Gear We Use
Beginning a new life in a new country, in a totally different lifestyle to the one we had before, has meant we've had to buy lots of new gear. Partly because it is a new lifestyle, but also because we were limited with weight allowances on the planes from Australia to Spain, so we had to drastically downsize.
We have outlayed on many purchases - from yacht parts (and the yacht herself!), to sailing books, to kitting the boat out so we can live aboard in our new home, to new scuba gear, and even art and jewellery materials for Aannsha's work. We're also committed to bringing you fabulous photos and videos of our new life, so you can feel as if you're on the adventure with us and that has also seen us purchasing lots of filming equipment, laptops, and editing equipment.
All of this has meant that we have researched the equipment we use, and have chosen what we consider the best for our situation. Every item and service we recommend on this website is gear that we use personally. (Or it's as close as we can find on Amazon to what we use). That way you can be sure that what we list is stuff we think is worth letting you know about.
For your convenience, we’ve included Amazon links for a lot of the gear we use. As Amazon Associates we earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases (at no cost to you).
Solar & Electrical
Making, monitoring and managing electrical power is serious business on a boat. Victron is the brand we rely on to help us do that. Top quality equipment at a fair price. It is also a great interface for our solar panels.
We have four 150 watt solar panels. They are 36 (6x6) cells polycrystalline, using 3.2 mm low iron glass, an aluminum frame. Voltage is Pmax 18.30, Current is Pmax 8.20, Open Circuit voltage 22.80, Short circuit voltage 8.77. The junction box is >165.
This has cables & plug connectors 900mm/4mm & MC4 compatible / IP67,
Module Dimensions (L/W/H) 142mm x676mm x 35mm, Module weight 11.5kg
Check out these solar panels here
A solar charge controller takes the energy produced by your solar panels and stores it in your batteries. This SmartSolar maximises the energy obtained and ensures it achieves full charge in the shortest possible time. SmartSolar assists the batteries to maintain health, therefore extending their life. The SmartSolar charge controller can operate with a battery voltage as low as 0 Volts, provided the cells are not permanently sulphated or otherwise damaged. We are very happy with this unit’s performance. Check it out here.
Our lead acid batteries contain lead and lead oxide plates in a sulphuric acid-water mixture, and lead sulphate is produced as the batteries create electricity.
During correct operation, lead sulphate re-dissolves, maintaining the loading capacity. If this doesn’t happen then large crystals of lead sulphate that can’t be dissolved will form on the battery plates. This process is called sulphation and will decrease the batteries ability to function until, at 80%, the batteries will lose all functionality.
Magicpulse emits high frequency pulses which break down the crystals and allows the battery plates to return to a spongy amorphous structure, similar to a new battery plate. This means the battery is totally rechargeable. Magicpulse significantly increases battery life and means we don’t have to outlay on new batteries as quickly as we would if we didn’t use this unit. It’s a no-brainer really. Check it out here.
This Blue Smart Battery Charger ensures our batteries get the power they need, maintaining battery health and better performance for a longer life. It will attempt to recharge a deeply discharged battery by feeding it with a low current, resuming normal charging once it detects enough voltage across the battery terminals. It can be connected permanently to the batteries and comes with crocodile clilps and M8 eyelets. One of the great features of this unit for us is that it is waterproof. Check it out here.
Quite a few boats leak low voltage DC currents. If you spend any time tied up next to other boats either at a marina or restaurant jetty, these currents can enter your boat via the shore power earth wire. The Victron Galvanic Isolator blocks these low voltage DC currents prolongs the life of your anodes. This unit can handle a maximum current of 32A, peak current (20ms) is 3200A, the connection is M6 and it comes with a 5 year warranty. That’s good value for money in our book. Check it out here.
The Victron Energy Phoenix Inverter allows us to use your 12V DC batters and power domestic equipment that need 120V AC (in our case its 240V AC). It has different modes: the high start up power can start loads such as converters for electric tools. And in Eco mode the inverter switches to standby when the load decreases, making it very efficient. We like this unit because it is lightweight and compact but able to supply any load of power. It can also be monitored (and operated) using your computer, smartphone or tablet. Check it out here.
Victron Energy Argo FET Battery Isolators are similar to diode battery isolators in that they allow simultaneous charging of two or more batteries from a single output battery charger (or one alternator) without having to connect the batteries together. This FET isolater is different to a diode battery isolator though as it has almost no voltage loss. Basically the voltage drop is less than 0.02V at low current and averages 0.1V drop at higher currents. We like the fact that there is virtually no voltage loss. Check this unit out here.
This dual car charger adapter will charge two devices simultaneously and up to four times faster than conventional chargers. It also provides protection against over-voltage, over-load, over-heating and short-circuiting. This charger has a built in blue LED voltage monitor and also makes the USB port easy to find in the dark. Because the unit is made of an aluminium alloy it is strong and won’t overheat. Plus it’s also non- flammable making it safer for use on the boat. We have two units which were very easy to install and don’t take up much space, so we have two at the nav station and one on the chart plotter pedestal. We use ours for fast-charging our Samsung mobile phones, our digital cameras and powering an android tablet with backup navigation software on it. Check it out here.
Boat jobs big or small require tools and having a collection of the right tools for the job makes life easier. We can honestly say that every tool we have on board has been used at least once. Here is a choice of some of the tools that we've found are essential for getting our boat jobs done.
Video & Audio Equipment
We're not experts when it comes to video and audio equipment but we do know what works for us. These are cameras and mics we use that certainly get the job done.
For our overhead footage, we use the DJI Mavic Pro Fly More Combo. This little baby flies at up to 40mph (64kmh) or for as long as 27-minutes using a Lithium Polymer batteries required. (One is included in the pack we've linked to.)
