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TravisCollier 26-10-2018 11:43

Things from home
Hello all. My wife and I are the verge of buying a cruising sailboat. Are house is about to go on the market and we are starting to downsize our possessions. But Iím concerned we may get rid of things that we might need on the boat. Please give us some guidance, what things should we save for the boating life? We plan on buying a 44í ish boat, live on it for several months and then sailing away. Any serious advise will be greatly appreciated. Unserious help will be enjoyed. Thanks.

In Training 26-10-2018 12:19

Re: Things from home
Oh, I am so excited for you! We are about 2 years away from where you are. Have fun and hope all goes well. Keep us posted on the boat you buy and how your search for that goes. Those of us still waiting just live thru those kinds of posts.

Stu Jackson 26-10-2018 12:35

Re: Things from home
What you like that fits! Really. We've seen many of these kinds of questions: What should I bring?

Jenga game? Not so much. Phonograph? Hmm... Model railroad? I'd love to, but...

Pots & pans you love? Sure. Clothes? Like vacations: pack, throw out half, do again.

There is really no one right answer.

Good luck, safe journey.

Macblaze 26-10-2018 12:36

Re: Things from home
You will find all sort of varying advice. Check out for some more thoughtful ideas...

We moved aboard (only for a year) and took a bunch of homey things. Here are some of the ones we especially enjoyed:
Favourite/comfy blankets
Throw pillows
Fleece (not flannel) sheets — we wintered in the PNW
Games/crib boards
Ripped DVDs to watch on laptop
Good kitchen knives
Cast iron dutch oven (for bread)
Manual popcorn popper
Spinning clothes dryer (hanger)
Candles (big stable ones)
Spices/spice containers
Containers in general actually
Tools (obviously)
Fasteners and adhesives

Overall the ones we appreciated most were the ones relating to comfort.

GordMay 27-10-2018 03:34

Re: Things from home
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Travis.

steve77 27-10-2018 04:12

Re: Things from home
When we sold or gave away everything, there were three items which I had to buy again.

1) a crock pot - I underestimated the amount of time we would be in marinas in the Med. With shore power available, a crock pot is something my wife uses fairly often.

2) bathroom scales - Should have kept ours to weigh luggage for trips on the plane. Never thought of it until we flew home for the first time.

3) PVC pipe cutter - there are some places where PVC is a good choice for boat plumbing. My ratcheting PVC cutters went away with the stuff I had in the garage for working on sprinklers, etc. About six months after giving mine away, I bought a new pair.

Best of luck with your downsizing!


SSgtPitt 27-10-2018 06:57

Re: Things from home
A small vacuum. Useful for sucking and blowing.

SVRocinante 27-10-2018 08:00

Re: Things from home
For what it’s worth, we sold or gave away everything that was obviously not going on the boat. Furtniture, bicycles, nordictrak, suits, etc., etc., etc.

Then we boxed up everything we felt we would need on the boat into “boat” boxes; day-to-day stuff. Mixing bowls, a good selection of cookware, silverware, kitchen gadgets, etc.

Then we boxed up things we weren’t sure of (this made the process easier for us) rented a small storage unit and put all of that stuff in it.

Then we moved onto Rocinante and started unpacking and storing stuff - if we couldn’t fit it, it got donated. When we were done, we still had room on board, so we went bck to the storage unit and grabbed the next level of “nice to have” stuff.

About 3 months later, we repeated the cycle, getting rid of some items we found sounded like a good idea, but did not justify the space they took up and bringing on board some others that we found more useful.

It’s now been 1 year & 7 months - we’ve more or less settled in and have a good number of items that we’ve yet to use... we’ll be getting rid of those shortly. We’ve not needed to add anything to date.

Hope this helps,

thinwater 27-10-2018 08:15

Re: Things from home
Clothes. Warm, dry, and comfortable trump good looking. Temperature should be your guide, but you should always have one combination that works when it's cold.

Bikes. This depends on whether you use them now. If you aren't a cyclist, you probably won't become one. If you are, I like full-size bikes much better than folders. Put them on a rack, just like you car (modified of course). Works fine.

Books for swapping. Some like e-readers, I don't.

Dive gear for whatever water temperatures you expect.

