Unless you live in a very small house or have bought an enormous yacht it is pretty safe to say that the yacht will be a lot smaller than your house. Sadly yachts do not come equipped with lofts, basements or garden sheds. So your first problem will be what do we take with us? Your first, second and even third attempt at this list will simply not fit into the available space no matter how good you are at packing.
We have 4 simple rules:
- Essential kit always takes precedence
- If you can't find a home for it you can’t have it
- If you MUST have it then something else has to go
- If you haven’t got it then you probably don’t need it
“a place for everything and everything in its place” my old Mum used to say.
Well, I would add “or it will end up in the bilge on the next passage”
For every item you include answer the following basic questions:
- What will it be used for?
- How often will I use it?
- Does it have a second or third use as well?
- Can I buy a lighter or smaller one?
- Will I care if it gets ruined by water or lost overboard?
- Do I really need it or should I buy one if I do need it along the way?
- Where will it be stowed?
Seriously, there is a limited and very finite amount of storage space on any yacht. Similarly there is a weight limit beyond which the yacht sails slowly and then that final limit when it becomes dangerously overloaded. Not when it's sitting at anchor, of course, but when you are next caught out in big seas.
A little bit of thought will help you design storage shelves, cupboards, netting etc to make the most of the available space. Utilise digital media for films, music, books & photos etc. I always keep a backup disk as well in case the sea atmosphere proves too much for the tech, although to date (touch-wood) it has all been well.
There are many things that you simply can’t do without and many more things that make life easier and more pleasant. Try not to include sentimental items, things you can't bear to lose, or things that might spoil.
See my list of essential & nice to have Equipment.
Sadly there are also many many things that creep on board and languish at the bottom of lockers, stealing volume and adding weight but never see the light of day. Be ruthless!
Once you start on your adventure you will be amazed how much extra stuff you will accumulate along the way. You will know it needs a bit more thought when you find yourself raising the anti-fouling boot line an inch or so each season.