Hi Hank and welcome to the forum.
Complex question that can be answered a number of ways. On an absolute basis the only thing that is really needed is a boat that floats and a way to make it go. Back in the olden days ships had only sails
, no motor
, very limited navigation
instruments, poor or no charts
, etc and they managed to get around. Of course a lot of them didn't return home either.
So start with the most basic: a boat in good repair with sails
in workable condition. A few basic instruments like fathometer and knot
Next charts and/or GPS
chart plotter. You may see a lot of argument about this. Are paper charts obsolete, can you use only electronic charts, paper for backup only? I prefer using GPS
but keep paper charts for backup. I would also add a good guide book for the area you plan to cruise
. Waterway Guide and Skipper
for the ICW
. Explorer charts and a guidebook for the Bahamas
Next tools and such. So good set of tools for doing engine
and boat repair (several long discussions on the forum on what tools to take). Binoculars, hand held GPS backup are a couple other items that come to mind.
Boat in good condition I assume you already know but just to mention a couple of things to check:
pumps. I like three. A small one that keeps the small drips out. A large one for emergencies, and a large manual for even more emergency
Seacocks. Check them all. Make sure all through hulls have them, even those just above the water
line since they will be submerged when you're heeled over.
. Check all the fittings and wires. Call a rigger if you don't feel confident to do this yourself.
. How long since they have been inspected or cleaned? Got any grunge floating around inside?
Power. Got enough battery
capacity? Got ways to keep them charged? If you plan to anchor
a lot have solar
to keep from running your engine
a few hours each day?
That's what occurs to me off the top of my head
. On the way to my boat shortly and will look at my list(s).