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What do you need to travel around the world on a boat is impossible to pin down.  Each boat and person has their own ‘neccessities’.


Safety Equipmentis a ‘no brainer’.  The best stuff you can afford and prey you never have to use it.  There is a load of information available so we will not go into that.

A good anchor – another ‘no brainer’, but you would not believe how many boats drag into you, or ashore, or into reefs because they do not have a good anchor.  We have friends that have lost their boat when their anchor dragged.  Unless you have the money to pay for marinas all the time, a good anchor is essential.  THIS IS WHAT IS GOING TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR BOAT SAFE!  Do a little research and choose the best anchor you can afford.  Remember that it needs to reset with the wind shifts.

Your boat will also need the basics…like sails, navigation and comunication devices.  A galley, bed and steering.   How well you stock her and her size it up to you.  There are also books and books on this topic.


What I found lacking was the little things.  What makes life aboard more comfortable.

Maybe if we listed some of the smaller things WE can’t live with out or wish we had, it might be helpful to you.  We will update it as we go along.


So glad we have it:

*A pole for our foresail.  In lighter winds or rolly seas, on winds stern of beam, it is a god send.

*Shock cord and hooks.  To hold things down, hold them in place and to stop stuff falling off shelves and table tops.  Bring some eyes as well so the hooks have something to attach to.

*Extra warp.  For the dingy, to tie things down and hold things in place.

*Shade bimini over the cockpit.  I just can not take frying my brains out.

*Cockpit cushions.  Night watches would be horrible without them.  We love canvas as a cover because it is less ‘slippery’, nice on bare skin, waterproof, quick drying and easily washed in laundry soap.

*A cutting board that fits over the sink.  Even better when you have a double sink.  Gives you more counter space and holds dirty dishes in place under it at sea.

*A WiFi amplifier of some kind.  We left without one and had to hang out in Marina offices and cafes for hours to update our blog or get a weather forecast.  With an amplifier you can often get a signal on your boat.

Note:  Most cruisers are now travelling with unlocked smart phones now.  If you are staying in one country for a while you can get a Sim card with internet data.  You can then use the phone as a internet hot spot for computers and as a back up navigational aid, as most now have a GPS chip.  Get a 12V charger for it.  Most are universal USB now and you only need to fit a 12V port on the boat.

*Exterior hard drives.  To share movies, pictures and navigational information with other people.

*Extra fuel cans.  Got us out of a lot of scraps especially when we had fuel and fuel filter problems. We are also finding fewer and fewer fuel pontoons to moor your boat up to.

*IFAM locks.  They never stop working in the worst conditions.  With some chain or wire you can lock up bicycles, kayaks, engines and fuel to dingys and dingys to pontoons.  We have never had one seize up even when left locked outside for a year unused.  They are expensive, but it will never wear out.

*Lots of ‘stackable’ big buckets.  They take up as much room as one bucket.  For laundry, catching rain and carrying loose items in and out of the dingy.

*Sturdy bucket on a warp.  Washing down decks, dingys, dogs and humans.  Emergency toilet.

*LED bulbs.  They cut your energy consumption to nothing.

*An ASAP Marine, UK catologue.  If it is in their catologue they will deliver it any where in the world in 24-48 hours.  Their staff can offer knowledgable help over the phone or by email if you have engine, fuel, plumbing or electrical problems.

*Water foot pumb in the galley.  We have had so many electrical and plumbing problems…but at least we could get a cup of tea.  The exception was when we had plumbing, electrical and gas problems one morning.

*Water containers.  You have to collect and carry water from many different sources in the Caribbean.  And you usually have to pay for!


So wish we had of known or had one of those:

*Audio books.  We discovered they were the best thing for staying awake on night watch alone.  We could have down loaded them before we left.

*Wish we had of known that you can only get ‘camping’ gas in France, Spain and Portugal.  We would have gotten used cylinders on ebay rather then having to ‘pay through the nose’ for them in France.

*Mosquito nets.  We were eaten alive for days when the winds died in Portugal on anchor.  At least get some for the windows and hatches of the sleeping cabin.

*Up to date cruising guides.  We bought ours used and they were 10 years out of date.  Anchorages had been turned into Marinas and some harbours were no longer navigable by sail craft.

*Up to date charts.  We have set harbour entrances as a way point at night and almost sailed through a newly extended sea wall.

*Lots of 12V LED lighting in the engine room.  Other wise you are stuck like us using head torches and running out of batteries.

*Spare bulbs for all running lights and have them labeled some how.  You do not want to have to get up and down the mast twice.

*Lots of spare marine epoxy, sealant and chemical weld.  It is so hard to find.  Ran out of marine epoxy and filler back in Spain and been looking ever since.

*12 V adapters and plugs on the boat for computers and hard drives.  We found the inverter, especially when accidentally left on, really ‘eats’ power.  They are impossible to find or order when you have no address.

*Lots and lots of fuses.  We never seem to be able to replace them fast enough.  Everything electrical contains them and they all seem to blow regularly.

*More swimming shorts and bathing suits.  We have ended up living in them and they quickly fall apart in the sun.


Do some preparation

When ever you can get some internet do down load up to date electronic copies of any cruising guides, charts or information on areas you might visit in the future.  Electronic copies take up no space, are easy to trade with other cruisers and are great back ups.


  1. We are traveling to the Carrabean this autumn with our two Labs Ben and Lucy. We’ve searched your great blog but can’t find anything on entry permits for the dogs! They have pet passports and are up to date with everything.!

    • Entry permit regulations change regularly for every island, so it is best to check before setting sail. Mainland Europe and the French islands in the Caribbean do not ask for any paperwork for animals and are very relaxed with the movement of pets by cruisers. Grenada is another island that was very relaxed, at least when we were there. Some islands are changing their regulations (Sint Maartin) and you will have to check their Ministry of Agriculture web sites for the latest information. Some islands ask for permits to be obtained before entry (Bahamas), while others will issue you one on arrival (St.Luca). Some will not issue you one at all (St.Vincent). Thankfully, almost all the islands have no one to really enforce pet permits, with Dominica being the exception (free permit on line).
      I would avoid bringing your pet in any Caribbean towns, because of the number of stray dog packs. Usually afraid of humans, they will find your dog a threat to their territory. If you walk your dog along the shore, well away from people in the morning and evenings, you should have few problems.

  2. We’ve searched your excellent blog but can’t find any mention of pet permits for the Carreabean?
    We have two Labs with pet passports. What else do we need to do!

  3. Do you need an entry permit for the dogs entering Martinique ?

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