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Old 17-06-2015, 19:39   #16
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Davits: The only place I really liked having them were on the ICW and Bahamas. After that the dinghy should be on the foredeck or stowed below.

Electric Windlass is awesome and I wouldn't be without. I've seen very few people actually use a manual windlass. Typically one is sitting on the foredeck, but they are pulling up the chain hand over hand after a few weeks pf crusing. The reason seems to be the amount of time it takes to raise with the manual.... Maybe some models are better?

Further down the Caribbean is where a spinnaker comes into play. The run down the ICW and Bahamas doesn't really need one.

Watermaker is great too, but you can get water pretty easy in the Bahamas.

Toys: Just get snorkel gear and a poll spear. Great fun!

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Old 17-06-2015, 19:43   #17
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

I'd put the electric windlass first and in the Bahamas a watermaker second. The rest you are ok without, but all are nice to have.



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Old 18-06-2015, 06:16   #18
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Toys: Just get snorkel gear and a poll spear. Great fun!

Matt
Yep, I'd rather go to the Bahamas without a water maker or electric windless (and a lot of other stuff), than go down without snorkel gear and a pole spear (or something else) to get some lobster and fish!
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Old 18-06-2015, 06:37   #19
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Its only the Bahamas for a season. You would be fine in a bathtub without an extra plug.

Its after a while you put these "luxuries" on. A couple of times across New Providence channel or the Florida Straits and you will be installing proper AIS quick smart before you venture further than the Bahamas.
Same with elect windlass... The Bahamas are 2 feet deep and you can pluck it up by hand. But try that anchoring in 70 feet of water in the Med or Pacific in 25 kt tradewinds and you will change your mind.

Treat the Bahamas as a lil test vacation and after a season you will have a much better idea whats important

For Weyalan: Hot water... The $20 plastic bags showers work an absolute treat!
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Old 18-06-2015, 06:41   #20
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Yep, I'd rather go to the Bahamas without a water maker or electric windless (and a lot of other stuff), than go down without snorkel gear and a pole spear (or something else) to get some lobster and fish!

Check the local laws re spear fishing and taking lobster... Its been a few years since I was there and I dont remember...
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Old 18-06-2015, 06:57   #21
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

We are doing the ICW to Bahamas for first time as well, early next year. I am putting on a watermaker, mostly because we like spending time in remote islands - where water may not be so available. Plus the luxury of not having to skimp on shower and dish water, and even occasional gear washdown. That said, I found a resale on a Spectra unit, have enough solar panels to power it, etc. If I had to cough up new price, it would be a tougher decision.

The only thing I really disagree with is the windlass. Yeah it is shallow, and I've pulled in chain by hand on bigger boats than mine. But when it's blowing 40+ knots and you have to move anchorage, or are dragging, or whatever, it is a lot different when you can push a button from the helm to get that chain up, have control of the motors at the same time, etc.
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Old 18-06-2015, 07:46   #22
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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I agree with chopping all your listed items except one, that being the wind generator. Last winter in the Bahamas, we had lots and lots of strong north winds. I was wishing for a wind generator! Remember too that winter brings shorter daylight hours and a lower sun angle for your solar panels
I agree, the Bahamas in winter often offer conditions about as favorable as you'll ever find for a wind generator, with little but low ground surrounding even the most protected anchorages...





I think many folks spending their first winter down there are often surprised by how relatively low the sun can remain in the sky throughout the day in mid-winter... The ability to articulate panels can make a huge difference down there. For those with fixed panels mounted horizontally, a wind gen could come in pretty handy...

I'm in the minority, obviously, but I'd want a spinnaker, if for nothing else than the addition of the fun factor to your sailing. I've gotten a lot of use from mine down there over the years, and I'm always surprised by how rarely I see others doing so...

