SMSA ICW Seminar: Topic 1-ICW Equipment List
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In putting together an equipment list I am making a few basic assumptions:
Your boat is seaworthy with all of the normal equipment such as depth sounder, VHF radio, foul weather gear, bilge pumps, anchor(s), etc.
You have all of the Coast Guard recommended safety gear such as PFDs. appropriate signal flares, plus radar reflector(s), wooden plugs, and so forth and so on
The interior has a head, stove, refrigeration, cabin lights and fans, etc.
There will be two of you on the boat.
You know how to conserve using as little water and electrical power as possible.
We assumed that, at worst case, we need to take care of each other for 12 hours.
Take a First Aid class.
Take a CPR class.
Consult with your Doctor and have him/her make recommendations for your first aid kit.
Get 2 – 3 months of all prescription medications.
Find out how you will get refills of your medications
Talk with your medical insurer to find out how emergencies are taken care of.
Get a physical NOW
Take care of any dental problems
Money / Bills
Figure out how to pay your bills while you’re away. We set up e-bills and had several bills on auto-pay
Have enough cash on board (in a safe place) to handle you expenses for 2 – 3 weeks
ATM machines were not a problem but if you come into a marina late in the day you don’t want to go searching for one...
This is not a recommendation, this is a requirement for staying comfortable
Get several micro-fiber cloths to wipe off the dew each morning and for general cleaning
You may also think about adding screening for when the weather gets warm and you want to keep the bugs out.
Bring 6 dock lines of normal length
Bring at least 4 dock lines twice your normal length (9 foot tides)
Have 4 fenders (we haven’t tried it, but putting socks on your fenders may make them quieter.)
Fender board (as long as you can comfortably carry) or the new flat fenders
2 Boat hooks
2 anchors with appropriate length rodes
50 feet of chain for your main anchor (sometimes it’s very nice to have a short scope).
Trip line with float for you anchor
Wash down pump with hose
Get minimum 50’ of hose (drinking water approved)
Get two or three collapsible 3 - 5 gallon water jugs (they take up a lot less space than the big blue hard sided jugs)
Minimum 30 foot appropriate boat electric cable
Adaptors for either 30 amp to 50 amp or 50 amp to 30 amp. Which ever is appropriate for your boat
50 foot heavy gauge extension cord
Adaptor from 20 amp to 30 amp (if you use 30 amp)
Double the amount of Zincs you would normally put on your prop shaft.
Bring extra prop shaft zincs.
If you use the pencil type zincs on your heat exchanger, bring several extra.
I have had good results with www.boatzincs.com as a good supplier.
Make sure that you use a multi-season bottom paint
Ensure that it is the right paint for the tropics, not the Chesapeake
Simple Green is a good all around cleaner
Some type of boat soap - -Your boat will get a layer of salt on everything
Metal cleaner / wax
Boat wax (wax your boat before you leave and you will probably need to do it at least once again)
Plan on changing your oil at least every 100 hours. This means that you will be changing you oil every 10 – 20 days.
Make sure you keep a maintenance log
Make sure that you keep a log for fuel consumption/hours per gallon
Enough oil for at least 2 -3 oil changes. Consider getting adult diapers to catch the oil from the filter. They are easy to use and easy to throw away.
Oil change Pump
Oil filters for 2 -3 oil changes (if you use standard oil filters. If you use something unusual get them all now) I brought all of the filters that I would need since they don’t take up very much space
Plan on changing them when you do an oil change. There is some dirty fuel on the ICW
Get all of the fuel filters that you think you will need now (find them on the web)
Have a complete set of engine belts
Always check your oil before each engine start
Fuel additive – It gets cold and you may want better starting. Some fuel additives will actually pay for themselves in lower fuel consumption. I used Power Service (available in large auto parts stores or at truck stops) I got a two tenths gallon per hour less fuel consumption which doesn’t sound like much but it does add up and pays for the additive.
Bring along oil absorbing pads for oil changes. You can buy them in bulk on the web
Portable electric drill with appropriate bits
Use a soft sided tool bag
Bring everything that you think you will need then put back 20%
Remember that you will use 20% of your tools 80% of the time. I keep a tool roll handy so that I can get to the most important tools quickly. www.duluthtrading.com
Consider getting a Craftsman cutter. It’s the only thing that I have found that actually cuts line rather than hacks away at it.
