Preparing the Sailboat


In preparing a sailboat for an extended voyage, there are many things that you have to do. Things that you learn about as you go and things that you learn from researching what others have done. We’ve been scrambling lately to prepare the boat for an extended voyage and to learn as much as we can before we cast off.

There are so many resources available, from forums,
to Youtube, to blogs. Information is freely available everywhere. With so much at our fingertips, it quickly became apparent that our initial plans were lacking – a lot.
Although some of the things we bought and installed may be considered upgrades, we installed all of these as a direct precursor to being able to do an extended voyage. We have done a lot of upgrades that were needed items, but not necessarily related to
preparing for a voyage. Here is a brief list of what we have done to prepare:



  • Bought bosun’s chair, climbed mast and replaced lights
  • Bought and installed bimini
  • Bought and installed dodger
  • Bought spare oil and coolant
  • Bought spare gas can for gas generator
  • Bought 80 amp alternator (current is 60 amp)
  • Bought wind generator and waiting on hardware for install
  • Bought and installed steering pedestal guard
  • Bought storage containers and organized pantry, spare parts and tools
  • Bought and installed autopilot
  • Bought and installed windlass
  • Bought and installed refrigeration
  • Bought and installed AIS receiver for computer
  • Bought radar and will finish installation next time up mast
  • Installed chart and route planning software, downloaded charts for Pacific
  • Installed Garmin GPS/depth
  • Bought weather fax software, installed, tested
  • Bought Ham radio for communications
  • Installed rigid boom vang
  • Bought and installed oil lamp in salon
  • Bought solar panels and will install
  • Bought and installed hammocks for additional storage
  • Modified and installed larger propane tank
  • Bought small welder for use as needed
  • Bought and installed 2200 watt inverter
  • Bought hot water heater to engine kit
  • Bought spare fishing tackle
  • Bought spear gun
  • Bought LED lighting

Things still on our list are:

  • Buy and install watermaker
  • Buy and install additional house battery

We have done a lot of upgrades that were not directly connected to my requirements on my “before we leave” list. Some of those are:

  • Bought and installed holding tank and macerator
  • Replaced heater element in hot water heater
  • Installed new galley faucet
  • Bought and installed shower sump
  • Installed new shower head
  • Cleaned and painted bilge
  • Painted all bulkheads to get rid of the 1970’s fake wood
  • Cut out storage behind settee and hinged seat back
  • Installed new stereo
  • Installed new flat panel TV

Staples we keep aboard are as follows:

  • Several hundred pounds of rice and beans
  • Several cases of cans of beans, corn, tomatoes, soups, greens, meats
  • Bread maker and many pounds of ingredients for bread
  • 30 day’s supply of cup o soup, cereal, dried milk, coffee, tea and green tea
  • Many spices

Concerns for the voyage are:

  • Condition of sails
  • May need additional water tank even with watermaker
  • Through hulls need to be checked
  • Cutlass bearing needs to be changed
  • Additional chain for anchor