ImportanceEquipmentCommentsBallpark Cost (for new)
EssentialAnchor2 is better, 3 is nice - but one is essential (it's yer brake!).Probably bought with boat (at least something) - anything from a few hundred to over a thousand, per Anchor.
EssentialAnchor (Chain or Rope)Rope is cheaper, Chain is stronger – both have pros and cons depending on location and use. Overall chain wins (a common compromise is a mix of the two).Probably bought with boat (at least something) - a few hundred dollars upwards (depends on how much you want!).
EssentialBatteriesEngine x 1 - House (domestics) x 1 (preferably x 2).Around $100 each
EssentialBedding (and pillows?!)A sleeping bag will do the trick – plus 1 or 2 throwovers – all synthetic stays fresher for longer than “natural” (with the plus of being cheaper – unless going for exotic materials), but whatever works for you. A couple of real pillows is my luxury!, but scatter cushions also do the trick.Under $100
EssentialBerth (Sea)At least one - more depends on crew numbers. If not already fitted a lee cloth or leeboard will stop you falling out! Usually a 1/4 Berth or Saloon Berth, not the V berth nor any double. A rested Skipper / Crew is a safety item.If the Berths are suitable under a $100 for lee cloths, less if DIY.
EssentialBerths (in port)Only need one per crew, so no need to re-upholster an entire boat (if missing or smell of old wee!), nor even have cushions / mattresses that are tailored to fit, so off the shelf from a camping store / Wal-Mart etc may be the best / cheapest / quickest option – at least short-term.Probably bought with boat - if not: could be under a hundred dollars (Wal-mart off the shelf etc) to a few thousand (full set - proffesionally made / custom fit).
EssentialBilge PumpElectric is nice, but if you don't have any holes in the boat then a manual pump will suffice. One of each would be ideal.Probably bought with boat - if not: could be a few hundred dollars.
EssentialBucketA squillion uses, including as an emergency toilet! 2 is better (stackable inside each other).Under $10
EssentialCompass (Main)When the Electrics fail always useful to know which way you are going. Arguably not essential with a GPS (or 2) onboard – but it is for me.Probably bought with boat - if not: could be a few hundred to over $1k
EssentialCookerOven not essential (depends on how you cook), 2 burners of the fuel of your choice. Personally I have no problem with Propane (Gas) and if already installed on a boat would keep it onboard, if not I would go for an Origo (un-pressurised Alcohol). But really comes down to personal choice (and budget for any changes).Probably bought with boat - if not: could be a few hundred to over $1k, depending on what you want (including the install).
EssentialCooking Utensils 2 saucepans (big and smaller) and a frying pan would do the trick – plus whatever implements match the stuff you cook. For me a (hot water) Kettle and a Teapot is also essential! Might also want a Can Opener / Bottle Opener / Corkscrew!Under $50
EssentialCourtesy Flag(s)It’s the done thing to fly a courtesy flag when going foreign (a small version of the host country’s national flag) – some countries can be a bit funny about not doing so.Under $10
EssentialCrockery & CutleryEven if only one onboard would suggest equipping for 2 persons, to cover losses (overboard) – any more seems to breed washing up! No need to get expensive breakproof crockery – as long as stored securely in practice will break very little, if anything. Will also need some storage containers.Under $50.
EssentialEngineCan of course often manage without, but in practice an engine opens up options. Personally I would go for a boat that would allow an o/b to be installed on the stern, to at least provide steerage way - just in case the main engine goes pop at a time when funds don't allow a proper fix (or replacement!).Probably bought with boat - if not: could be $10k plus (new Diesel Engine and install), outboard around $2k
EssentialEnsignThe flag that displays the boat’s country of origin / registration (not that of the owner / skipper / ships cat)Under $10
EssentialFunnel / Fuel FilterClean Diesel = a happy engine. Cleaning tanks is a nasty job!Under $10
EssentialGPSCheaper (and more accurate) than a sextant, does not mean one gives up on DR! Cheapest is a handheld, prudent to also plug into ship’s power (i.e. not just own batteries).under $200 will get you a basic handheld.
EssentialHead (toilet)Cheapest / easiest solution is probably a Porta Potti (with own tank), but keeping a marine head in operation is not rocket science – a black water tank installation is more complicated, and if not already installed an expensive retrofitProbably bought with boat - if not: under $200 will get you something.
