As you begin to assemble your own ditch bag, the following categories and suggestions should help you think through the contents. Keep in mind that your needs may vary depending on where you’re cruising and distance from shore you plan to travel.
Depending on use, winches should be serviced once or twice per year, although some weekend sailors stretch it to once every two to three years. They are easy and quick to service yourself; they require few or no tools, and can usually be completed in about 20 minutes per winch once you get the hang of it.
“Everyone that sails offshore is taking a risk, perhaps bigger than they think. It is a wilderness out there, no matter how connected you feel. You are on your own in an environment that is indifferent to your well-being, and you had better know how to take care of yourself, independent of energy and technology. If you insist on increasing your systems, do so for the sake of safety, comfort and convenience, in that order.”
Is there anything more exciting in life than putting your boat back into the water? Whether your boat has been on the hard for the whole winter or just a quick haul out—there’s a lot to do to bring each system back into service. Use this checklist to think through re-launching your boat.