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Old 15-11-2010, 07:14   #46
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Diesel engines, watermakers, solar panels etc; all these things should be on the list of luxurious distractions that we suffer, not on a debated list of necessities
I take it the Diesel engine is a typo?
It is a necessity, isn't it? Especially for you: "Boat: Marine Trader 40' Sedan Trawler".

A few people ealrier have mentioned safety equipment in the terms that some could think all safety equipment is a necessity.
Well, I'm here to tell you that if you bought all the safety equipment people think is a necessity most would ever go anywhere. We would still be robbing banks to afford it!

Just because a West Marine has painted a red band on some product it doesnt mean its necessary! Shop wisely if you ever want to leave Dodge City, cowboy


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Old 15-11-2010, 07:27   #47
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5. Wireless headsets for communications. These are marriage savers. Our boat is rather large and we can't hear each other in docking and anchoring situations without yelling. Wireless headsets remove any need for yelling and keep everything nice and calm. Even when there is no emergency, the act of yelling to be heard raises the tension and makes for discomfort.


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Any particular recommendation for a brand? Friends have stressed this to us as well...that they are invaluable.
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Old 15-11-2010, 07:43   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doug86
Diesel engines, watermakers, solar panels etc; all these things should be on the list of luxurious distractions that we suffer, not on a debated list of necessities
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
I take it the Diesel engine is a typo?
It is a necessity, isn't it? Especially for you: "Boat: Marine Trader 40' Sedan Trawler".
It is a "luxurious distraction that I suffer.."

I concede your point, though; perhaps diesel engine should be replaced with electric windless...

As another post pointed out, too much focus on having all the "right" gear can paralyze folks and they don't leave the dock, or they finally bury the waterline and end up spending too much time/money on repairs and maintenance. I was adding to that thought, and suggesting that cruising priorities are not just a wish lists of stuff to either purchase or live without.
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:19   #49
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Originally Posted by DiverChick71 View Post
Any particular recommendation for a brand (of wireless headsets)? Friends have stressed this to us as well...that they are invaluable.
We've found a simple set of agreed hand signals to be very effective, and avoids all the "can you hear me now" discussion that distract from the task at hand.
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:39   #50
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Watermaker - uses power and is not necessary (we did 27 days at sea with 3 people on board and used 350 litres)
Bimini - yes, definitely
Anchor windlass - yes
Self-steering mechanism - NOT an autopilot - one that just uses the wind - doesn't use any power see?
Tow generator - yes
Fold-up bicycles - yes
Radar - not essential - can be more of a hindrance if you don't know how to use it properly
Wireless headsets - FFS you have too much money if these are essential kit! Figure out some hand signals!
Emergency rudder - definitely
Flares and flare gun
SSB radio or satphone - with a modem to send and receive emails
EPIRB
Solid dinghy
Fishing lines
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Old 15-11-2010, 09:46   #51
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We bought some cheap headsets that were basically kids toys off of Ebay for approx. 40.00 for the set. We used them probably twice while anchoring but soon found we did not need them as hand signals were easier. We do use them still when hubby goes up the mast. They are much easier than yelling 60' in the air to turn on a anchor light, etc.
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Old 15-11-2010, 10:23   #52
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We bought some cheap headsets that were basically kids toys off of Ebay for approx. 40.00 for the set. We used them probably twice while anchoring but soon found we did not need them as hand signals were easier. We do use them still when hubby goes up the mast. They are much easier than yelling 60' in the air to turn on a anchor light, etc.
It would be an interesting study to determine the number of couples who, upon purchasing their first big boat, were told that they should absolutely use FRS radios for anchoring, and then after heeding the advice found them to be far less useful than simple hand signals.

We, too, wasted $40 on a set of those toys when we bought our previous boat. A shame it never occurred to us that if we'd been able to live without them on a 37 footer, we'd probably be able to make do without them on a 41 footer. (Shame on us for listening to well-intentioned advice from cruisers more experienced than us?)

I'm guessing that by the time a boat got big enough that hand signals no longer worked, it would be time to hire professional crew.
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Old 15-11-2010, 11:13   #53
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anchoring, simple hand signals.

.
All I did was indicate "20 meters!"



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Old 15-11-2010, 11:19   #54
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We love our headsets.
As I am at the helm, she whispers "You're doing great babe, just a degree or two to port, and I love you!"
They're great.
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Old 15-11-2010, 11:22   #55
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hand signals beat the heck out of nonsignal headsets in noisey wind situations-- raise yer fist for neutral, thumb up or down for throttle--w** is so hard on that... lol--easier to carry than useless stuff that ends up on bottom of sea or not used and taking up space. make sure everything even people has more than one or two uses. ever try to hear even with a headset in a howling wind??!! LOL headsets are useless.
m0dems are useless unless you are walking down the beach. or at anchor. btdt.
i have almost gotten this list down to:
boat
fish gear
kat
me
wt* is in boat
crew

the rest is non essential.

but then i am planning escape for december....praying we dont have storms until late in jan.......lol--at least is all down hill until mazatlan....
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Old 15-11-2010, 13:12   #56
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I won't go without. If I try them and don't like them, that's different and lesson learned. I hate yelling, am sensitive to it anyway. And the combination of a soft-spoken boyfriend who already has a hearing loss from a childhood of hunting, etc, just adds up to something I don't want to deal with. Even with our plans of refurbishing a boat, if I'm sanding, etc, I still want to be able to hear him if he's on the other side. I deal with hand signals when we're diving, but on land the headsets seem like a pretty easy fix.
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Old 15-11-2010, 13:38   #57
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G'Day all,

Wow! A lot of heated discussion about a 40 dollar investment!

