Second on the list of larger items is my Forespar Rolex stationary stabilizer system, we loving call “the Fish”. This takes most of the roll out of bumpy anchorages and was used often on this last voyage.
We often grab a mooring in many places we visit. In the past we used the traditional boat hook to grab the tail of the mooring, this was always a challenge and caused great angst with the crew, not to mention several lost boat hooks. I watched the livaboard dive boats with even taller bows than Furthur secure moorings and saw they used a three pronged hook and line with great ease. We now have such a hook and it is far easier to use.
Water and air, cannot live without them! We have a great FCI water maker, 200 liters an hour, i had a smaller unit that has failed and will be replaced soon. i like having two water makers, one high volume and one smaller that can run on the inverter while underway. No water, no happy crew! We also have an inline charcoal filter for the dock hose for the times we are at a marina. We are dive fanatics, so my Bauer dive compressor gets a work out. My cruising mates without compressors often miss the best diving and are reliant on finding dive shops for tank fills. The compressor on Furthur is electric so requires a generator, many carry gas driven compressors, noisy and require a separate fuel supply and extreme care to access clean air in the intake. We carry eight tanks.
The dinghy is the king, without it the trip ends, period. i carry a small spare roll up inflatable with small outboard as well as my larger one. My good friend and cruising guru, John Neal, told me at the beginning of the trip, “lift it or lose it” and after another friend got their dinghy stolen in Tahiti, i have always put the dinghy up at night, no exceptions! I opted for the mast/boom davit arrangement instead of the powerful hydraulic crane Selene offered. I can completely replace the moving parts of my system with parts carried aboard.
To the smaller stuff; the recent towing incident reminded me why i carry a long, strong tow line, one that has been neatly coiled and unused until really needed, really needed. I also carry a large spool of small line for stern tying in small anchorages, this gets used more often, fortunately.
Along with this inventory comes an endless supply of spare parts too long to list. My motto is if it broke once it will again so any time i replace a part, i buy two, this goes for the large array of pumps i carry. On the essential list are plenty of impellors for all things that use them, i also discovered the wonders of silicone grease to install impellors and lengthen their life.
Add to the list an extensive supply of nuts/bolts, fuses, light bulbs, O rings, anything you can think of that might break. It is often the small things that stop a happy cruise. i now carry complete rebuild kits for all pumps and hydraulic rams. There is a great rule of engineering, if it moves and is not supposed to use duct tape or wire ties. If it supposed to move and does not use WD40. So carry plenty of each. i also like the silicon spray WD puts out. Along with that carry ratcheting cargo straps and bungee cords to secure things on the deck. We carry a vast selection of adhesives; from super glue to dinghy repair glue to epoxy to silicon and the all important 5200.
Clearing in and out of foreign countries can be daunting at first but soon seen as just part of the deal. I find it handy to have a printer/scanner onboard so i can make the dozens of copies of documents required by the various agencies. This will expedite clearing in and out and gives you the appearance of knowing what you are doing when you can produce anything they ask for. This can also save you the angst of handing your passport and boat docs to a stranger, often known for corruption, to get copies made at the last minute.
Just for Americans: If your boat is from the West, it is probably 110v 60 htz and will not run appliances made in the East, or anywhere else. Carry spare power tools, fans and appliances that run on 110v only along with spare extension cords.
Some just for fun: One of the things my cruising mates marvel at and desire is my balloon tying kit. i love to sit in a small village and make balloon animals, nothing will get you into the heart of a small village like balloon animals. We also carry a supply of small toys for kids.
So here is my list, use it as you will. i am sure there are things i forgot and things i am missing and will add another time. Cruising happily depends on three things: prepare the boat as thoroughly as you can, take spares for the predictable and unpredictable, know your systems and have a plan to temporarily fix or do without. Follow these things and the world is yours!