Our Wish List
What goes up, must come down. Well, that’s what people say–and heck, Sir Isaac Newton even made it a law. While the Newtonian Principles insist that objects shall plummet back to the Earth with an acceleration rate of 9.8 meters per second squared, that’s a law we’d like to bend a little. In that crime, this li’l device is our #1 accomplice. This descender is not only designed for work at height, but also makes it much easier and safer. It’s not every day that you need to climb the mast–so unfortunately, those skills can get rusty. Using gear like this with built-in auto-lock features helps reduce the risk of accidents caused by user error when descending the halyard after a long day of work aloft. ‘Cause let’s be honest, nobody LOVES working atop the mast and we all want to come back down quickly–just not THAT quickly.
It’s not a question of IF you will need to, but rather simply WHEN the time will come when you will need to climb the mast for some reason or another. Traditionally, sailors use a Bosun’s chair to sit in while doing work on the mast. The only trouble is that it is exactly what it sounds like–merely a chair, without a whole lot of thought about safety or comfort while working at heights–significant heights–on a sailboat in waves, seas, and weather. Some are “deluxe” chairs like this common Harken model that comes with tool pouches, while others are down-right sketchy, minimal designs that would be unsafe to use 2 feet above the ground, let alone 65. Safety gear has come a long way since the 1500s and this harness is the modern choice for suspension work on the mast of any ship at Sailing for Good. Which of these would YOU want to be wearing swinging 65 feet above the deck while 500 miles offshore in 20-foot seas during a blow?
Snatch blocks are so useful that delivery captains often travel with their own set(s), just in case the sailboat being delivered doesn’t have them on-board. That’s a lot of room and weight in a carry-on to give up! It would be a shame to talk about snatch blocks here and not mention the awesome explanation given by Destin over at Smarter Every Day. He covers “how pulleys work” in that video, while covering just about everything else in the world of science and engineering on his channel. Snatch blocks are a tough and reliable solution for temporary leads and line deflection. They are particularly useful when outfitting a boat with a proper boom preventer when it is not equipped with one. After that, they only have about one hundred and ninety-five other fantastic uses.
What’s the ONE thing you want more than anything in the world, but once you get it you never want to use it in your life? Yeah–a ditch bag. This one’s great because it floats–oh and it comes with an ACR v5 EPIRB. Or is it an EPIRB that comes with a floating ditch bag? Whatever their hierarchy, they are at their best when they are together. The EPIRB, or Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon, fits perfectly in the dedicated side pocket of the ditch bag. The bag is the one most important thing ya grab before stepping up into your life raft from an otherwise sinking ship. It contains a plethora of safety and survival gear that we hope to always have, but never use.
One incredibly useful addition to a PFD (personal flotation device) is this little yellow feller–a PLB, or Personal Locator Beacon. Much like (if not exactly) the EPIRB for the boat, this is a radio signal device for the souls aboard. The ACR ResQLink AIS Personal Locator Beacon with GPS & RLS is one of the most functional and versatile PLBs out there. It is small enough to fit inside most self inflating PFDs and is also built to seamlessly integrate with it so that it is activated when the PFD is activated. That means a lot because it is going to get to work sending a signal of your location even if you are incapacitated.
I can see for miles and miles and miiiiiles! …and no matter WHO you are, that’s exactly what you want to be able to do on any passage. They say it’s important not to hit anything out there, and these specs will help find all the stuff to avoid. On top of that, they’ve got a compass built right in, which makes getting hand-compass bearings on distant objects a little easier. These pups will help us see IN the fog, but not fog up themselves, thanks to 14 psi of pressurized dry nitrogen inside the optics. That’s some fogproof clarity in any condition–from arctic cold to the soggy wet heat of the tropics. Also, while it’s not recommended to play kickball with your binoculars, these kats would last into extra innings with their durable polycarbonate rubber armoring and lightweight, rugged chassis that withstands 11 Gs of impact. That’s a rough round of footsies!
When math, science, sailing, astronomy, and exploration all come together–their combined awesomeness can be measured with a sextant. It arguably has as much practical value on board as it has romantic symbolism of the days of old. Nowadays, it is certainly not the only way to explore & navigate oceans, but when all hell breaks loose and you find yourself floating in a tiny life raft in the middle of the deep blue sea, no amount of fancy electronics and GPS are of more value than this handheld masterpiece of engineering. Learning how to use a sextant doesn’t happen in a 1-day YouTube course and mastery only comes with practice. Therefore, this Davis Mark25 Master Sextant also comes with a training bundle to help get in those Celestial Navigation practice days even onshore where the horizon is not in sight.
Everything but the kitchen sink! Erhm, I mean galley…anyway…this stainless steel cookware set is perfect for a sailboat because every single piece fits inside the next. It stores in less than a ½ cubic foot area which is pretty neato on a boat where space is always at a premium–especially in the galley. It has added benefits too! Inevitably stuff gets tossed around on offshore passages, and inevitably that latch on a door either gets forgotten or breaks, spewing pots and pans everywhere. When stored properly, this set moves as one tidy piece, making cleanup a breeze! A snap even! However, do be safe about where you store it, as a ½ cubic foot sized brick of stainless steel can be a bit of a noggin’ knocker. Oh and it’s dishwasher safe which is a gr—oh, wait…never mind.
Thanks for reading our Wish List!
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