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Old 16-05-2014, 10:11   #1
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Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Hi all:

What are your Top 10 must-haves, in terms of equipment, for family cruising? No major crossings here, just live-aboard Caribbean cruising...

Here's a start...

1. Water maker
2. EPRIB
3. Radar
4. SSB / SailMail / Sat phone
5. Generator
6. Washer
7. Solar panels
8. Wind generators
9. Electric winch (getting old...!)
10. AIS transponder

What else would you all recommend?
Thanks
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Old 16-05-2014, 10:30   #2
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Interesting list.

Cruising full time here in Greece, we don't have 5 of your 10 items and don't miss them.

I notice you have left off refrigeration and hot water. Not necessary or so vital for you that you consider them not worth mentioning LOL? (we happily live without both at times).

Just about the top items for me are very reliable anchor and engine.

Edited to add: Decent boom tent too. We live outdoors for 12- 16 hours a day for six months of the year and this would be impossible to do without excellent shade. I would rate that much higher than refrigeration.
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Old 16-05-2014, 10:50   #3
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Ha!

I can live without the hot water, but yes, refrigeration goes without saying!

We will have our kids on board, so I am probably being overly cautious on the safety equipment. Plus, we are gadget people; some of that will likely become more of a hobby than a necessity...

But a washer is a must-have for me and requires a decent generator and a water maker, and the electric winch is an effort to save my husband's fragile back.

Looking for other suggestions!
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:07   #4
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Uh, I think number 1 would be a boat
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:08   #5
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

1. Water maker
2. Dingy Davits
3. High output alternator/ Solar
4. SSB / SailMail
5. 10ft RIB & 10HP+ OB
6. Bimini
7. Autopilot
8. Electric windlass/ all chain rode
9. Roller furling headsail
10. Windscoop
11. Engine hot water heater
12. GPS
13. Radar
14. Refrigeration

That's my top 10!
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:24   #6
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareham View Post
Hi all:

What are your Top 10 must-haves, in terms of equipment, for family cruising? No major crossings here, just live-aboard Caribbean cruising...
Geeze, I guess I'm in trouble. Of your list I have 7 & 8.

My list would include:
  1. Oversized new generation anchor
  2. Good quality all-chain rode, at least 250 feet
  3. Solid, dependable windlass
  4. Good sails, rig and running rigging
  5. Autopilot
  6. Adequate battery bank
  7. Good charging system (solar & wind)
  8. Dingy that can be brought out of the water (davits or on deck)
  9. Large tankage (water & diesel)
  10. Dodger and bimini
  11. Functional galley to encourage cooking on board
  12. Basic electronics (depth, speed, wind. VHF)
  13. Long range comms (SSB or sat. phone)
  14. Good ventilation
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:27   #7
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Well... good point... I assumed over and above a well found boat!
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Old 16-05-2014, 11:37   #8
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

This is to stay in the Caribbean? This is VITAL as there is ample sun and wind..
You dont say how old the kids are....

So I would cut the generator as you have solar and wind generation (ok, i see your point re washing mashine)
Add a big freezer and refrig or two fridges so the sticky little hands only open one drinks fridge 47 times per day.
Add large dinghy and huge OB, I have an 18 hp and if you have kids you are taxi driver so may as well dump them off quickly.

You do need hot water. Women like to feel human, like their men to smell unlike pigs and children are grubs.

I doubt you need HF radio but this forum is pretty backward and the skies fall on any post saying HF is an archaic piece of junk. You have kids so you will have lots of computers and lots of internet. They need the internet for school these days, so save $3k on HF and get internet on each island. So you need a good wifi router and probably a good wifi amplifying antenna.

Look out for sales of good quality snorkeling kit. That stuff degrades in the sun and breaks easily and is very expensive in the Caribbean as its mostly sold in small dive shops.

In fact look for sales in anything, because their aint no sales here.


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Old 16-05-2014, 13:08   #9
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

MarkJ, you bring up a good point -- good snorkeling and scuba gear for all four of us is a necessity (kids are 8, 10). I doubt we'll need both solar and wind -- last boat we were on had enough solar to run the freezer and fridges, plus a little more. Which do you guys recommend if you have to choose, and why?

And yes, we will need the wifi / internet setup for school. We are techies, so will likely go overboard there... What do you mean "get internet on each island?"

