft sailboat more capable than we are (we are working on longer & longer trips every weekend). We are about to sell our house, have sold our car, and the only thing keeping us tied to the docks is the go/no go list. We are located in San Francisco, and plan to head south (no particular destination in mind although coastal for at least the first year). I do hope to find some work (I'm a software guy with a lot of experience and a stellar resume) along the way, so hopefully we can continue to outfit the boat while we cruise.

Everyone always says: "go now, go with what you have" or something along those lines... But we have a two year old, no epirb, no long range communication (beyond vhf), no life raft, a tiny row dingy, no generator/solar/wind gen, no inverter, no autopilot, or ability to live off the docks.

So I ask... What would you say is a "you must have X before you start cruising full time" list:
  • SSB Essential, set up to receive the long range forecasts and hook up with ship to shore phone if you need one
  • Pactor modem. Only if you HAVE to have email for work
  • Solar panels. High but not essential. Must have 2 means of charging out off; main engin, genset, wind turbine, water turbine, solar.
  • Inverter; with kid probably essential otherwise high on the list of convienience
  • Wind generator. see above
  • EPIRB; DO NOT LEAVE THE DOCK WITHOUT ONE. Also look at either DSC handhealds or AIS MOB devices for the kids.
  • Iridum go/next device. Not on my list, prefer SSB. Some people rate them instead of SSB but expensive to use both as a phone and for weather, does not contact other boats only shore parties
  • life raft. DO NOT LEAVE THE DOCK WITHOUT ONE and preferable a proper ocean rated one. Also pack your own additional grab bag. Even good one the torches never work on services and other gear is often inadequate. I like to repack emergency stuff each season so I know it is OK
  • reasonable dingy with an outboard. Essential. Rigid boats are wonderful and more durable if you have room to stow one and maybe an inflatable as second. Will save it's cost by letting you anchor instead of using marinas
  • Spinnaker running rigging (I have a kite, but I need to run a halyard for it). Definately no essential to start with, with a family stick to simple sail plan that everyone can use
  • Cutter rigging (I have the sail, the chain plate, but I need to run a halyard and I think I need two additional backstays). Cutters are great, particularly the ability to rapidly reduce sail in a squall. Again safer for kids
  • watermaker. Depends on tank size and where you go. Don't buy until you are sure you need one and what size. That will also get people to learn that water is a valued resource not just something that comes out of the tap
  • self inflating life preservers for my wife and I. YES
  • WiFi extension gear (I'm a wifi geek, I could build this from scratch, and make it lock on to the coords of a given wifi SSID and keep pointing that way regardless of how the boat drifts). WiFi is only available in marinas, do you want to be limited by that? G4 is a more workable solution but by no means always available even in coastal waters. The cruising life is about being independent no connected 24x7
  • a aft pulpit mounted barbeque - Whats wrong with the beach?
  • autopilot. Essential. there will be times when one of you is sailing the boat and one of you is looking after the little one so set the boat up for solo sailing. 2 handed crew on passage eans each of you takes turns to sail solo
  • microwave. Not even essential at home but equally useful.
  • refrigerator. Essential no but very nice to have unless you really like tinned food! Shopping every other day is not practical

That's just my view but I would say go for the minimum and spend the first year learning what YOU need to live ON A BOAT. It is different to what you need o the bank. Remember everything you fit will also need servicing as well. Plus if you add high power electronics like fridge, microwave etc yo will probably also have to uprate the boats electrical services.
You don't mention most of the things on my essentials list like bomb proof steering, good bilge pumps, solld sails and rigging, safety lines... Presumably because you have already sorted them
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Old 26-03-2015, 17:41   #38
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Re: The go/no go list

It would help if you listed what your boat has now.

What wasn't discussed yet... I'd have water activated safety strobes for everyone and dog. Dog and little one should have LP and clipped onto something anytime in cockpit.

I'd move inverter/ microwave pretty far up the list. Not only for easy coffee, warming up soup, leftovers... Especially with a young one onboard, but inverter on my 46' is considered part of my safety equipment. I can get plenty of light on a repair area/ good light cuts repair time in half. I can also power any power tools like a sawzall, drill, heat gun... all of which I had to used to quickly find and fix source of flooding above floorboards at 2am. Have also needed inverter to power soldering gun to repair RF connector on VHF one night. Why do these things always happen during a storm at night!

