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Micro-Cruising and Ocean Rowing Equipment List

Updated: Feb 16, 2020

This is some of the long-distance Micro-Cruising equipment I will be considering, it is based on some of the equipment I recommend to some of the Ocean Rowing teams that I assist with their vessel preparation at

This is a work in progress and is constantly updated/swapped/amended. Eventually, I hope to write a full post/page with details each item and its pros and cons.


  • Chart plotter

  • A handheld Back-up GPS – some mobile devices may suffice but suffer poor battery life/options

  • A fixed VHF Radio

  • VHF Antenna

  • Navigation Lights

  • Spare Floating handheld VHF radio to be kept in Grab Bag

  • Interior and chart lights (L.E.D)

  • A battery monitor

  • Radar enhancer (Echo-max)

  • Head torch

  • ToughBook (Laptop) in Pelican case. Use for email, weather charts, uploading photographs etc.

  • AIS Transceiver

  • Auto-Pilot + (Spare? if using Tiller Pilots)

  • A Fan/Solar powered fan

  • Solar Panels + MMPT Regulator

  • Cameras – I have a Panasonic impact/waterproof DMC-FT5 for everyday photographs and video. I have a separate DSLR for extra special photos and when on dry land.

  • Mains Inverter (+ Spare?) for charging devices that need a mains battery charger (digital camera) where a 12v version is unavailable. I’d prefer to charge them straight from 12v sockets though as that would be more efficient and less kit to carry.

  • Disposable batteries for handheld and other devices such as head-torches etc. (Rechargeable?)

  • Battery charger and spare batteries

  • Batteries for handheld and other devices such as head-torches etc. (Rechargeable?)

  • Spare USB / Charging Cables - prone to corrosion and failure.

  • Individual solar panel for equipment i.e. Phones/SatPhone/GPS. Anker make a good versatile system with many options/adaptors.

  • Satellite Phone

  • Tracker such as: YellowBrick Tracker, SpotX Tracker, Garmin InReach

  • 12V electric kettle – A luxury for days when the batteries are full or boat is sat on the dock. Saves using gas.


  • Bungee cords – necessary for securing everything on deck and in the cabin

  • Pelican cases – solid, waterproof

  • MSR Dromedary10l bags for water storage / movable ballast (also doubles as emergency drinking water storage)

  • 'Lock ‘n’ Lock' clipped waterproof food containers – useful for electronics as well as food, other spares and equipment.

  • AquaPac MP3 player bag

  • AquaPac phone pouch

  • Clear Aquapac bag containing instruction manuals

  • Bag of spare AquaPac's

  • Waterproof deck bag

Water Making:

  • Water-maker (Such as Katadyn Power Survivor, Spectra Ventura 150 etc.)

  • Pickling solution, wrench, and replacement sea strainer cup for the water-maker

  • Spare water-maker feed pump

  • Katadyn (Survivor 06) manual emergency water-maker and cleaning chemicals


  • Crash helmet for rough weather, sitting out storms in the cabin etc.

  • First-Aid kits A few first aid items for everyday use i.e. plasters, burn gel, Savlon etc. Main sea/ocean First aid kit

  • The Ship Captains Medical Guide – Printed or Downloaded. The downloaded is the most up-to-date, FREE, and can be stored on a digital device, or hard-printed.

  • Laser Flare

  • Traditional Flare pack which is suitable for area sailing in i.e. coastal, offshore etc.

  • Some extra quick grab white flares for anti-collision and emergencies

  • A safety harness for each crew member

  • Fire extinguishers / Fire Blanket

  • Smoke Alarm

  • CO (Carbon Monoxide) Alarm

  • Grab bag containing flares, duct tape, flashlight, signalling mirror, fishing kit, GPS, sun cream, VHF radio, spare compass, torch/flashlights, PLB (personal locator beacon), emergency rations, snap lights, emergency top, & emergency poncho, spare spectacles, medication, etc – A new blog will be created detailing the grab bag use and its contents.

