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Grab Bag

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Spare specs if you wear them

Sea sick tabs

Cellphones in dry bag



Any medicines that crew are taking

Bottle of fresh water


I would take a microwave too, as think a hot pie while in the liferaft would be bloody awesome.

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So 12hrs maybe on a slow day or if you are Fish only 1 min hopefully, much longer and all his electronics will drag him under or short and fry his arse. But then if he burns close to orange he can be his own smoke flare :thumbup:


And I was being so restrained not correcting your recommendation of taking volatile explosives into a combustable and easily melted liferaft. Thankfully Jon (who is generally recognised as someone who is sensible) recommended taking an EPIRB...


But I am sure you are only trolling, and me being well, fish, I am honour bound to bite at a troll, aren't I?

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For the life of me, and that's exactly what it could be, I can not think of a sound reason to open the possibility of losing the beacon during the transfer/departure (which has happened more than once) or bash myself unconscious during the transfer/departure rending the EPIRB useless or even why you'd wait until you are in the raft or floating around in the deep blue before sparking the beacon up.



It is the one scenario where you have to get off your boat very very quickly. And its the one scenario where 'stepping up into the liferaft' isn't applicable (boats float very well while completely engulfed in flames).

Recent example is that White Island tour boat off Whakatane. Also an old launch thing at the bottom end of Waiheke over the New Year break. They swam to shore largely, sounded like a petrol explosion followed by fire on that one. The injured guy was the one who stayed onboard to attempt to fight the fire. There are some other examples moderately recently, but I can't remember all of them.


Its important to think about where you keep your grab bag too. A lot of people keep there's just at the bottom of the companionway. Which is usually on top of or beside the engine. Worse is a pilot berth or cabin just aft of the companionway. I'd say if there was a fire, the bottom of the companionway may as well be on the moon. If possible, I'd go for a grab bag location that can be accessed direct from the cockpit, such as a cockpit locker. (having a wooden boat, I am a tad paranoid).


And to be fair and acknowledge the place of flares, I'd be fairly sure if your boat was engulfed in flames, a flare would be a bit redundant. The fire should attract the same attention as a flare.

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BP I have no liferaft just inflatable, and that is likely to be lashed on fore-deck.  So cutting tool essential and attached to inflatable to hack the lashings.  I solo, so a quick exit would mean 3 tasks, get grab bag, cut free dinghy, and then toss over side.  Quick prayer and follow suit.  Well that is 4, I guess.   A Solo sailor can at least forget concerns for crew safety etc.  I have never carried flares.  I have read some of the pros and cons on this forum regarding their value, but have not been persuaded to carry them. The two main concerns in my case is fire or springing a plank, both of which would require a quick exit into the water. 


Cockpit locker location for my grab bag.


Which will now include a few more items thanks to the above comments.



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Giving this some thought now. 


Boat is full of foam, and effectively unsinkable, so in terms of scenarios where I'm getting off quick they would be limited to:

  1. Boat on fire
  2. Boat about to be pounded by big surf into nasty pointy things
  3. Pirates
  4. Sirens


The grab bag contents would vary for each...


  1. Normal stuff + rum
  2. Normal stuff + helmet and body armour
  3. Upgraded body armour + large weapons cache
  4. Extra rum and prophylactics


Oh, one more scenario would be: Life or death medical emergency necessitating immediate Medevac.


But it's probable that one would still have a few minutes to prepare - and make sure just some form of ID documentation is contained. Unless you're solo and you can't move, so you need the paramedic to grab it.

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I was thinking duct tape as well. Might sound silly but it has saved us from doom several times already.


We have an old flare in our grab bag just to keep inspectors happy. Electronics all the way, 6 ways of comunicating with elctronics either on us or in grab bag.

EPIRB in bag

PLB in crew pocket.

AIS alarm inside my life jacket.

RT on one of us. Keep coast guard happy, but I wont leave my boat so I wont call them unless I realy have to.

Powerfull torch in grab bag. little ones on us.

Mobile phone currently inside boat, I need to get a better water resistant one that I can keep on me. On coastal passages it wont be long until the mobile phone is al you need. I know I can call on several friends in the Multihull club who will save us and our boat.

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