SeaKnots

What are the 20 top items one needs for Blue Water sailing?...just thinking, just thinking

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I have the food situation taken care of ..would include prepared food survival rations..among other.

A lot would depend on the ultimate destination, but good fishing gear would be useful anywhere.

Let's say an Island

I would have both.

I guess I was thinking equipment,,Watermaker is on the list, and life raft, emergency signal.and.......what absolute items?

 

Excellent paper charts at a minimum, a chart plotter with WAAS enabled GPS to ease the navigational duties while not essential, is still a huge work reducer.  In a perfect world, both a wind powered steering vane for helm duties and an electronic autopilot for when winds are light.  The electric autopilot would be slaved to the GPS and chart plotter, of course, to automatically keep your vessel on its intended track.  Perhaps a quality Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) in lieu of a canister life raft for dual purposes.  For a petite lady skipper, a power-windlass to handle the heavy ground tackle when weighing anchor would be essential.  I would also consider a high quality fish finder to be more essential than a simple digital depth sounder for its high resolution detail of bottom features and passes through reefs, as well as its ability to give you simple depth information.

Are you so equiped Steve?

I possess a manual two speed windlass by Simpson Lawrence that I like, mostly for its simplicity, and I'm angling for a high end fish finder with hi resolution bottom mapping capability to find my way around thin water and to avoid tangling my anchor in wrecks or bottom structures...  http://www.humminbird.com/ .  I do have the other equipment that I enumerated.

Are you talking about the equipment to travel the high seas or are you talking about the things that make life more pleasant once you've safely arrived?

Opinions on whats important are going to be diverse and often opposing.  For example...the wind vane steering.  30 years ago, yeah it was a must have.  Now with the advances in technology windavnes are from a bygone era IMHO.  Whether you have a windvane or not your certainly going to want an autopilot.  My autopilot is amp friendly as hell.   For the price of a windvane you could add solar and wind power that would more then make up for the amp draw of the autopilot.  Crossing to the Bahamas?  People with windvanes rarely use them.  Crossing the Atlantic?  5 days to Bermuda, wind, solar, a decent battery bank and the autopilot, no problem.  Less than a week to the Azores and another hop to Europe, a properly set up power system with the autopilot....no problem.  Quality windvanes are expensive and take up a ton of space.  Your gonna have an autopilot anyway.  You'd be better off having wind and solar rather than depending on a generator anyway....why not make it work for you during crossings?  Wind and solar have value at anchor while the windvane just gets in the way.

 

Connecting the autopilot to the chartplotter?  Do you really want the boat making course corrections on it own?  To me it seems that might be something the captain ought to be aware of and making those changes themselves.  How do you cross the Gulfstream?  Do you have to lie to your own boat?  You are responsible for the course that your boat is traveling, having the chartplotter making those decisions seems a bit irresponsible to me.

 

Paper charts are a must but even more important is having a chartplotter that you actually know how to use.  You HAVE to be able to load in waypoints and set up a route.  Knowing the ins and outs of your chartplotter cannot be overstated.  Radar is important, for us AIS is a neccesity, a watermaker makes life easier, an Epirb is a must have, jacklines, flares, QUALITY ground tackle and an SSB receiver. Me, I wouldn't put to sea without a quality egg timer for watches.

 

Even when you have all the "right stuff" you have to make sure it user friendly.  We just made a night crossing with a boat that had no VHF in the cockpit, their rardar was down below at the nav station and they were without an autopilot.  So during a 24 hour crossing when one person was asleep the other person had to leave the cockpit everytime they wanted to check the radar or to answer the VHF.  All this with no autopilot, they were all over the place.  So even with all the "stuff" a little forethought has to go into the installation.

 

Columbus had a bluewater boat.  Me, I need refrigeration.  It all depends on how you want to travel.  You might be asking the question but ultimately you're the only one that can answer the question.....but the opinions are interesting.

 

Bill

s/v Veranda

currently lying in Big Majors Spot

 

 

Hey, thanks Bill...a lot to ponder.....best advice yet.  I hope I can get back to you.

Considering selling a house.

Internet is a little hit and miss for us right now but I'll always voice an opinion if I can....

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