Outfitting a boat for the first time

In the next month or so, my husband and a former St Francis owner, Dave will set off to sail our St Francis 50 catamaran from Fort Lauderdale to Bradenton, Florida. Dave owned O’Vive.

Passage plan: Fort Lauderdale to Bradenton
Passage plan: Fort Lauderdale to Bradenton

A formal inspection of our boat, Aphrodite, has been arranged. But, our boat needs to be outfitted to sail, live and cook in. It will be empty of contents when we receive it.

Prior to the passage from Fort Lauderdale to Bradenton we need:

  • medical kit/first aid
  • tools
  • spares
  • supply food and water
  • provide bedding and towels
  • provide cooking utensils, clothespins, dish cloths, dish towels, etc.
  • drain holding tank
  • obtain needed charts
  • plan passage
  • check that dinghy is inflated and serviceable and engine works
  • buy and register EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) – we plan to carry three onboard as per advice from other cruisers
  • verify PFDs onboard and/or buy replacement PFDs
  • verify servicing of life raft and check certification is current
  • verify flares and fire extinguishers are onboard, appropriate and not expired
  • get out of country medical insurance (we’re Canadians)
  • snorkel and fins
  • extra dinghy fuel
  • good boat book
  • good Florida cruising guide
  • bucket – “A bucket is an essential part of any yacht’s equipment…its uses ranging from wine-cooler, fish hold, baby bath, fire extinguisher and potty to baler.” (Jill Schinas, Kids in the Cockpit)
  • cleaning products
  • toilet paper
  • dish soap
  • hand soap

Buying the boat has meant a steep learning curve. We must familiarize ourselves with life rafts – types, sizes, and installations. We must also research EPIRBs. But, it’s a good feeling because it feels like we’re making traction in pursuing our dreams as cruisers.

Behan Gifford writes a great article on “Preparing for a Passage” on her blog, Sailing Totem.

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