Sailing the Catalina 320 Single Handed

~~ Paul V. Hartman ~~

Part IV - Miscellaneous Notes

What's in my Gear Bag?

My gear bag is a visible orange lightweight nylon duffle bag, 9" by 9" by 20". In it I always keep my hand held VHF (charged at home), hand held GPS, inflatable life vest, sunglasses on a loop-tether, a quality pair of 7x35 binoculars, my log book and ownership papers, a neat hat, and the key to the ignition on a floating key-chain.

Also inside, I carry an 8x11 ring binder with photocopies of important 8x11 sections of my coastal charts. These carry notations I have made about geography, position and type of markers, areas of shallow water, and other notes. On other pages are notes about marinas along the coast: what they supply, if temporary dock space is available and the per-foot charge, whether restaurants are nearby, and the phone number and hailing frequency they monitor. The ring binder fits nicely on the cockpit table; the individual pages are in plastic holders. There is still plenty of room in the bag for additional clothing.

My gear bag goes where I go; were I to crew someone else's boat, I bring my own stuff with me. When I sail alone I can keep the gear bag in the cockpit.

What's kept aboard ship?

Coastal charts (waterproof) are kept in the nav station table. Elsewhere in the cabin are boat manuals supplied by Catalina, a tool kit, a first aid kit, a set of signal flags and other flags, miscellaneous length bungie cords, a small well illustrated manual on knots.

Although most of the signal flags are of little use to most sailors, some of them are very important, and somewhere in your kit should be these four signal flags and a chart of their meanings, should you either need them or observe them flying.

"C" or "Charlie flag".
Its meaning is YES.
"N" or "November flag".
Its meaning is NO.
"V" or "Victor flag".
"W" or "Whiskey flag".

If the N and C flags are flown together, the meaning is DISTRESS.

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