Ann and I bought our set of "Intergalactic Communicators" from that well known chandlery called "Toys R Us" for USD 19 about 15 years ago.

We don't use them for routine anchoring where hand signals are indeed adequate for most situations, but there are applications where they shine: working aloft, conning from the spreaders in coral waters, picking up a mooring in the dark, where one hand for the torch and one hand to hold on and one hand for the boat hook make hand signals (if seen at all) rather difficult to make.

So, for a paltry sum and a fairly small stowage burden, we've got a useful and sometimes nearly essential tool. A no-brainer for us!

Cheers,

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Tangalooma, Moreton bay, Qld Oz southbound
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Old 15-11-2010, 13:49   #58
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The advice an experienced cruiser gave me when we were just moving aboard 9 years ago: "How to prioritize? First, safety. Then, tools. Then, everything else."

We cruise the US east coast, Bahamas, some Caribbean so our list wouldn't serve if you're planning to be at sea for 3-4 weeks on a long passage. For example, our water tanks hold 120 gallons which lasts us about 3 weeks; since I don't particularly enjoy being away from civilization for longer than that, a watermaker wouldn't be worth it for the way we cruise. YMMV.

My top 5: 1. sleeping soundly = anchoring: a Rocna one size bigger than recommended for our boat, 100 feet of chain + 200 feet rope rode and electric windlass. We've twice had unattended boats bigger than us, drag into us in an anchorage and the Rocna held us both, once at 3 AM in a gale.
2. knowing the engine will start when we need it = new Yanmar. The ICW is basically a motor trip. Also a Baja filter and a fuel-polishing system to provide an additional margin of safety in areas where diesel supplies are of uncertain quality.
3. quiet power for creature comforts = solar. We converted to LED lighting, installed keel-cooled refrigeration & super-insulated the fridge boxes, chose hand-powered galley gadgets (such as an antique eggbeater instead of a blender), and 12-V rechargeable tools. All to avoid needing a big inverter and generator. Two solar panels make all our power needs for a day or two so we're not tied to running the engine or noisy generator every morning.
4. knowing where you are = handheld GPS chartplotter (handheld means it can also come with you in the dinghy) and good paper charts
5. tools to be able to fix things - as someone else said already, things break even on a new (or newly refitted) boat

Things I wish I'd known: 1. the most dangerous thing you can have on a cruising sailboat is a calendar. I echo what others have already said - the weather, not the date, should set your cruising schedule.
2. it's fun to meet other cruisers, but really? If all I wanted to do is meet other cruisers, I would just stay in Annapolis and let them come to me. We tried to get away from the cruiser hangouts and meet the locals whose country we're visiting.
3. you read lots of stories about big storms at sea. Storms exist, but not as often as you'd expect from reading the magazines. Face it - who would read a story that says, "we left in sunshine, motored because there wasn't enough wind to sail, ate lunch, then motored some more and anchored for a starlit night?" Boring, right? Won't sell magazines. (But see #1!)
I read that on the edge of my seat, just knowing that you were going to have BBQ grill in there and... NOTHING! Not a single mention!! And after all that advice I gave you... who'da thought??? (SMILE)

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Old 15-11-2010, 15:37   #59
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The chartplotter and auto pilot for long cruises are a must for me. If you have the plotter, you may want to get XM weather, doppler radar is very helpfull in forecasting what is ahead of you. Knowing that you should stay put for a few days is a good feeling.

The GOOD ground tackle for your boat is also a must unless you plan to spend all your time in marina's.

I also don't have a watermaker, however I do have dual carbon filters and UV light and a 200 gallon water tank">fresh water tank which so far has taken care of us just fine. However, should we decide to cruise the salty Caribean, a watermaker would be a must.

Refrigeration, we had a 14cf fridge freezer( 3cf freezer and 11cf fridge). The freezer contained an icemaker that took half the space. it always seemed lacking if we were gone more than one week. We also had two seperate small fridges and a separate ice maker and a wine fridge, all told 5 units or compressors to run which took its toll on the electrical system. So we changed all the refrigeration. we took all 5 units out, and replaced them with an 11cf all fridge in the galley and an 18cf, half fridge, half freezer side by side unit on the upper deck. Uses less than half the power and we have more than twice the space.

You have started a great thread here, you will get a lot of good information. Enjoy your cruise !
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Old 15-11-2010, 18:14   #60
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Wolf, that "safety/tools/everything else" was my mantra as we were moving aboard and deciding what to take! Served me well and delighted to pass it on. Sometimes what seemed to the experienced cruiser as just articulating the obvious is what helped me the most when I was starting out.
As my father was retired Navy, safety and tools were drilled into me. And I grew up in the sort of environment where you had to know how to fix just about everything. I look at the "if it's broken get a new one or call a repairman" attitude on land with contempt....on a boat it just doesn't work.
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