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Old 18-06-2015, 15:34   #31
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
just can’t justify spending $3-5K on a watermaker for 4 months use.
Just think how many ice cold drinks that $3000 will buy you at some beach bar!
A few "emergency" gerry cans of water in a deep locker, JIC.


Also...electric windlass? I still pull up a 15kg bruce (with chain) by hand. Its really hard at the beginning of each season, but gets easier the more I anchor. Its good exersize...and who doesn't want the rippling biceps that go with it? Plus, uses zero amps, and no moving parts to maintain. The KISS rule applies.
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Old 18-06-2015, 16:33   #32
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Basic Principals of fitting out and using a cruising yacht: Beyond a solid hull, rig and sails, decent charts and a reliable compass, everything else is optional; though I will accept that an engine, a GPS, a depth-sounder and some means of keeping the beer cold are worth the effort. Columbas, Drake and Magellan managed without. So:
1. If you don't fit one, it can never break.
2. If one is already fitted and it's working; then don't use it or it will only break.
3. If you've ignored either of the above two rules and it's now broken; don't panic, just ignore it (it might get better?) and you'll soon learn how to work around not having it anymore.


My real hobby-horse are watermakers; in recent years (on both sides of the Atlantic) they seem to have replaced refridgeration as the biggest single reason for boats sitting around waiting for parts and they're completely irrelevant. When we crossed the Atlantic we had innumerable people telling us that 'you can't cross without a watermaker', to which I invariably enquired if they were setting off with empty tanks? The answer was always 'no' and all also stowed a few jerry-jugs along their rails too. If you're not crossing an ocean, they're even more ludicrous; if wherever you are is inhabited, then there will be water available and if you're too idle to jerry-jug it, then spend a fraction of the thousands you've saved by not buying and maintaining the watermaker and pay a local to hump it for you.


Our favourite in 12 years cruising: We met a yacht in Italy (50+ feet, but only two on board) that spent almost six weeks sitting in a marina at $150/night, waiting for spare parts for their dishwasher!
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Old 18-06-2015, 17:07   #33
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by bobnlesley View Post
Our favourite in 12 years cruising: We met a yacht in Italy (50+ feet, but only two on board) that spent almost six weeks sitting in a marina at $150/night, waiting for spare parts for their dishwasher!
It's amazing how many "checkbook cruisers" (that's what they call them in the Bahamas) are out there. For us that grew up reading about the Hiscocks it seems very strange but I guess, if you have the money, why not?
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Old 18-06-2015, 17:48   #34
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Bet if you sorted the replies by boat type and size it would be telling


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Old 18-06-2015, 17:57   #35
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Bet if you sorted the replies by boat type and size it would be telling


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Amusing observation with probably a good bit of truth.
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Old 18-06-2015, 19:11   #36
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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We’re preparing to head down the ICW and ultimately over to the Bahamas this fall/winter. We’ve been working on the boat for over a year and have made a lot of the upgrades and improvements people often make in preparation for this type of trip and have loaded our boat with a lot of the usual “cruiser gear.” At this point we aren’t planning on buying any other major items (unless something breaks!) – just to finish the projects already in the pipeline. By choice we are leaving some of the “usual” cruiser stuff off. I’ve listed below the major items we’re NOT taking and the reasons why. If nothing else, we can look back at this thread in several months and see if any priorities have changed. But for now, feel free to tell me if we’re crazy for leaving any of this off…
  • 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.
  • Electric Windlass – The boat has an older Goiot manual windlass in good condition. All crew are under 40 and I need the exercise. The manual windlass hasn’t bothered us – although we also haven’t anchored days and days on end before either.
  • Spinnaker or Asym – Just kept getting bumped down the priority list.
  • Wind Gen – Chose solar instead.
  • Portable Generator – Again, chose solar instead. Figured 400 watts should get us if not to self-sufficiency then pretty close. In the ICW the majority of charging is from the motor anyway.
  • AIS Transponder – We do have a receiver. Mixed feelings about the current usefulness of a transponder lead it to keep getting bumped down the list.
  • Watermaker – Too expensive to justify cost based on the anticipated duration of the cruise.
  • Liferaft – Just didn’t see the need when doing the hop over to the Bahamas in a weather window and island hopping thereafter.
  • SUPs or Kayaks – Could be fun to have but felt we might not use them enough to justify the cost and the bulk of carrying even the inflatable types. Seems it is not that hard to find rentals if wanted.
Funny. After living aboard for a year those things are either in place or close to the top of our todo list.

