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Our friend Livia posted on Facebook the other day, saying that she was doing a “study” to see how many toys she could fit onto a 35′ sailboat. Reading that status update immediately made me think about how many non-essential items that we carry on our little boat too. Here is a list which I know is probably incomplete:

  • snorkeling gear
  • kindles
  • fire poi
  • hula hoop
  • TRX
  • aerosling
  • kayak/paddle
  • windsurfer
  • two bikes
  • inflatable floating chair
  • inflatable floating raft
  • guitar
  • ukelele
  • bongo drums
  • exercise sandbag
  • pool noodles
  • several stuffed animals
  • various games
  • jiu-jitsu gis
  • focus mitts/gloves
  • volleyball
  • frisbee

Yesterday, as we were dropping off our windsurfer in Trellis Bay to have it repaired, we struck up a conversation with the owner of a trimaran who inquired how well our boat sails. We told him that it sailed pretty well but would probably do a lot better if it didn’t have all of this “stuff” on it! Why don’t we get rid of it then? Because having fun is a much higher priority for us than sailing fast.

Trellis Bay, Tortola


  1. If the “throw it away fairy” came one night and said you can only keep 5 items, what would it be…

  2. How is the hula-hoop non-essential?

  3. Buy a gunboat 60 and go fast having fun…. Sorry, that is step 2, step 1 is “Win Lottery”

  4. Ah, but to some going fast is all about the fun!

  5. On a cat, weight equals stress, equals money! We tried to keep it light, but the wine runs to the french islands always spoiled our plans!

  6. This question is more related to your post a couple of days ago regarding connectivity in the BVI. We’ll be down next week (woohoo!) and I want to get a data card for my iPad since we’ll be down for a few weeks. I did this back in January in England and it worked really well, but we ended up having to sign a contract and then immediately canceling it (what a load of bureaucracy), so I’m wondering what the setup was that you were able to put on your iPad from Digicel. Also, do you know if the Digicel plans work in the USVI or only the BVI?

    Finally, would love to meet up with you. We’re coming down from Ottawa and have Mowzer based in St. Thomas so we’re sailing up to the BVI most likely on Thursday next week. Maybe send me an email if you’re interested.


    • There are both prepaid and post-paid plans with Digicel. We opted for pre-paid, no contract. As for will it work in the USVIs, depend on how close you are to the towers I assume. We have friends with US AT&T coverage and they can get it in some places in the BVIs. I assume the opposite might be true.

  7. Hi Mike! What type and size trimaran? Was he a cruiser? I have heard trimarans are fast sailing but the interiors are too small for extended cruising? What do you think?

  8. Love your blog;thank you very much for the advice.

  9. Your quote “Why don’t we get rid of it then? Because having fun is a much higher priority for us than sailing fast.”

    Yes, yes, YES!!!!

    Why don’t more people acknowledge this? It is the perfect view of cruising. So different to the sad boy-racers.



  10. Wow, and I’d betting you left quite a few off (I can think several I’ve watched you “play” with)! You’ve got me buried, and yet if I were making your travels I would match some of the list and then add a few:

    * Climbing gear. I’ve seen some cool water side cliffs, just not on the Chesapeake.
    * Boogie boards and surf board.
    * 2nd kayak. Might explore sail for kayak instead of windsurfer… don’t know.
    * Fishing gear. Well, maybe that is essential gear.

    I can feel my boat gaining weight already.

  11. I am sure that it is the pool noodles that are slowing you down.

  12. clearly we have different definitions of “toy” around here. Wooden blocks, matchbox cars, stuffed animals…

  13. __________________
    “People sail for fun and no one has yet convinced me that it’s more fun to go slow than it is to go fast.” — Dick Newick
    I thought this quote by multihull guru Dick Newick expressed my total feelings
    On the subject!

  14. I would agree. I guess the point is you have to find your comfort level. How much comfort are you willing to give up for performance. Lets face it, no matter what kind of boat your on you’ll end up in the same anchorage. For some people it is the place and not the means that got them there. For others it was the trip. The average size sailboat now compared to 30 years ago is huge. To me a lot of the cruisers nowadays want to bring all of their shoreside comforts with them. For me, an easily handled light weight performance designed cat with shallow draft is the ticket. Have a great sail, anchor close to the beach out of the swell and have just enough discomfort to help you realize how lucky you are!

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