Resources That We Use
Here are the items that we purchased for doing America’s Great Loop. And just so you know, as an Amazon Associate we can earn from qualifying purchases (at no extra cost to you). So, thank you!
These are the basic boating products that we purchased to get started on the Loop.
We absolutely cannot live without these headsets! We use them for docking, anchoring, and more. We even use them when Sam needs to go down into the engine room. Can you tell? We use them a lot!
You need a CO2 cylinder for each of the life jackets that you have. It’s also a good idea to have an extra on hand for each. You never know when you might need a replacement and you don’t want to have to wait for it.
Your fenders are going to get beaten up in the locks. We were excited to find these on Amazon and got 4 for a very reasonable price. We got the 10 x 28 inch but get the size and color that fits your boat.
Rev uses these to quickly move the fenders up or down. When you are coming into a dock, you must adjust them to the height so your boat doesn’t get damaged. They come in different sizes so get the ones that fit the size of your railing.
This is the line that Rev uses for the sole purpose of locking. It’s stored separately from the dock lines so that it will be ready when needed. Grab 2 if you go through Canada, since those locks require 2 crew to be attached to the wall.
You will need a few boat poles in handy places around your boat. We use them in the locks, to put lines around pilings when docking and to avoid other boats or walls that may be headed our direction.
Sam keeps this machete in the bridge in case my line gets caught while locking and we need to be free in an instant. I keep a knife handy but it’s good to have something that will handle the job.
We use this as a backup VHF radio. When we are underway, Sam keeps it on 16 and then monitors other channels on the main radio for tow barges, marinas, etc. We also take it when we use the dinghy.
We put two of these on the front railing of the bow. We fly the AGLCA burgee on one. In Canada, we fly a Canadian flag out of respect. The staffs are specific for the size of your railings so measure before ordering.
We put this Quarantine Flag on the front railing of the bow next to the AGLCA burgee. The Quarantine Flag is to be flown when entering another country. Once we checked into Canada, we replaced it with the Canadian flag.
To keep our boat in great shape, we use these items.
We cannot tell you how many times we have used this wet/dry vacuum – certainly more than we expected. It has come in handy for cleaning out the bilges and for unexpected spills/leaks. It’s very useful to have on board.
When we take on water, usually while docked at a marina, we always use a filter. We screw one of these filters directly to the spigot on the dock. Then, we screw our hose into the other end of the filter to fill our tanks.
We use this flow meter to measure just how much water we are putting on the boat. We screw our hose into the top and then place the other end directly into the water hole on the boat. Reads gallons or liters.
We use this hose for putting fresh water on board, washing the boat and rinsing the salt water off when needed. This hose comes in different sizes so get a size that will allow you to reach all around your boat.
When our black water holding tanks need a thorough cleaning, this is what we use. Sam drops one in each toilet and flushes 5 times and fills holding tanks at least 3/4 full of water. Let it sit 24-36 hours and then pump out.
Here are some items that we love!
Sam put all four of these solar-powered, outdoor, waterproof, motion sensor lights around our boat. We never felt unsafe on the loop but it never hurts to shine a little light on the situation.
For added security, we have these door alarms. The sound is deafening and will certainly be a deterrent. If you ever need to dock in a place you are unsure of, these will give you peace of mind.
We use these all the time! They come in many different colors (even Cheetah!) so get some to match your boat. They are handy to have and move around and definitely a life saver when underway.
We only have one of these right now but I am going to get more! When it is hot and you are anchoring or docking and have no power, you really need battery operated fans. Yes, plural. FANS!
And if you love your wife and her temperature level is set to extra hot at times, you need one of these. I’m not even kidding. This fan uses little power (on low settings) and is a life saver.
Rev uses this all the time. It’s quick and she is able to make a few meals for when we are anchoring or want to stay on the boat instead of going out to eat. Check out her recipes under the “Living Aboard” tab.
Rev uses this on many occasions as a backup stove top. It only works with pots and pans that have a magnetic surface like cast iron. It’s great to cook steaks or chicken on the Lido Deck instead of inside.
This is a very handy item to use to keep mosquitos and other crazy flying insects away. You have to have a lot of ventilation so use on the bridge or an open deck. You will need extra butane and scented mat refills.
You will need these pads and butane refills to go with the Thermacell. You certainly won’t want to be without refills because the Thermacell is your best defense against mosquitos especially in the south.
This is really a cool too! It is like having a calculator and dividers all in one. Set your speed, then span the distance on your chart, then get distance on one end, time on the other end! It’s magic for those of you who like paper charts!
Just in case you are interested.
If you have selected a candidate boat, make sure you can get it insured. Over the last year, the marine insurance industry has changed dramatically. Sam did his own independent research by interviewing five insurance brokers. Send him an email for his report on it and what he recommends.
Getting a Captain’s License is a great way to enhance your knowledge and perhaps even get paid for your skills and knowledge. We have partnered with Mariners Learning System. Their support and reputation is excellent and they are THE leader in online courses. If you purchase a course through our affiliation with them, you will get a 20 minute private chat with Sam.
Read all about 35 First Mates’ experience on America’s Great Loop. The stories vary greatly to give you a first hand account of what you can expect before you go on your loop. Or even compare your loop experience to these ladies. Read Rev’s chapter (#32) about documenting your own Great Loop Journey.
Automatic External Defibrillators (AED). Even if you’re in good health, don’t leave the dock without one – you might be able to save a life. Find out the features: manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic? Choose wisely!
Contact Mike Marsiglia, a fellow cruiser who has been in paramedic field for 30 plus years and operates Chesapeake AED. Or email him here.