For voice over sound, we us a Blue Yeti with a USB Mic for recording & streaming on PC and Mac. It has 3 condenser capsules, 4 pickup patterns, a headphone output as well as volume control, plus mic gain control. It comes with an adjustable stand, and is plug & play. Ours is silver.
We use this super flexible Fotopro Camera Tripod with Remote for iPhone 12 XS and Samsung daily. It is waterproof and anti-crack proof and can be used to hold any of our cameras, making this a great accessory for capturing video footage.
Office & Computer
Barry uses a 2017 version of the HP Probook 470 G3 15 inch screen laptop with an i7 processor to write his blogs, edit photos and videos and generally staying in touch with the world. The main reason for choosing this model was that it has the Intel 7th Generation i7-7500U 2.70GHz Processor which is needed for video editing and rendering.
Aannsha uses a 2018 version of the msi Steelseries laptop with i7 processor as it is very capable of editing videos, and photos, writing blogs and uploading to social media. (Plus it's got multicoloured keys that's she's set to aqua!)
After we lost a ton of footage when one of our external hard drives fell on the floor, we now have a solid state hard drive as these are so much more durable and can store way more footage than we lost!
Personal safety equipment - On board
We wouldn't go up the mast without these two. Just to be sure, to be sure.
Marine first aid kit
Toilet / Heads
A diesel engine needs two things to run, fresh air and clean fuel. We add these to our fuel.
Fenders & Winches
Primer & Paint & Glues
Both of these make delicious espresso without electric power. I use the Handpresso, but a friend has the AeroPress and their coffee is delicious too.
And you must have a little Turkish Delight to enjoy with your coffee!
Linen & Laundry
You will need soft luggage once you get on board, as you have to be able to stow it in some small, cramped locker!
Solar Green hot water system
The Solar Green hot water system works in conjunction with solar panels and has a 12 volt element that replaces the original 220 volt element in your water boiler. It works best when your solar panels create more power than you need to charge your batteries. Once your solar panels have charged your batteries, then the Solar Green system kicks in and shunts the extra power into heating your water.
More specifically, the Solar Green system connects to one of your house batteries and the smart controller identifies (1) if your batteries are charged to over 80% and (2) if the water temperature in your water heater is less than 50 degrees C. Once these two conditions are met, the smart controller switches the power being generated by your solar panels to the heating element and heats your water – keeping it between 43C and 50C. So simple and yet such a fantastic solution!
Books we recommend
We have done a lot of research on our search for the ideal yacht, and how to service our boat so it runs sweetly and stays in tip top condition. And since we changed our lifestyle we've had more leisure time and have actually read books for pleasure. Aannsha has also written a contemporary romance novel which is a great, easy, steamy read!
This page showcases the books we find useful, in case you'd like to read them for yourself. Every book we recommend on this website is either something that we've found extremely useful for living on a yacht, that we've read in our leisure time, or that we've written ourselves. We will be adding to this list over time.
For your convenience, we’ve included Amazon links. As Amazon Associates we earn a small percentage from qualifying purchases (at no cost to you).
Books: Yacht maintenance & sailing
"If it’s on a boat and it has screws, wires, or moving parts, it’s covered in Boatowner’s Mechanical and Electrical Manual. When you leave the dock with this indispensable resource aboard, you have at your fingertips the best and most comprehensive advice..."
"The most comprehensive and helpful guide for selecting and equipping a cruising sailboat. Whether you’re a coastal or offshore cruiser, you’ll find your most pressing concerns treated with the know-how that makes for skillful, confident cruising."
We don't actually own this book, but reckon it would be a good edition to any boat owner's bookshelf. The Book of Sailing Knots: How To Tie And Correctly Use Over 50 Essential Knots
Knowing how to tie different knots on a boat is an absolute must. Hitches, bends, loops and stopper knots are all invaluble to know. We'd also recommend learning other knots that you may need immediately - such as the Rolling Hitch. Because in an emergency situation you might not have the time to look it up.
‘Anchoring seems to be commonly over-looked in preparation by many, yet it's something you do all the time and getting it wrong can be embarrassing, expensive and even dangerous.'
How to anchor Safely So You Sleep Well by Malcolm Snook
Pilot & Travel Guides
Books we've written
Laurel Chesters meets Jason Anderson on her newly purchased 20 acre property on the Gold Coast Hinterland in Australia. He is building his dream, a hi-tech, eco-friendly retreat. But they both have a problem: Her property is accessed only via Jason's land and his contract clearly shows she has no access. They are clearly attracted to each other. But throw into the mix a jealous daughter and outrageous ex-wife and their path to true love (however steamy) isn't set to run as smoothly as it could. This book has it all, romance, saucy seduction, frustration and humour. Perfect for easy reading on a long passage. (It certainly kept Aannsha entertained when she wrote it).
Get Aannsha's steamy romance From Trust To Love here (You know you want to.)
Other books we've read
Read our story here!
Read our story in this great book, Dream On! by Jens Brambusch.
We were strangers. Stranded in a distant place. Sailors from all over the world, travellers from five continents. Australians, British, Americans, South Africans, Germans and of course Turks. As different as we are in our views, no matter how rich our lives are, whether prosperous or about to go bankrupt, planned or haphazard, private or digital nomad, we all have one thing in common: living our dream.We live on a sailing ship.We have left our old life behind us, thrown the ballast of the past overboard - and then set our future course, forever. ... 'Dream on' is a guide to happiness.
Don't let the boring book cover put you off because this is a rich and wonderful story. If you want to get an in depth understanding of Turkey's recent history and how Ataturk became Turkey's progressive 'father', then we recommend Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres