We asked some of our more experienced members what they carry in their sailing bag. We’ve seen everything from an extra spring line to a spare winch handle, both of which would come in very handy under the right circumstances. Here’s a short list of must-haves that we wouldn’t go on the water without:
1. Multi-tool – It’s amazing how many minor repairs can be accomplished underway with a Leatherman or similar multi-tool. They are usually also a good replacement for a deck-fill key and have even been used as spare throttle-handles!
2. Flashlight – Without a flashlight, there are several boats in the fleet that will give you fits trying to find some of the thru-hulls or get the dipstick replaced properly.
3. A checkout notebook with notes about each individual boat – this will save you a lot of time getting the boat ready and remembering the details that make each boat unique, in your own words!
Other things that come in very handy and should be added to your sailing bag as you advance your sailing skills (and area) include: A handheld VHF, a handheld GPS, tether and harness, and of course foul weather gear!