I also think having at least one emergency locator w/ GPS makes sense if your plans take you South of San Diego.


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Old 26-03-2015, 18:14   #39
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Re: The go/no go list

Before you leave harbor on the California coast, consider how few harbors there are. Many passages will be overnight passages, some with strong winds. Are you and your wife able to stand watch and watch steering your boat? Self-steering (vane or sheet to tiller) is really important. If you now have a wheel, your options are more limited. A vane steered auxiliary rudder might be the answer. I suggest you begin by googling self-steering for sailboats. Ask other passage makers.
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Old 27-03-2015, 02:44   #40
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Re: The go/no go list

Agree with swampy steering a yacht is both tedious and boring,a wind vane I think is a must for most sailing.
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Old 27-03-2015, 05:37   #41
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Re: The go/no go list

Obviously, it's highly personal, but here are my go/no-go's for coastal and blue water cruising:

Coastal:
Quote:
  • SSB no
  • Pactor modem no
  • Solar panels no
  • Inverter no
  • Wind generator no
  • EPIRB no
  • Iridum go/next device no
  • life raft no
  • reasonable dingy with an outboard yes
  • Spinnaker running rigging (I have a kite, but I need to run a halyard for it). no
  • Cutter rigging (I have the sail, the chain plate, but I need to run a halyard and I think I need two additional backstays) no
  • watermaker yes for Mexico, no otherwise
  • self inflating life preservers for my wife and I yes (auto, with harness)
  • WiFi extension gear (I'm a wifi geek, I could build this from scratch, and make it lock on to the coords of a given wifi SSID and keep pointing that way regardless of how the boat drifts) yes. 8 dBi omni antenna quite sufficient
  • a aft pulpit mounted barbeque yes
  • autopilot yes
  • microwave no
  • refrigerator no
Blue water:
Quote:
  • SSB yes
  • Pactor modem yes
  • Solar panels yes
  • Inverter no
  • Wind generator maybe
  • EPIRB yes
  • Iridum go/next device no
  • life raft yes
  • reasonable dingy with an outboard yes
  • Spinnaker running rigging (I have a kite, but I need to run a halyard for it). no
  • Cutter rigging (I have the sail, the chain plate, but I need to run a halyard and I think I need two additional backstays) yes
  • watermaker yes
  • self inflating life preservers for my wife and I yes (auto, with harness)
  • WiFi extension gear (I'm a wifi geek, I could build this from scratch, and make it lock on to the coords of a given wifi SSID and keep pointing that way regardless of how the boat drifts) no
  • a aft pulpit mounted barbeque no
  • autopilot yes
  • windvane yes
  • Jordan drogue (for trans Atlantic or Pacific)
  • microwave no
  • refrigerator no
There are many others, but I just used your list to start with.
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Old 29-03-2015, 20:30   #42
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Re: The go/no go list

The more you take the more you break.
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Old 02-04-2015, 06:04   #43
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Re: The go/no go list

We have done the East Coast from Boston to the Bahamas twice. First time with a 3 mnth old and the second time with a new 3 mnth and a 2 yr old. We have always said when the boat is moving I am singlehanded and my wife is a single mom. I think an autopilot is very important or you will do nothing except steer and you will not like that after the first few thousand miles. We have a Tartan 33 and have added solar, refrig and heat all while cruising. We bought a plb before crossing the Gulf Stream the first time which I like because I can keep it in my pocket on night watches. That helps my wife sleep better knowing that someone might find me if I go over. We get weather on an SSB receiver when out of the US. Lifeline netting is necessary for peace of mind. Don't plan to big we have met too many first time cruisers trying to get to far to fast and that's not fun. Most important is know how to repair your boat or be willing to screw up trying or you will be relying on others.
Good luck
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Old 02-04-2015, 14:16   #44
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Re: The go/no go list

Some interesting replies, however, my list would be:

1. Inspect/rebed all chainplates and deck hardware
2. drop mast/analyze/replace/recon rigging /lights/antenna as needed
3. inspect/analyze all sails at a qualified sailmaker.
Minimum sails: triple reefed main, 110% reefable working headsail,
cruising spinnaker
4. Replace/inspect stuffing box, strut bearing, rudder quadrant and
bearings/rudder shaft, rudder delamination
5. Replace/inspect all belts, hoses, seacocks, drains, hose clamps
6. Replace inspect all ports/hatches
7. Replace/inspect all running rigging
8. Spare parts/tools for engine
9. GPS, Charts, Coast Pilot, Sailing Directions, hand bearing compass,
EPIRB, binoculars, safety harnesses, life vests, jacklines, sextant-if
going offshore, compensated compass, depth sounder, VHF, bosun's chair, etc.