EssentialLights (cabin)Electricity is a great invention, but no harm in having auxiliary / back up lights that use the liquid fuel of your choice – don’t always need reading quality lights, but sometimes you do.Probably bought with boat - if not: under $100 will get you something.
EssentialLights (Navigation)Essential safety gear at night (plus usually a legal requirement) – electric off the ship’s batteries (with LED bulbs) is ideal – but battery powered works, especially for only occasional use.Probably bought with boat - if not: under $200 will get you something.
EssentialNavigation Equipment.Charts / Tide Tables / Cruising Guides / Pilot Books / Breton Plotter (or Parallel rules) / Dividers / Pencils / Log book (or note pad). Even if using a Chartplotter a paper Chart (and the tools plus the ability to navigate from) are important – even if the Chart is smallscale (covers 500 miles!) so loses a lot of detail, but would mean you could get yourself home (even if not exactly where you originally intended!).under $100 will get you the basics
EssentialRadioFor weather forecasts (and entertainment!) – able to plug into boat power means won’t eat batteries…..under $50 will get you something.
EssentialSails - Mainsail & Headsail(s)if headsail not on a roller then Jib (Gib) and a Genoa. A Spinnaker or a Cruising shute can be nice to have for light airs. A Storm jib nice to have when wind pipes up some!Probably bought with boat - if not: looking at a couple of thousand for all new.
EssentialSinkAt least one - can be a plastic bowl or bucket (drained by throwing contents overboard!), but plumbed in (and a separate sink in the head for washing hands / shaving) is better.Probably bought with boat - if not: looking at anything from under $10 (plastic bowl!) to a few hundred to a $1000.
EssentialTimepieceA clock or Watch – reliable and accurate, used for navigation.Under $50
EssentialWarps (Docklines)Sometimes you do need to tie up to things (Dock / Marina Berth / Other Boats / Mooring Balls). Ideal would be 2 short and 2 long - don't always want to be handling 50 foot of rope, but sometimes more is better (and allows you to double up).A few hundred will get you started (probably have at least some bought with the boat).
EssentialWater StorageMore is good! Main tank plus some extra containers / jerry cans. Useful both as backup (running out / contamination) and also for drinking if main tank is a bit “musty”!Probably bought with boat - if not: looking at anything from a few hundred (Plastic Bladder / Jerry Cans) to a $1000 plus (a custom made tank).
Nice to have #1(2nd) GPS As back up. A handheld would suffice.under $200 will get you a basic handheld.
Nice to have #1Anchor / Bow RollerEspecially useful if you are hauling the anchor by hand – essential if using a Windlass.Probably (hopefully!) bought with the boat - probably talking $1k plus and not an easy retrofit.
Nice to have #1Anchor Windlasshow nice it is to have (and whether manual or electric) will depend on how often you anchor / where – and capability (fitness!) of the crew.A good chance that will be bought with the boat, if not anything from $500 (Manual) to a few thousand (electric) - plus installation costs.
Nice to have #1Autopilot and / or Windvane (or some other means of self steering)Damned useful when single or shorthanded (often the same thing!).Could be $500 (tiller Pilot) to several thousand plus.
Nice to have #1Awnings (Sun / rain)Keeping the sun off the deck makes a big difference to the temperature below. Keeping the sun (or rain!) out of the cockpit makes the space more useable – a squillion variations and ideas on how to do this, for all budgets.Anything from under $100 (DIY tarpauilin) to a few thousand (custom made).
Nice to have #1BarometerArguably an old fashioned method – but still good for spotting sudden pressure / weather changes.Under $100
Nice to have #1BinocularsSaves getting up close to stuff, to see if you should have kept away……..Around $100 will get you something.
Nice to have #1Boarding LadderFixed or removable (cheaper / easier to retrofit - the penalty is stowage).under $50 will get you something.
Nice to have #1Bosuns ChairFor getting up the Mast – sometimes it has to be done, if you are unlucky that will be at sea!under $50 will get you something.
Nice to have #1Cabin fansThe poor mans aircon! – coupled with good ventilation even a few small (PC cooler style) fans do make a difference.under $50 will get you something.
Nice to have #1Chartplotterthey do make life easier, just no substitute for being able to navigate.$500 upwards.
