This blog is devoted to my John Welsford designed 15' Navigator yawl Ellie. I built her in my garage over a period of 18 months and launched her in 2011. She sports a sliding gunter main, roller furled jib and sprit-boomed mizzen. Her construction is glued-lapstrake over permanent bulkheads and stringers. This blog is a record of her construction and her voyages here in the Puget Sound area and (hopefully) a useful resource for fellow Navigator builders.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My dinghy cruising packing list

I've been doing quite a bit of dinghy cruising this year. So much so that I haven't had much time to write about it, sorry.

I've gotten my packing routine down to the point where I feel it's getting quite efficient.  I always bring the same items and store them in the same place for every trip.  A little organization goes a long way when it comes time to find something.  I try to bring only what I need, and use items for multiple purposes whenever possible.  I only bring extras of items that are crucial.

It really bugs me to have things out where I have to walk on or around them, so I store everything in the lockers and under the thwarts and side decks. Once everything is packed away, it looks like I'm not bringing anything at all.  That's not easy to do in an open boat.

Here is the packing list that I use.  This first page shows where on the boat I store everything.   Many of the items are stored in bags.  I use soft-sided cooler bags for food and water, duffel bags and backpacks for clothing, and dry bags for electronics. Page 2 shows the contents of each bag.

Most of this stuff stays on the boat permanently.  Usually all I have to pack for a trip is food and clothes.


  1. It all makes sense!
    I am clearly just a very untidy guy!
    Really useful list Joel, thanks

  2. I've noticed this about your boat before, Joel. It looks too empty for a cruise, even when Tim is with you.

  3. Great list Joel.Nothing like learning from a man who is out there doing it. Now I have just got to get my cruising Solo back in commision to get out there.

  4. You should include a fire extinguisher or two, a first aid kit, bug spray with Deet and some sting kill swabs. Keep the fire extinguishers midship so you don't have to go into a fire (usually on the engine and fuel) to retrieve one. You have a beautiful boat, you did a great job! Happy sailing!