I'm sure I've missed a few "essentials," however the most important go/no go is the condition of the vessel. If the above items do not take precedence over all else, all the toys you feel you must have will be of no use and your chance for failure/disaster will be great. Good luck and good sailing. P.S. I wish I had a dollar for every "cruiser" we encountered along the path in their luxury interplanetary spaceships that spent more time in marinas or at anchor repairing their vessels than cruising. . . but boy, they sure looked nice at the dock!
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Old 02-04-2015, 16:43   #45
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Re: The go/no go list

I agree with rognvald about getting the basics down first. My wife, 9 month old daughter, and I will be taking off this fall to cruise the ICW and to the Bahamas. We're going through similar outfitting choices and I've responded to the original list with the choices we've made...

SSB
Pactor modem
NO - to install new is in the $5K neighborhood. If you were sailing off to never return it would be a good investment but you'll be hard pressed to spend that much on sat comms in 1 or 2 years out. A $100 shortwave receiver will do most of what you need as far as receiving weather.

Solar panels
YES - They are so cheap now that there's little reason not to have them.

Inverter
NO - We have one that came with the boat but find it's not very efficient. It's been easier to move mostly everything to 12 volt.

Wind generator
NO - there are very few boats with both wind and solar where the wind gen doesn't create undue shading on the solar panels.

EPIRB
YES - I believe this is an essential piece of safety gear.

Iridum go/next device
Maybe - it really depends on how connected you want to be. Many are happy with device like an InReach and its lower costs. We are still trying to figure out our needs in this area and will not buy until we've been out for a few months.

life raft
NO - It seemed too much to us for coastal sailing. We'll never be more than a couple of hours from USCG reach and will be carrying a RIB on the foredeck. Our passages will not be more than 48 hours, if that, and will be within conservative weather windows.

reasonable dingy with an outboard
YES - we learned this one the hard way with cheap, small, and underpowered dinghies. On anything but glass flat water and calm wind they were miserable. We've upgraded to a 10'-6" RIB with 15 HP outboard. Not cheap but worth it when used everyday.

Spinnaker running rigging (I have a kite, but I need to run a halyard for it).
NO - You or you wife will be saililing the boat while the other tends to the child. I'm all for having a light air downwind sail, but there is no way you'll be able to manage a kite essentially singlehanded in anything but the most sedate conditions.

Cutter rigging (I have the sail, the chain plate, but I need to run a halyard
and I think I need two additional backstays)
No comment.

watermaker
NO - But maybe for the west coast. My research indicates most inexperienced cruisers go with a unit whose capacity is too small and end up frustrated at either having to run it constantly or not having the power to run it enough. If you can go without, at least at first, you'll better understand your needs.

self inflating life preservers for my wife and I
Sure

WiFi extension gear (I'm a wifi geek, I could build this from scratch, and make it lock on to the coords of a given wifi SSID and keep pointing that way regardless of how the boat drifts)
NO - We have one. It wasn't a budget breaker but the number of open access points is getting smaller every year and when you do find one it's usually slow. Also, how secure is using random unsecured access points? People are moving more to 3G/4G solutions for near-shore connectivity. It's probably still worth having a WiFi extender, but no need to go too elaborate or too expensive.

a aft pulpit mounted barbeque
Maybe - we have one but don't use it anywhere near as much as we thought when we bought it.

autopilot
YES - I pretty much think self steering is near-essential on anything other than a daysailor.

microwave
NO - we have one that came with the boat. We use it occasionally for heating water for tea or coffee when we have the excess power but could just as easily go without.

refrigerator
YES - I respect those who live without refrigeration - especially those who claim to not miss it - but to me it would feel like too much of a sacrifice. With portable units available for under $500, it's really not much of a stretch to have some level of refrigeration. There are even some CF members who are happy running cheap dorm fridges off inexpensive inverters.
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