Nice to have #1Clock (ships)Something mounted on a bulkhead so that everyone onboard can see what time the ship is on (can be useful when changing countries / time zones).Under $100
Nice to have #1Computer / Internet / WIFIIn addition to Entertainment (Games / Videos / Internet) WIFI gives access to the internet – access to a library of knowledge (and people) you would otherwise need a vessel the size of a cruise liner to fit onboard. Knowledge saves money.Under $500 should get you sorted (Notepad).
Nice to have #1CushionsReal Sailors have bums made of iron - for the rest of us a few cushions (that can also be used on deck) make life more pleasant.Under $50
Nice to have #1Depth SounderElectronic more convenient than a fishing weight on a piece of line, but both do the same job.A few hundred plus (Electronic) under $20 for a fishing weight on a line.
Nice to have #1Dinghy (& Oars)It’s your car! – how big depends on your boat (wtf do you store it?!) and what use you make of it. But you will need one sooner rather than later.$200 upwards
Nice to have #1Dodger (Spray Hood)being able to duck under the weather makes life so much more pleasant - especially when the weather is not!A few hundred dollars (DIY) to over a thousand (proffesionally made).
Nice to have #1Dustpan & brushA Clean / Tidy boat is a happy boat - some may prefer a vacum cleaner, but does the same job.Under $10
Nice to have #1FendersNot essential, but in practice you will quickly need some. Get some decent sized ones, a PITA to stow but small = next to useless. A couple of Scooter Tyres are also (IMO) useful for rough docks and unfreindly neighbours!$100 will get you started.
Nice to have #1Fire Extinguisher(s)2 (or 3) is nice to have – just in case, problem with a boat is not so easy to leave as a burning building!Around $100 will get you something.
Nice to have #1First Aid Kit Some would argue it is essential, I say that a roll of tape and a couple of (over the counter) pain killers covers most things that don’t need a professional. That and just sucking it up……but nonetheless nice to have some stuff onboard.$50 will get the basics.
Nice to have #1FlaresOnly needed if you are in trouble – stay out of trouble and you won’t need them. Collision Warning (White ones) and orange smoke probably of most use.a couple of hundred should cover most things.
Nice to have #1Foul weather gearPer Person - being warm and dry is a safety item (as well as being more pleasant!) – don’t need “proper” (Expensive) offshore Foulies, but will find that decent gear is important.probably looking at a couple of hundred (Jacket / Trousers / Gloves / Boots / Hat) per person - up to anything!
Nice to have #1Fuel canSometimes the boat cannot reach the fuel storage / depot.Under $20
Nice to have #1Harness, Tether and JacklinesPer Person – if you don’t fall off the boat you can’t drown.Around $100 per person, plus $50 for some jacklines.
Nice to have #1Lazy JacksEspecially when shorthanded makes dropping the mainsail a lot easier (doesn't flake all over the deck) - often drops into a "Stackpack" style mainsail cover.A couple of hundred for the Lazy Jacks, a few hundred more for a stackpack style sail cover.
Nice to have #1LED Lightbulbsespecially on the Nav Lights for the low power consumption.Seems to be around $20 each.
Nice to have #1Life Jacket (or Buoyancy Aid)Per Person – Lots of choice, at all budgets – I would favour a Lifejacket that inflates manually (and is attachable to a Jacket), but a buoyancy aid (cheaper) has advantages as well as cons.from $50 (bouyancy aid) to a few hundred - per person.
Nice to have #1Pressure CookerIn addition to making food quicker to cook (and cheaper on fuel) as fitted with a lid makes contents more secure when on passage.$50 upwards
Nice to have #1Radar ReflectorIf you can’t see “them” (no radar) then helps “them” to see you.under $100
Nice to have #1Rain Catchment methodA variety of methods to catch rain (and top up tanks), could be simply a PVC tarpaulin – how important depends on cruising area and availability / cost of fresh water.Under $50, plus some ingenuity!
Nice to have #1RefrigerationMany do cruise without either a Fridge or a Freezer – but opens up options (including cheaper). The more you have onboard the greater the cost (in cash terms) to install and the greater the cost to run (in Electricity)…..a trade off will need to be made.Could be a couple of hundred (plus a high electricity consumption) to a few thousand for a custom installation - somewhere in the middle is something like a portable Engel Fridge / Freezer.
