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Old 03-06-2021, 07:44   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Florida cruising currently
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Game Changers

Game changers, those things that really make a difference in your boating/cruising life. Everyone has them and their order of importance changes some with their boat use etc. There are endless reoccurring threads here about things like hulls, rudders, boat models etc. that really have little impact I feel to most people once they have a boat that doesn’t sink and for which they learn to use it best in its characteristics.

So, after 13 years boating/sailing, 5 years of them living and cruising full time, this is my list (this assumes your basic boat is sound or course):

Tier 1 (things that would mostly stop me from leaving)
- Autopilot (may have the most impact of anything underway)
- Solar and enough battery capacity (which is much less than what I have and I have much less than most)
- Refrigeration
- GPS/chart plotter of some type
- Good mattress (maybe one of the most important and least talked about and no the standard boat cushions are NOT a good mattress)
- Good anchor system
- Good dinghy

Tier 2 (things that I would address fast)
- Ability to get weather forecasts of some type.
- A shower, with HW ability
- Pressure water
- Enough dock lines
- Sun shade and dodger

Tier 3 (important nice to haves)
- Entertainment equipment (TV, video, streaming, radio, books, electronic device management)
- Fans

Tier 4 (great boat life improvement, but can do without easy)
- Watermaker (could move to 2 depending on your tankage)
- Radar/AIS
- Generator

This is what I came up with quick. Add and argue as you see fit.
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Old 03-06-2021, 07:52   #2
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Re: Game Changers

Sail?
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:07   #3
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Re: Game Changers

Quote:
Originally Posted by svRaison d Etre View Post
Sail?
what about it?
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:19   #4
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Re: Game Changers

Quote:
Originally Posted by svRaison d Etre View Post
Sail?


I don’t think a sail on a sail boat is a game changer....it’s required equipment.

However we added a a-kite to our boat....that was a game changer for moving in light air.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:46   #5
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Re: Game Changers

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I don’t think a sail on a sail boat is a game changer....it’s required equipment.

However we added a a-kite to our boat....that was a game changer for moving in light air.
I did say "this assumes your basic boat is sound or course". If you have a sail boat and you don't feel having a sail falls under that the rest of the list is probably a waste of time.

I have an a-sym. It hasn't flow in over a year because we never have been in the right conditions. I would say we flew it a lot more back when we were "sailors" than we have now as "cruisers". I think last time were flew was over a year ago coming back from Bahamas during Corvid because we just didn't have enough fuel. Think we were doing 2 knots and only 1.5 of that was vmg.

I sometimes look at the big spinnaker bag and think about the space it takes up.
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Old 03-06-2021, 09:51   #6
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Re: Game Changers

I’d put radar higher on the list. Certainly above TV and stuff. There are environmental conditions where that can significantly enhance safety and SA.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:00   #7
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Re: Game Changers

Good list Sailorboy1. I would add my composting toilet to my list of game changers (and wine storage!). Other game changers were full awnings (tropics...) and adding more solar (100% solar now). Anything that adds autonomy is at the top of the list.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:03   #8
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Re: Game Changers

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Originally Posted by C420sailor View Post
I’d put radar higher on the list. Certainly above TV and stuff. There are environmental conditions where that can significantly enhance safety and SA.
I'd say that one varies depending on your cruising grounds and style. For some, it's pretty necessary because it's hard or undesirable to avoid running in conditions with poor visibility. Others have more flexibility to avoid night runs, fog, etc. and have less need for radar.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:06   #9
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Re: Game Changers

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailorboy1 View Post
I did say "this assumes your basic boat is sound or course". If you have a sail boat and you don't feel having a sail falls under that the rest of the list is probably a waste of time.
Oops I did not read it, sorry.

A blown sail kept us from leaving port once.

I agree that a radar has an higher priority.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:12   #10
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Re: Game Changers

Carbon fibre guitar….
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:16   #11
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Re: Game Changers

For those of us afflicted with sleep apnea a 12v CPAP machine is a must. BTW, not using the humidifier attachment (not really needed if you're surrounded by water) cuts electrical usage by about half.
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Old 03-06-2021, 10:57   #12
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Re: Game Changers

Far as radar goes

I spend my first 8 years in New England and got into lots of fog. I did not find radar much use. Yes it showed land, kind of, but so did my chart plotter show where the land and I were. I found that small boats in the fog wouldn't show on the radar even though I could hear them. Only once has it helped by showing me a squall coming and I slowed down for it and maybe didn't get hit as hard.

So for me when my radar died a few years ago I didn't do anything about it.

But it is OK with me if others feel different. I am sure I would say it was more important if I had added it after buying my boat and laying out the cash. No one really likes to believe they spent their money poorly (like I did on my POS diesel generator)
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:14   #13
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Re: Game Changers

That’s fair. My older magnetron radar (Furuno circa 2000) wasn’t super great in fog and precip.

My new radar (Garmin Fantom 24, solid state) is unreal. Night or adverse weather, that thing is the cat’s ass.

I’ve become a radar cripple!
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:19   #14
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Re: Game Changers

Quote:
Originally Posted by nwdiver View Post
Carbon fibre guitar….
Is this a game-changer compared to a regular guitar? Or a headless electric guitar and a 12V amp?
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Old 03-06-2021, 11:27   #15
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Re: Game Changers

I'd put into Tier 1:
  • Shade in the cockpit. I'm the pasty whitey type.
For Tier 2:
  • Kindle ebook reader. Never bought any books for Amazon, but just copied the stuff I found on it with Calibre. That makes it also easier to be nice and share.
Tier 3:
  • Internet on board via 4G or 5G
  • Signal / Whatsapp to keep in touch with people internationally.
Stuff I don't care about:
  • TV
  • AC
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