Mike OReilly -- can you explain about the anchor? We are looking at boats 2004+; when did the "new generation" of anchors start?

Cheechako -- electric windlass is now on the list. Thanks. Also, why do you like the engine hot water heaters over any other type? Does anyone use the tankless / instant hot water heaters?

Thanks for you input, everyone. I am making notes...
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Old 16-05-2014, 13:19   #10
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

We had a on demand propane water heater it was great but they are just not made for a marine environment and internals would corrode giving a year or two max out of it. Our engine driven works great and once hot stays warm for almost two days.
New gen anchors are the Rocna, Manson supreme etc.
I would add to most of the above
1.fishing gear
2.dive gear to retrieve a stuck anchor or at least a spare air
3. Comprehensive medical kit including an Aed.




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Old 16-05-2014, 13:37   #11
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwareham View Post
Which do you guys recommend if you have to choose, and why?

And yes, we will need the wifi / internet setup for school. We are techies, so will likely go overboard there... What do you mean "get internet on each island?"

.
Solar is most important. Some have wind because at night the wind keeps blowing consistently.

Re internet: each Island is its own country and each country has its own telecommunications laws so none of the internet service providers can sell to all countires, even if they sell in each country that connection will not transfer to another island/country.
Axxess Direct does have a system but its not cheap $120 -$200 per month.

Only some islands can you get good wifi and thats only in some bays. Some Islands do not have 3G and most dont have 4G.
In St Martin I am using a specialised Wifi modem, cost $120 plus $93 per month, but it will only work on the Dutch side of the Island. On the other side, the french side, I need another service! (My service is a bit expensive as I ned high speed, but the slower one is $56 per month)

So each island is different. Its a bit of a pain, but you get used to it. Its certainly not like the USA where one AT&T contract will keep you connected from Florida to Alaska.
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Old 16-05-2014, 14:36   #12
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

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Originally Posted by dwareham View Post
Mike OReilly -- can you explain about the anchor? We are looking at boats 2004+; when did the "new generation" of anchors start?
It's the generic term applied to all spade-style anchors: Rocna, Manson, Spade, Mantus ... a few more I can't think of off hand. These newer style anchors operate well in a wider range of conditions than the old standbys like CQR/plow, Danforth or even the Bruce (although many will argue this latter point). I still carry a large Danforth and a Bruce, and I'm getting a Fortress as a storm anchor, but my slightly oversized Rocna is now used 90% of the time.
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Old 16-05-2014, 14:45   #13
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Regarding the instant/flash/propane water heater--we've had one for likely 15 years on our Beneteau. It is marine quality and we've never once had a problem with it. It just works really well, and consistently. We only used it for showers (not galley use) as it takes a couple of litters to run thru it before it gets hot. That's not a big deal as you just fill the kettle while warming up the water. We would highly recommend if you can find a marine unit.
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Old 16-05-2014, 17:39   #14
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Couldn't resist first post. After a well found boat I think #1 would be a bimini sun protection system. In the tropics if you can't get out of the sun it doesn't matter what else you have life sucks.
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Old 16-05-2014, 18:06   #15
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Re: Top 10: Equipment for Cruising

Our on-demand propane powered water heater is almost 24 yrs. old. Still works. Expect to have to replace it some day, but has been trouble free during our ownership of the boat (the last 14 yrs.).

However, it does not even make the top eleven of my priorities. Hm.

without overthinking it, here's what I did come up with:
1) reliable engine/suitable spares
2) anchors, 60 lb. Manson Supreme; 20 lb. HT Danforth (kedge); 45 lb. plow, spare
anchor
3) chain in good condition: 80 m. 10 mm on the Manson; 10 m. 10 mm chain on the
Danforth; about 40 ft. similar chain on the plow, with about 100 m. rope rode.
4) electric windlass, somewhat oversized
5) sails and rig in good nick
6) proven autopilot and backups
7) dodger
8) secure sea berths
9) GPS, backups, laptops for chartplotting, paper charts
10) SSB, depth sounders, radar, EPIRD

Some of this may be overkill for just going to the Caribbean. Luddites, maybe, but notice what's missing: no satphone on our list, no spot, no digital on our old ham radio,
no watermaker (but carry 800 l. in two tanks); no washing machine. YMMV


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