Although its a long way ahead for the Dayboat i am beginning to think about the sailing set-up this boat will need and what i mean by that is all the boat gear and personal gear needed for what is a small open boat. Ted rightly points out that i am a reasonably experienced big boat sailer but what i am not is a dinghy sailor, never have been and apart from messing about in a Laser once, a Jewel once and i think once a 470 i never will be. This little boat isn’t quite a dinghy with its steel board and internal ballast but its near enough that way to think of it as a dinghy with half a lid.
In this situation i always think about what previous experience i can draw on that is relevant. Well sailing is still sailing and i know how to do that some days (some days better than others). What i do have which is useful is some time spent in sea kayaks and open canoes and the personal set-up for those is a lot of what i will be drawing on for the domestic side and the small boat safety side. My Liberty although technically an inshore boat is set up well enough for moderate conditions offshore sailing and already has a double channel crossing under its little belt and i intend to set this boat up to nearly the same capability (within limitations) in fact making the imaginative leap that i might take this one cross channel and asking myself what that would mean in terms of boat gear and personal kit is a very good exercise.
While only at the start right now i am already thinking about :
Sailing (hand, reef and steer)
Power and paddling/rowing/sculling.
Keeping the water out of the boat and or moving it back there.
Stowing and balancing the boat.
Mending the boat and its gear.
Colregs (lights and shapes)
Shelter and keeping watch.
Staying warm and dry-ish.
Staying in the boat.
Staying hydrated and fed (and topped up with coffee)
I can’t afford to carry the amount of stores and gear i keep on the Liberty which is permanently set up with at least 2 weeks worth of water, food and fuel because of the weight implications but equally i can think back to doing multi-day hiking and canoeing trips with only what i can carry on my back or in an open canoe ….and we always ate well and made comfortable camps in so doing so we should easily squeeze a few days worth of water and food into this boat (fresh water is the usual first problem)
In the kind of wild-camping we used to do a lot i had a concept i called weight ‘budget’ which roughly speaking is the total weight of gear, food and stores that i could afford to carry either on my back or in the boat at any time. During long distance walking i would set off with some 40lbs carried and a lot of that was food and fuel….normally i would collect and treat our drinking water. Out of that and with my partner carrying maybe 25 pounds we could be and would be out there for 10 days or more completely self-sufficient. That approach taken to the Liberty would extend its capsule capability out to about a month : the Dayboat is kind of in the middle in terms of its weight budget and space allowance but the thinking is similar.