Here is a basic list of some of the gear that we are bringing with us on our trip. This list will expand and change as the trip goes on, and we will add reviews as we make use of it.
Dinghy: After much contentious and harrowing argumentation, we ended up choosing a dinghy on the more affordable side of things. The Intex Mariner 4 person Inflatable dinghy is described as a “Heavy Duty Boat”, retails for $232.77 on Amazon, and has overall very favorable reviews. There does seem to be some question as to the durability of the dinghy’s floor, but as it does not actually serve to keep the Mariner afloat, we aren’t too worried about it. This dinghy has mostly been reviewed by people who used it for fishing and motoring around on small lakes. It will serve as our personal car as we go along, taking us from the boat to shore to do our laundry, pick up supplies, and explore new areas, so we will definitely get a lot of mileage out of the little guy, and we’re looking forward to seeing how well he holds up on larger bodies of water, and particularly in salt water when we reach that point in our journey.
Foul Weather Gear: Some of the most important gear, as we will be needing and using this in the most extreme conditions that we will face. These should obviously keep us as dry as possible in a storm, but also hopefully somewhat ventilated, and not so bulky that we cannot move around the boat.
John: An older set of Henri Lloyd Foul Weather Gear
Dustin: Musto BR2, made exclusively for West Marine
Pieter: Gill OS2 Jacket, West Marine Third Reef Coastal Bibs
Ellen: West Marine Third Reef Coastal
PFD’s: The items we hope to never need. Hopefully the most that we’ll have to say about these is that they didn’t get in the way as we moved around the deck in them.
John: West Marine 4000
Dustin: Mustang MD3184 Inflatable PFD, Hydrostatic Inflation Model w/ harness
Pieter and Ellen: West Marine Offshore Auto Vest w/ harness
Tethers: another item that we hope remain safely untested, these keep us attached to the boat to avoid ending up actually in the water.
John, Dustin, Pieter, and Ellen: West Marine Double ISAF Safety Tether
Boots: These really just need to fulfill two purposes. Keeping water off our feet, and keeping those same feet firmly planted on the deck in heavy weather.
John: Older West Marine Ocean Boots
Dustin: Sperry Top Sider Fathom Boots
Pieter: West Marine Short Cruising Boots
Ellen: Sperry Top Sider Rain Cloud Boots