  • Immersion/Survival Suits

  • Life Jackets for each crew member and a spare

  • Spare Life Jacket inflation canisters

  • PLB (Personal Locating Beacon) – I use an ACR ResQLink+

  • Personal AIS beacon

  • EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon)

  • SART (Search and Air Rescue Transponder)

  • Flotation Devices – Rings/Horseshoe

  • Throwing Line

  • Dan Buoy

  • Floating safety knife to be worn on a lanyard

  • Fog Horn

  • SOLAS – ‘Lifesaving Signals At Sea’ card

  • Glow Sticks – for emergency lighting and signalling – I use the same bright long-life 8hr ones that the army use (Lumica NSN Nato Stock Number 6260-01-218-5146). White or red can be used inside (red to retain night vision, though some now recommend green), perhaps a green and red stick on each exterior side of the vessel can be used to as back-up navigation lighting in close quarters.

  • SOLAS Torch – I own an ACR FireFly Pro with a strobe function.

  • Jack Lines and Harnesses


  • Stereo / Radio

  • Music / Audiobooks loaded onto mp3 players

  • Digital Books on a tablet computer – take up less space than printed books

  • Printed books – use no power!

  • Movies downloaded to tablet devices

Tools / Maintenance:

  • Duct/Gorilla tape – the proper stuff not a cheap equivilant

  • Cable ties

  • Electrical crimping set

  • Compartmentalised boxes of useful bits & pieces, spare nuts and bolts.

  • Another tub of useful bits & pieces including rhino clips, waterproof case of batteries, small first aid kit, matches, cable grips, compass, spare eye straps, spare flashlights, duct tape, electrical meter, cable ties, spare fuses, knives, & spare swivel shackles

  • Tools Kits Frequently Used Tools – in easy to access space – you are more likely to do those little jobs if the kit is easier to get at! Remaining tools – in secondary kit

  • Handheld Multi-tool – use a good branded reliable item

  • Sail / Rigging Repair Kit

  • Engine Spares – i.e. belts, sparkplugs (if petrol), impellers, drive belts etc. See manufactures recommended list.


  • JetBoil Stove and Fuel

  • Stove Gimbal

  • Assorted galley items including food containers, sporks, forks, knives & spoons etc.

  • Water drinking bottles

  • Sproutamo bean sprouter

  • Thermos

  • Thermos food bowl

  • Cups

  • Bowls/Plates

Other Equipment:

  • Fishing rod

  • Compartmentalised box containing a fishing kit

  • Bucket cleaning products, dustpan, rags, bin bags, brush & dustpan

  • Funnel & hose for decanting water

  • Cushions

  • Mattress

  • Mask & Snorkel

  • 'Scrubba' Wash Bag

Boat Equipment:

  • Bilge pumps - Manual & Electric

  • Hand bailing scoop

  • Spare ropes and line, drogue

  • Throwing line

  • A bag containing spare sea anchor line

  • 'Shockles' (Line Snubbers)

  • Para-Anchor, lines and spare parts – in a bag ready to deploy

  • Drogue, lines and spare parts – in a bag ready to deploy

  • Ruler, chart plotter, dividers

  • Marking buoys for anchors, sea-anchors etc.

  • Fenders

  • A waterproof bag/wallet containing paper charts

  • Main & Secondary Anchor

  • Heavy-duty Lantern (torch) – I use a floating version, a Unilite UK47

  • Signal Flags

  • Ships Log Book – for keeping track of position, miles, weather, sightings etc.

  • Binoculars

  • Ships Papers – Insurance, Proof of ownership, Registrations etc.

Personal Supplies:

  • Toiletries – shampoo & conditioner, sun lotion, razors, toothpaste, wet wipes, shower gel, soap etc.

  • Photos, pictures and small gifts from friends

  • Sleeping Bag & Spare inner linings

  • Caps / Hats

  • Buff / Snood

  • Medication

  • Passport / ID

  • Training Certificates etc.

  • Mascot (Soft Toy)

  • Waterproofs

  • Deck Shoes / Boots

  • Sailing Gloves

  • Stores:

  • Re-hydration fluids/tablets

  • Food

  • Juice

  • Squash Shots

  • Rations

This list has been updated to include some items that not relevant to the rowing boats though (such as engine parts!).


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