Otherwise, the OP's choices sound fine, to me... However, without a watermaker, it could be really worth his while to configure a decent rainwater collection setup, that can pay off, bigtime...
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:37   #23
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Check the local laws re spear fishing and taking lobster... Its been a few years since I was there and I dont remember...
Last time I was there, you could still hunt them with a pole spear (but, not a spear gun). In Florida, you can't hurt them when you take them so that you can check for females with eggs, and release them, so you have to tickle them out and/or hand grab/net them.

But, a lot of the times, even in the Bahamas, its easy to just hand grab them (with gloves on) if you can free dive deep enough.
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Old 18-06-2015, 09:45   #24
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Hi,
I agree with your list, even though I have most of the items listed. This will sound funny to all of you, but I think stand-up paddleboards are almost a necessity. They carry on the outside of you lifelines, and can be deployed in seconds. We use ours in Mexico constantly. So much more than even the dinghy. You can snorkel with them, head to shore for supplies or a meal, meet your neighbors, the list goes on. We have the cheap foam ones from Costco, and I would not trade them for anything. An electric windlass is also pretty nice with my 80# Manson and 3/8 chain rode. Have fun and post of your adventures.

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Old 18-06-2015, 09:49   #25
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

These I would do.
"* Davits or Arch – Out of everything on this list, this is one thing that if we had it to do over again we might have prioritized higher but at this point the plan is to see how it goes with towing and foredeck storage of our 10' RIB. "
Storing on the foredeck is a PITA, Your dingy is dirty, the bottom has tiny sharp barnacles etc. You will scratch heck out of your deck putting it up there OR you will need to spend a few hours taking the dink to the beach, removing everything, turn it over, scrape the bottom clean, wash the sand etc out of the inside, reassemble engine etc then return to boat, remove the engine, load it on the boat , roll it over, strap it down, only to block your foredeck. Davits are the "bee knees" for the Caribe.
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:16   #26
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

We catch rainwater - sweet, soft, free. Squalls are frequent (though not necessarily predictable; a good one will fill your tank, if you have the means to catch water). We just use a chamois-type cloth laid on deck and in the toerail; you might have to plug scuppers, depending on layout. We scrub the deck as the rain starts, wait for a good rinse, and then divert the deck water into the tank. Our fill is about 40% from the bow, starboard. We use a capful of bleach per about 50G just in case; washing with rainwater is AMAZING as it's soft, and uses very little soap. Outside harbors, a jump in the water with the Joy after you're wet, and to rinse, and a very light fresh water rinse kept our use to a minimum but the boat free of salt. OTOH, we have, in the past, used dedicated towels without the rinse; that does an acceptable job of keeping the salt down.

KISS wind generators are entirely user-serviceable, and will do a great job from about 5 knots through 30; cocking it with the tail string will allow you to continue to use it in 30+ sustained. We took out our controller, as we NEVER have an overcharge issue with our very hungry refrigeration; our Blue Sky 60A solar controller has the ability to shut down as needed and also has an equalization setting, if you need it.

But we still have a Honda2000 for our charging as needed. YMMV as to how much juice you use; our bank is 740AH.

Our arch is the place for the wind and solar, as well as davits and a place to store incredible amounts of 'stuff' - which includes LOTS of line, two spare lunch - hook sized danforths, two outboard mounts and the barbie, among other stuff. It was the FIRST thing I added to the boat when we did our initial refit. See the gallery link for pix of that.

OTOH, we have lots of stuff to run, which, with the reefer, consume more than 100AH/day; if the sun's out, and the breeze is blowing, our 370W solar and the KISS about keep up. But when we charge, we do it early, and let the wind and solar handle the float stages. Nothing worse than having to run some form of internal-combustion-fed charging system for hours after bulk and acceptance is achieved.