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Old 18-06-2015, 20:29   #37
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Bet if you sorted the replies by boat type and size it would be telling


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So Ill tell, 38 ft cat, all chain 5/16 Rhode, most places we anchor we drop 50-75' it is zero fun to pull up by hand, we have a windlass. If it fails it does have a manual option. We hate marinas and frequently have guests and dont like to break out backs and jug water, we can afford a watermaker and can service it therefore we have one. We find it awesome not having water worries Boat also has built in rain collection if we need it. Most we see around the bahamas have yaks or sups. Some find them invaluable if their dink dies or disappears. Towing a dink has its risks and slows our boat by alot.

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Old 19-06-2015, 05:07   #38
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

We have just finished a year/10,000 miles in the Caribbean.

I think all of your choices are ok. All of them would be "more convienient" with the item mentioned, but not essential.

We didn't have many of the things listed either.

There is always sun.
Jerry jug water.
If no wind, stay.
It's shallow.
Tow the dinghy.

Ps
If you do, I have a life raft and inflatable paddle board, in Rhode Island area.
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Old 19-06-2015, 12:10   #39
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
Bet if you sorted the replies by boat type and size it would be telling
We probably bust the curve. Catamaran, although short by some of your standards. Have:
  • Arch to pull the dinghy - with motor mounted - out of the water easily. Also perfect place for the two solar panels
  • Watermaker (DC - runs off solar panels)
  • VHF with DSC, radar, AIS, 9 in chartplotter
  • Windlass, chain rode
  • On-demand hot water heater
  • Honda gen backup (or if we want to run the A/C sometime to dry the boat out, whatever)
  • InReach SE for folks back-home to track us, as well as text messaging. Only an SSB receiver, no transmitter
Most of these things are convenience items, and some justified as "safety" (i.e., AIS, radar). I want this planned cruise to be enjoyable - and avoid hardships - as I would like my wife to want to do it again!
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Old 19-06-2015, 14:19   #40
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
We’re preparing to head down the ICW and ultimately over to the Bahamas this fall/winter. We’ve been working on the boat for over a year and have made a lot of the upgrades and improvements people often make in preparation for this type of trip and have loaded our boat with a lot of the usual “cruiser gear.” At this point we aren’t planning on buying any other major items (unless something breaks!) – just to finish the projects already in the pipeline. By choice we are leaving some of the “usual” cruiser stuff off. I’ve listed below the major items we’re NOT taking and the reasons why. If nothing else, we can look back at this thread in several months and see if any priorities have changed. But for now, feel free to tell me if we’re crazy for leaving any of this off…
  • 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.
  • Electric Windlass – The boat has an older Goiot manual windlass in good condition. All crew are under 40 and I need the exercise. The manual windlass hasn’t bothered us – although we also haven’t anchored days and days on end before either.
  • Spinnaker or Asym – Just kept getting bumped down the priority list.
  • Wind Gen – Chose solar instead.
  • Portable Generator – Again, chose solar instead. Figured 400 watts should get us if not to self-sufficiency then pretty close. In the ICW the majority of charging is from the motor anyway.
  • AIS Transponder – We do have a receiver. Mixed feelings about the current usefulness of a transponder lead it to keep getting bumped down the list.
  • Watermaker – Too expensive to justify cost based on the anticipated duration of the cruise.
  • Liferaft – Just didn’t see the need when doing the hop over to the Bahamas in a weather window and island hopping thereafter.
  • SUPs or Kayaks – Could be fun to have but felt we might not use them enough to justify the cost and the bulk of carrying even the inflatable types. Seems it is not that hard to find rentals if wanted.
We are in the 'same boat' so to speak, planning and departure-wise. Have a 2002 Hunter 460.

Our boat came with davits. Have a 11.5' dink and 15 hp Yamaha so may need to upgrade my motor mount on the stern rail.

Came with electric windlass. Check.

Would like a UPS sail but very damn expensive. May give it a pass.

Bought 400W of flexible solar panels that need to be attached to the Bimini and wires run.

Boat comes with a 6KW generator.

Just upgraded to a new Raymarine E125 Chart plotter and AIS transponder/receiver. I want the big cargo ships to see me on their AIS screens.

Currently planning to install a water maker. You are correct - not cheap.

Thinking we need a liferaft and considering a coastal vice offshore version for the Caribbean.