Whatever cushions are required to make a comfortable reading and movie lounge.

sailorboy1 27-10-2018 08:25

Re: Things from home
I hardly brought anything from the house to the boat. I had the boat for 5 years prior to talking off so it had basic needed things on it. So we brought some clothes and personal papers etc and that was pretty much it.

Iím more in the camp of go without and when you feel you need somethings write it down. When the same comes up regularly go get it. There are stores everywhere.

zeehag 27-10-2018 09:51

Re: Things from home
cooking ware ... we each favor our cooking ware and knives for cooking. bring those. and other favorites you and she would be comfortable using..comfort means success. not comfortable=fail.

redhead 27-10-2018 10:06

Re: Things from home
I like what Rocinante said - I wish I had been that organized, but funnily enough what we did without a plan was very like what they did. But then, I like plans.

I had a hard time realizing that I didn't need 17 knives and 14 mixing bowls and 62 kitchen towels. After 4+ years I have 2 mixing bowls, 4 knives and 4 towels. We are so used to having single purpose things in our kitchens that realizing that granny made great meals without all these gadgets was an eye opener. If you're like me you will rethink the word "downsizing" once you actually move aboard. Luckily we have a "free" table at the marina and there's always Goodwill.

My husband had exactly the same problem with tools, by the way. Just sayin....:biggrin:

Northbound44 29-10-2018 04:55

Re: Things from home

Bring the minimum.
We are retired live on our boat since two years now, we took four sabbatical years during our life and every time we left, we always brought too much stuff and most of the time, we didnít use it. Remember that you will always find what you need wherever youíll be on the planet.
Live and enjoy your dream!


belizesailor 29-10-2018 11:34

Re: Things from home
Put it all in storage for a year. If you dont miss it, then you dont need it. Return in one year and empty all that unused junk from the storage space.

JPA Cate 29-10-2018 14:27

Re: Things from home

Originally Posted by TravisCollier (Post 2749196)
Hello all. My wife and I are the verge of buying a cruising sailboat. Are house is about to go on the market and we are starting to downsize our possessions. But Iím concerned we may get rid of things that we might need on the boat. Please give us some guidance, what things should we save for the boating life? We plan on buying a 44í ish boat, live on it for several months and then sailing away. Any serious advise will be greatly appreciated. Unserious help will be enjoyed. Thanks.

Rocinante has provided you with a method that will work. I tossed too much. If either of you has favorite galley things, what I gave away, went back to get out of storage, or bought elsewhere: One cast iron dutch oven. I would have used it countless times for baking bread, if I'd had it, as well as stews, chiles, and so on. Just the best slow cooker. Instead, we've had cast aluminum pressure cookers. They do the same job, but it's just not the same. I console myself with the thought that someone has had good use of the Dutch oven for a long time.

I returned for recipes, and my ball bearing rolling pin. I have had to buy cookie sheets, baking pans and dishes, and one 2-1/2 qt. pot. In a way, they're souvenirs, they've come from Mexico (inexpensive) and from French Polynesia (cookie sheet from Huahine, and Noumea, baking dishes from Noumea and Pt. Vila), and Australia.

Select out what you know you will need. For a circumnavigation, think in terms of all weathers, and keeping dry when going out. If you have too many swimsuits and not enough coverups, you'll work it out. There will be times when you yearn for the sun, and when you'll want to protect yourself from it. Each of you needs something "good" to wear when being invited aboard a ship for tea, and we've known higher flyers who on a small boat, managed evening dress. It depends on what matters to you! If one of you is female and coming to the South Pacific, many of those cultures want your shoulders covered, and a skirt to below the knees. A wraparound skirt can perform the latter function, right over your shorts: and, since mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, I'd suggest light colored prints. If you make your own, make it with a pocket--for balloons to give to kids, or "lollies".

Tools.... We've added some along the way. If you do your own work, think of them as related to job type, so everything for engine maintenance including a torque wrench. Electrical. Plumbing. Bring the best quality. Jim misses his Snap-Ons that he left. We've always carried a sewing machine. We used it as a step for getting into the V-berth, and it also has sewn most of our canvas work, fitting bed linens, and a whole lot of wrap-around-skirts, too. We've also done a lot of repairs for friends with it.

About bed linens, dark colors hide blood stains better, and also dry faster. If you will be transferring bedding from house to boat, take the sturdiest. It is easy to modify bedding to fit the strange shapes beds take on boats.


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