Watermakers are troublesome in any harbor you might choose to hang out for some time, so catching water is good. RO water is available in many places, sometimes free, sometimes at a flat rate fill at a marina, and up to 50 cents/gallon elsewhere. There are also places such as George Town where you can jug it free, at the Exuma Markets dinghy dock, and up a small hill from a beach next to the mail boat dock, to the road in Black Point, e.g., among others. We use collapsible camping water jugs; for the inevitable dings, use Tear-Aid Type (forget whether A or B, but the sellers identify what each is for) X to repair them rather than pitch a holed one. The 7 we haul in compress to about a 1 foot cube; we keep them and lots of other stuff in a couple of Rubbermaid Action Packer containers on deck between our center cockpit and the aft hatch. FWIW, those fit the airlines' total dimensions perfectly to remain without surcharge; we brought the two we bought filled with stuff to exactly 50#, the typical limit allowed, on one flight stateside and back.

As to sun angle, remember that you're barely in the tropics; sun will be at 43° or so at noon on December 21; wind operates night and day, especially in the winter, offsetting the lower solar input, and reverses (more sun, less wind) in the summer.

Absolutely take snorkeling gear, and if you're into hunting and fishing, a pole or Hawaiian sling for spearing, plus whatever you want for lines, can keep you fed if you're good at it when you're not enjoying the reef wherever you may be. You can't use a gun or air to hunt in the Bahamas.

A HF radio receiver, if you don't have HF capability to transmit, if for no other reason than to listen to Chris Parker every morning and evening. We're subscribers, and have found him to be conservative, but generally VERY exact about what and when to expect.

HTH

L8R

Skip, currently in blistering, humid, Vero, and itching to get back; summer in the Bahamas is orders of magnitude more comfortable than here...
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Old 18-06-2015, 10:23   #27
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Reading your list, it sounds like you have made some reasonable choices.

A friend bought a Bayfield 29 and spent 2 years buying gear and working on the boat. When he was done, the boat was so heavy he had to run the engine at WOT and still could not make good speed. He had all chain rodes with lots of anchors, outboard engine on the rail, lots of extra parts, extra water, extra fuel, extra sails, additional house batteries, propane tanks....the list went on and on...he spent a fortune. Under sail the boat would hardly move. Before he got half way through the erie canal, the engine blew from the strain.

LESS IS MORE!!!
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Old 18-06-2015, 11:35   #28
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

OP has 400 watts of solar and it sounds like a pretty basic boat. He'll be fine without wind gen or gas gen.

Matt
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Old 18-06-2015, 14:07   #29
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and comments. The fact that the closest thing to a consensus has been the few people who wouldn’t live without an electric windlass makes me not too inclined to rush out and buy any of the items on my original list! For now I’d rather hold onto my wallet and if after getting to Florida we feel like we’re miserable without one or two of them, we might reconsider.

There were also a few comments in support of having a watermaker. I’m sure we’d love having it, but we have about 8 months to spend cruising, with about half that time in the Bahamas. After that, we’ll most likely come back to life as Chesapeake Bay seasonal cruisers and not go farther afield again for 3-5 years. We also carry 145 gallons of water. So between that timeline and our fairly generous tank capacity, just can’t justify spending $3-5K on a watermaker for 4 months use.
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Old 18-06-2015, 15:15   #30
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

I was just in the Bahamas myself for 3 weeks. Lots of current in a lot of the anchorages, so if you don't have the davits, you are going to have to keep taking the dink motor off to store on the deck. You want that dink motor due to currents for rowing. I vote for Davits. Water is mostly R/O these days, so about the same as you'd get with a watermaker. Joy soap trick works well on saving water. I had a Honda 2000K and really glad I did, found all kinds of uses for it, like hooking into shore power on boat to recharge, could run all kinds of powered items without running down batteries. Microwave, A/C. I didn't have a life raft, dink was it, but did have EPIRB and inReach...which folks back home LOVED. Highly recommend the inReach. You'll like it too as so many places out of cell tower range, but can still stay in touch with home with the inReach. They loved being able to share the journey and track us, right down to seeing where we were anchored. The rest, of your leave at home items, agree with.
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