Comfort and Entertainment
Get your DVD’s together and put them in a book. It takes up less space than the plastic cases
Consider satellite radio. It helps pass the time
Get a SMALL TV. Most marinas have cable
Get a 50 foot TV cable with non-corrosive connectors.
Battery operated boom box
Rail mounted gas grill
Consider making a propane bottle storage system out of 4” PVC pipe to mount on a rail
Chemicals – I had a good experience with K.O. Kills Odors holding tank treatment and C.P. Bowl Cleaner. These two products work together and helped to eliminate head odors.
Bring a complete rebuild kit
If you use a Jabsco Head, bring 6 – 8 joker valves
Along the way, get a large bottle of white vinegar. Pump it through the hoses and let it sit overnight.
Paper back books. Most marinas have a “leave one take one” library so you don’t need to bring a lot of books
Travel size games, cards, dominoes, etc.
Cell phone with charger. This will be your main way to communicate
Sea Gull Water Filter. - Worth the Money
This eliminates the need for buying jugs of drinking water
Also eliminates dealing with increased trash
Make sure that you have a very comfortable helm seat. You will be spending several hours a day in it.
Consider getting a directors chair for the cockpit (for your spouse). It is comfortable and as it folds, uses very little space. (we use a tall directors chair as our cockpit is deep)
Clothes line for cockpit
Organizer for the cockpit to put pens, cell phone, paper, camera, etc.
Install curtains in all ports. (You may be spending time in close quarters in a marina)
Small address book for phone numbers, addresses, birthdays, etc.
You will be exchanging boat cards with people up and down the ICW. Bring plenty. Hint – make them on your laptop
Bring along a business card folder (staples – Office Depot) for other peoples boat cards.
Laptop Computer with WiFi
Get a WiFi antenna with a long cable so that you can put it where you need it.
Make sure that you can download your pictures to your laptop and then to CD
All of your email addresses
Tell your friends/family that you would love to get email from them but please don’t send you jokes ,forwards with all of the original messaging, etc. Connections are sometimes iffy so you need to be able to keep your emails short and to the point.
Folding dock cart with big wheels.
12 volt vacuum or rechargeable vacuum
If you use lead acid batteries, get a battery watering system such as one from flow-rite www.flow-rite.com
Get a memory foam mattress topper
Get an under mattress ventilation system such as Hypervent www.hypervent.com . It eliminates moisture/mold/mildew from under the mattress
Engel Refrigerator / Freezer.
We used ours as a freezer. This was especially nice when stocking up at a grocery store. Also ice cream on a hot day was a very nice treat
Engel uses very little 12 volt power. As a fridge it was 0.7 amps per hour and as a freezer it was 2.5 amps per hour.
Having a generator was very nice (and quiet) to keep the battery charged when we were anchored/moored.
Investigate the Honda 2000
Check with www.mayberrys.com for a good price
If you don’t have Air Conditioning, or you will be anchoring out, consider getting port fans. We had good luck with www.svhotwire.com/
Get a small electric heater (it does get cold at night) for use at a marina
We found that a couple kerosene lamps help to keep the chill off
If you don’t have a dinghy with an outboard, get one.
Make sure that you have all of the required lights, sound devices, registration, PFD’s, etc. on board. I watched several people get tickets from the Florida marine police.
20 foot long painter so that several people can get into a dinghy dock.
20 foot long steel cable with locks on both ends so that you can leave your dinghy (This is only true is a few small areas – check with other cruisers about your dinghy’s safety.)
A good anchor with more rode than you think you need
If you don’t have davits, consider installing them
If you are thinking of going to the Bahamas, get your customs sticker. You also may want to check into the new arrangement so that when you return, you do not have to go and present your self to immigration
Bahamian courtesy flag
Wet suit (or skins)
Bottom cleaning pads
Leather gloves to wear in the water when cleaning the prop. Water borne infections are NOT fun.
Put reflective tape on your mast in some distinctive pattern. You will be surprised how easy it is to find your boat on a dark night in a crowded anchorage (get the reflective tape from www.gemplers.com )
Put reflective tape on your dinghy and on the dinghy motor. It helps it to be seen at night
SPOT – New technology, not an EPIRB, but does almost the same for less money www.findmespot.com
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