Just bought our neighbor's 11.5' SUPs for $450 each. They're like new. Ordered some Magma SUP hooks for the stanchions. Other neighbor gave us 2 leashes. Looking for paddles now...
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Old 19-06-2015, 19:29   #41
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4arch View Post
We’re preparing to head down the ICW and ultimately over to the Bahamas this fall/winter. We’ve been working on the boat for over a year and have made a lot of the upgrades and improvements people often make in preparation for this type of trip and have loaded our boat with a lot of the usual “cruiser gear.” At this point we aren’t planning on buying any other major items (unless something breaks!) – just to finish the projects already in the pipeline. By choice we are leaving some of the “usual” cruiser stuff off. I’ve listed below the major items we’re NOT taking and the reasons why. If nothing else, we can look back at this thread in several months and see if any priorities have changed. But for now, feel free to tell me if we’re crazy for leaving any of this off…
  • 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.
  • Electric Windlass – The boat has an older Goiot manual windlass in good condition. All crew are under 40 and I need the exercise. The manual windlass hasn’t bothered us – although we also haven’t anchored days and days on end before either.
  • Spinnaker or Asym – Just kept getting bumped down the priority list.
  • Wind Gen – Chose solar instead.
  • Portable Generator – Again, chose solar instead. Figured 400 watts should get us if not to self-sufficiency then pretty close. In the ICW the majority of charging is from the motor anyway.
  • AIS Transponder – We do have a receiver. Mixed feelings about the current usefulness of a transponder lead it to keep getting bumped down the list.
  • Watermaker – Too expensive to justify cost based on the anticipated duration of the cruise.
  • Liferaft – Just didn’t see the need when doing the hop over to the Bahamas in a weather window and island hopping thereafter.
  • SUPs or Kayaks – Could be fun to have but felt we might not use them enough to justify the cost and the bulk of carrying even the inflatable types. Seems it is not that hard to find rentals if wanted.

Everyone has different priorities but having just done this trip I have some feelings about it...I'm new to the Bahamas thing but we did spend two months there.

1. Lots of folks pull their dinghy in the Bahamas. Lots of folks put their dinghy on the deck for major crossings.

2. No need for electric windlass. You will only be letting out 50 or 60 feet of chain anyway because the anchorages are shallow.

3. Wish we had a spinnaker.

4. We have a wind gen and it made a lot of power for us. Also have solar and a portable genny. My opinion? The genny is great but you can get by fine with charging using the engine.

5. AIS transponder. After crossing the Gulf Stream both times at night and having no less than a dozen big boys on the AIS and them being able to see us... Indispensable peace of equipment. A transponder should be mandatory for any boat going offshore.

6. Water maker... Wish we had one but in the areas we visited water was plentiful and almost always ro quality.

7. After our rough passage over and a lot of equipment failures... I wish we had a life raft.

8. Sups and kayaks. I was alarmed at the number of boats festooned with these things. Giant walls of wind. No need for them.


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Old 20-06-2015, 03:51   #42
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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7. After our rough passage over and a lot of equipment failures... I wish we had a life raft.
Can you tell us more about this - what kind of conditions you encountered? What were your departure and arrival points? What equipment failed?
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Old 20-06-2015, 11:38   #43
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Originally Posted by vtsailguy View Post
We have just finished a year/10,000 miles in the Caribbean.

I think all of your choices are ok. All of them would be "more convienient" with the item mentioned, but not essential.

We didn't have many of the things listed either.

There is always sun.
Jerry jug water.
If no wind, stay.
It's shallow.
Tow the dinghy.

Ps
If you do, I have a life raft and inflatable paddle board, in Rhode Island area.
Curious, How do you sail 10,000 miles in the Caribbean in a year???
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Old 21-06-2015, 08:38   #44
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

Having just returned from the Bahamas in a 38' mono-hull, my only comment to you would be to reconsider the portable generator if you can find the room/budget. We too had solar, 500 watts worth, but soon after suffering a broken fuel injector pump in the Exumas - where there's little chance for repair - we went thru a period of 10 VERY cloudy days as TS Ana spun up, and without the engine to backup the solar panels, our batteries got dangerously low. Thankfully friends sailing with us had a portable generator. We used it several times, and sailed back to Florida to repair the engine. Before we cross the Gulf stream next fall, we'll have one onboard.
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Old 22-06-2015, 06:48   #45
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Re: Gear We’re Leaving Off – Cruising ICW to Bahamas

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Can you tell us more about this - what kind of conditions you encountered? What were your departure and arrival points? What equipment failed?
I've never taken a life raft to the Bahamas. I've always had unsinkable hard dinghy, or an inflatable dinghy, which I figured would suffice seeing how you are never really that far out from land.

Plus, it's makes no sense to try and cross the gulf stream without a good weather window. Why do it? Why be that impatient?

Every where else in the Bahamas, you're main danger is dragging anchor and being blown ashore, not something a life raft would really help that much with.

The only other situation I can think of is one like the boat that tried to come in through a cut during a rage at night that, of course, hit a reef, and sunk and killed one of the people on it. Make sure you understand the whole rage and cut thing in the Bahamas for sure.
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