Solar

You must have a big solar system. This will be your cruising life blood. It must charge the batteries every day and provide for all your electrical needs, without the need to run the engine. You will need about 10ft x 4ft of solar panels.


They must be in the sun all day, with no shadows falling on them. Shown here is the boat being launched after a refit. The solar panels are in full sunlight as there is no boom to create a shadow. In the evening the shadow of the mast drops onto the panels if you are anchored by the stern in prevailing Easterlies. Turn the boat at anchor using a line off the beam attached to the anchor rode with a rolling hitch, so that the shadow of the mast can be moved off the panels mid afternoon. Mount the panels so that they are flat. If you are stern anchored the sun will be on the port side mostly. The mast shadow and shroud shadow will usually clear the forward end of the panels.

In selecting the yacht consider where the panels can be mounted.

 
Life Rafts

If you are worried that the boat might catch fire and burn to the waterline, consider renting a life raft.

Better still, have plenty of fire extinguishers on board, in the engine room and at three or four strategic places. Get Halotron for the navigation spaces, as it leaves no residue  on the electronics. Use ABC extinguishers as regulations require.

If you think you must have a life raft consider this: unless the boat is burned to the deck and sinking, stay with the boat. More yachtsmen have died in a life raft than in their disabled yacht.  A sailboat foundered off San Francisco, and the life raft failed to deploy. If you want a life raft get only the best, most expensive system, with room for at least two more people than the number of crew. Cheap life rafts sometimes fail to deploy if they are not cared for meticulously, with annual service and testing. You may have to sail a long way to find a service station. Life rafts will rot in their deck mounted cases if uncared for. A SOLAS 6 man raft, well equipped with EPIRB, and survival suits will cost $5000.  I don’t have one. I sail in good weather, avoid thunderstorms, and have fire protection equipment in strategic places. In an emergency I can communicate with rescue service. I think I would put one aboard for an Atlantic crossing.