You've got it right. Going out in the ocean, take a liferaft. Don't know how much it costs to rent one as we have our own Switlik 6-man raft, but whatever it is you'll be buying
at the very least peace of mind and at the most, your lives. An inflatable is not a liferaft and towing any dinghy
in the ocean IMHO is a very poor idea. Also go with Hud's suggestion and rent an EPIRB
. And make sure you have harnesses, tethers and jacklines
set up. Our rule
and I expect that of many others on this forum is that you don't come on deck
when your sailing in the ocean without hooking up to a jackline.
The fact is you might not really need any of this. I sincerely hope you have sunny skies, moderate wind
and following seas but it never pays to igniore safety.
And I think that a course close in to the Jersey shore should be reconsidered. A look at the charts
will show you that there a just a few places to run to on that coast and in bad weather your boat might not have enough power to get through some of the inlets. What you're going to need is sea room (Any Jersey folks on the forum who can give yea or nay on this?)
On my way up to Cape Cod
I've always kept well offshore and not only because I was aiming for the end of Long Island. Lee shores with no place to run just scare me.