Originally Posted by RadioZ
I just bought my first sailboat, and my girlfriend and I are about to take it from Stamford, CT to its new home in Nantucket
Harbor. I grew up cruising in the waters off Cape Cod
with my dad, but I was never really in charge, and I've never taken such a long trip. My gf sailed dinghies in college, but has no experience with keelboats.
We plan to leave next weekend, and Iím going to start acquiring supplies and equipment
for the boat this week. What are the things that I absolutely need to have on board? Radio
, and charts
are all there already, as well as all the mandatory safety equipment
(foghorn, flares, lifejackets, etc.). I also have spare impellers and belts for the engine, and a basic tool kit. In addition to general stuff, is there anything that Iíll need that's specific to the area? Anything to look out for?
Thanks in advance!
Hi RadioZ - wow - Stanford in Cape Town
- we have property there!
Anyway, have not read through all the replies so forgive me if I double up on some stuff - I would suggest if you have the money
to obtain a decent PLB that stays on your person whenever you are outside especially at night. Make sure to understand it battery
life functionality in differing water temperatures.
Your boat should / MUST have AIS
and go for the transceiver type - don't follow 'shallow advice' - BUY THIS ITEM and have it installed and working!
is a good tool and understand setting up targets and alarms - I assume you are sailing with crew (if your girlfriend likes the boat) and will have someone at watch all the time - if not then definitely understand radar
and AIS alarm
monitoring and setup - you can contact Robert Galley
in Cape Town
to help if you need some instruction.
Have great DOUBLE TETHER type tethers and a decent harness you wont slip out of. The double clip tether allows you to unclip one whilst being clipped in by the next as you move along the boat in severe conditions.
For comfort (since otherwise you will not wear your lifejacket) get the inflatable
type life jackets as they are comfortable to wear topside.
Look at a a personal MOB epirb
devise such as the ones we use McMurdo smartfind SRS - these devices carried in your life jacket can be used in a MOB
situation to alert your crew member
or any other vessel that may be in range of your position and drift in the water by displaying you as an AIS target on the chart plotter. Trust me - if you went overboard
for any reason what so ever you will want to be equipped with all this stuff. I have heard many times of ships passing folks in life rafts and so on without knowing people were there in trouble.
Buy a great flashing strobe light to attach to your life jacket too. Green would be the best if you can get them. Seaport Supplies in Cape Town is great for all this stuff.
Fresh water is an obvious one - make sure you have enough of it and be sure you can get to it in an emergency
- you OBVIOUSLY HAVE a LIFERAFT
and a vessel Epirb
that has positive GPS
Get hold of great flashlights - including the ones you wear on your forehead and if you can get the one that has a red light for night shifts also great ... and have a pair of small goggles. If you have an emergency
repair at the bow in howling winds such as I have had - you will want to be able to keep the salt water
out of your eyes.
You have no doubt seen your doctor and assembled a great medical
Make sure to have all the safety gear
recommended by the SA maritime authority - it could save your life (Deon at Seaport can give you the list) and have a good waterproof emergency grab bag if you need to ditch the boat - it should have your waterpoof VHF handheld, mirror and other essentials in there.
Ropes - have spare rope
to replace halyards and so on - have also some short lengths of thinner rope
for lashing things down - you will be amazed how handy these can be. You have fenders? they float - I love things that float
How are you communicating at sea? How are you getting weather
I assume you have autopilot
? What is the backup if that fails? Hand steering
is tough on 2 people.
Tools - have tools enough to repair all sorts of things especially Vice grips and shifting spanners and have a lever (crowbar) too.
What is the situation with bilge
pumps on your boat? If you dont have then head
for Seaport Supplies and get their great 12v high volume pumps (I assume you have good battery
power at least when ticking the engine over) and buy those 'quick coupler type' creepy crawly blue pipes that float on the water in swimming pools. fix one onto the outlet of the pump
and stow the other pieces ... if in an emergency you can quickly interlock the pieces and throw them out through a port hole, aft or anywhere to eject water ... and make sure you have long leads to the battery terminals with good crocodile clamps. We just rescued a boat that hit a reef behind us about 2 weeks ago - they were taking on water and only had manual bilge
pumps which were not coping with the water flow. They called us in distress
and we dropped the spinnaker
and I had to get our portable pumps to them - it saved their boat and as we were in a remote
location we sailed with them for a day and night whilst the pumps drained their bilge - no way of doing a repair out there as the damage also came through the floor where the saildrive
took a punch.
Have warps to trial behind the boat if the winds and sea state become unbearable - roll knots down the length, attach end to horn cleats
at the rear of the boat and throw them overboard
Well - hopefully that gets some essentials listed - remember to keep your selves protected from the sun and keep hydrated.
I don't allow folks to take a pee overboard either - most people found dead and afloat at sea have their zips down! If you need to - make sure to be tethered in!
In the end none of this stuff may be needed by you - you will have felt to have gone overboard in protecting yourself, but trust me, should something go wrong, your respect for the sea and these items may be what saves your lives.