Nice to have #1Roller Furling headsailIn some respects hank on sails are better (and they can also be reefed as well as swapped), but a roller headsail does make life so much easier.A good chance that will be bought with the boat, if not around a $1000 plus
Nice to have #1Sail Cover (Mainsail)prolongs sail life / prevents unexpected unfurling) - not essential, but removing the mainsail is a PITA.Probably bought with boat - if not: looking at around $200 (off the shelf).
Nice to have #1Snorkling gearNot simply for having fun – at least a mask or goggles for going over the side to inspect (or repair / clean) the hull / prop / rudder.Under $20 for some Goggles.
Nice to have #1Solarat least enough to keep engine battery topped up. More is good (and more will be required as you add electrickery powered items). Will also need a controller / inverter / battery monitor.Can spend as much as you want! - around $500 will get you the basics - a couple of thousand should see you nicely sorted
Nice to have #1SparesHow long is a piece of string?! You want whatever you will need - and answer(s) depend on the boat and condition. Some guesswork will be required. But certainly enough Engine Spares for a basic service / sort a few common problems (Impellor / Fan Belt etc).Figure on a few hundred.
Nice to have #1SpotlightBoth for lighting up other objects and yourself!under $100
Nice to have #1Stem head Anchor fittingHaving the anchor ready to deploy on the bow does makes life less of a PITA (anchors are heavy!).A good chance that will be bought with the boat, if not around a $1000 plus
Nice to have #1Thermos FlaskMake up a flask of coffee (or soup) and a long watch passes quicker.Under $50
Nice to have #1Tool KitArguably essential – but if nothing needs fixing won’t need any tools, hence it being in the “Nice to have list”…..but back in the real world!, you will want at least some basic tools.Can spend as much as you want! - around $200 will get you the basics.
Nice to have #1VHFperhaps a bit controversial to not be on the "need" list, but boat won't sink without it. How useful depends on cruising area. Handheld (convenience / cost) or fixed (better range).$150 will get you a handheld, around $500 will get you a fixed (including aerial)
Nice to have #1Wheeled Luggage!Or a trolley - for carrying stuff some distance (like shopping / groceries) wheels take some beating. Onboard storage can be a PITA or be impractical - but IMO (soft luggage) worth a long hard look……many will disagree with my suggestion!Under $100
Nice to have #2HeatingHow nice to have depends on where you are (and what time of year!) - lots choices, all with pros and cons.A few hundred dollars (Propane heater) to a few thousand (Diesel) - but lots of choices and prices.
Nice to have #2AISin some areas very useful, in others not important – but fairly cheap to add onto a laptop / notepad.around $200
Nice to have #2Compass (Hand Bearing)Also acts as a back up for the main compass – and the GPS set(s).around $200
Nice to have #2EPIRBPress the Red Button for rescue – attitudes vary to these wonders of the modern age. A judgement call for each to make.$1000 (plus?)
Nice to have #2LiferaftIf you don’t sink (or catch fire) you won’t need one, for many circumstances a dinghy serves the same purpose – but not in all. A judgement call for each to make.$1000 (plus?)
Nice to have #2Log (Speedo!)With a GPS onboard not as essential as it once was for both speed and distance travelled.around $300
Nice to have #2Outboard (for dinghy)If getting old or lazy (or anchored far away from the dock), both plusses and minuses to having one onboard.around $1000
Nice to have #2Panic (Abandon ship) bagUseful if you need it – a waste of time /storage if you don’t. If being rescued, Passports and Credit card(s) will get you sorted.under $100 (depends what you put in it!)
Nice to have #2Radarin some areas very useful, especially in fog – but by no means essential.a few thousand (plus?)
Nice to have #2Sailing Rig (for dinghy)Great for exploring your (new?) locale. How nice or useful depends on you!probably a thousand (plus?) off the shelf - DIY a few hundred.
Nice to have #2Satellite PhoneEverything is useful - but some things have a cost that far outweighs the need.No idea! - probably a few thousand, plus call charges.
Nice to have #2Sewing MachineOnce you get the hang of it will find plenty of use for one.under $500 for something s/h.
Nice to have #2WatermakerNot without cost to buy, run and to maintain – but unlimited water is nice, just not always essential.a couple of thousand
Nice to have #2Whisker PoleFor poleing out sails when heading downwind – if not doing that for days on end, then likely no need.under $200 will get you a pole of some sort.