GLENN: Buying gear for the boat is a bottomless pit / endless checklist. There seems to always be yet another “critical” tool, spare part, gadget, safety device, or decorative pillow that you must have. In planning for commissioning Mira, we compiled a massive list based on input from the boat builder, other owners, books, and blogs. It was ridiculously long and impractical. Paring it down became essential and we prioritized:
- Items required for navigation, safety, and by regulation (the US Coast Guard, etc.)
- Items required for the 40 day offshore delivery from Argentina to the Caribbean
- Items suitable for our first year sailing itinerary
- Essential items for living aboard comfortably
- Tools for maintenance and repair work that we actually know how to do
- Stuff we can’t find or don’t want to buy in Argentina
- Our budget
Since Mira has no plans to leave the planet in the foreseeable future, we will buy whatever else when we need it, relying on local chandleries, Amazon, and FedEx.
If there are any new boat owners out there, that would like a copy of our spreadsheets – email us, and we’d be happy to share.
We began acquiring the items months before Mira was to launch which allowed us to take advantage of boat show specials and online sales. As the boxes started to pile up at our condo, we turned our attention to how and when to get everything on board Mira. We had two trips planned to Argentina so we checked the top priority items as baggage on each trip. TIP: put a letter in each checked bag/tote with the Spanish translation of the following. It seemed to help with Argentine customs at the airport. “To whom it May concern, The items that I bring with me as baggage are all for personal use on a vessel of my property and will not remain in Argentine territory nor will they be sold. Sincerely…”
The rest we either bought in Argentina at the local Walmart, HomeDepot, or marine chandleries.
Finally, our low priority or heavy/bulky items were shipped by Tropical Shipping (freighter) to Grenada to meet Mira at the end of her delivery trip. We’ll do another post on how to ship stuff with Tropical Shipping.