Very willing to help with any advice/photos etc. My own view is that what you need depends on how far you are cruising, and in particular how far from a safe haven you are venturing. My personal view on the essentials are
1 An anchor. I tie the end (is that the bittern end?) to the tabernacle and keep it in a bucket sort of under the front bench. For a while I tied a small loop of rope at the bottom of the forestay to use as a fairlead when the anchor was deployed, and simply tied the anchor off to the mast. I have now moved marginally upmarket, and have a single fairlead on the starboard side right beside the forestay, and a substantail cleat screwed to the starboard side of the tabernacle.
2 A paddle. If becalmed, this can be very handy. I carry two.
Moving up from this, I would strongly recomend:
3 A mechanism for reefing. The current Hartley cruising boats come with a single rows of reefing points and with a reefing line within the boom. My sail happened to come with two rows of reefing points, so I have fitted a second reefing line within the boom. My guess is that Richard or Mark could sell you a Hyde cruising sail with reefing points at a competitive price. If you’d like photos of my reefing let me know.
In theory when you reef the main you should reduce the size of the jib by a similar amount. I am aware that there has been at least one disaster where someone was sailing with two reefs in the main and a full size genoa. There are, however, people who sail quite quite happily with two reefs and no jib/genoa. Personally I currently have a furling jib. The fitting came with the boat, and it is not the world’s best quality. people say I shouldn’t be able to sail with it part furled, but it seems to work for me. When I have the second reef in I furl it down to ‘tea towel’ size, and with the first reef I have the jib out fully. So…whilst potentially it could cause a problem, I would happily set off in a boat with a jib and a single reef. having said all that, I have a spar for roller reefing, and now just need to buy a genoal with a bolt rope up the luff.
4 Bits of shockcord! These should perhaps be on the essential list. Needed to tie in the provisions that are a key part of cruising……things like the thermos flask and the box with snacks in it. Nothing quite like heaving to and having a drink watching the world go by, or, as on an UKWA cruise this year, staring up at a mist covered Dunstanburgh Castle. Also needed to tie in the paddle and to stop the anchor falling out if you capsize!
5 Some form of compass. For serious cruising you need something proper, but I’d suggest that as a minimum, you need something really simple which will tell you which way land is when the fog closes in all around you. One gets disorientated almost instantaneously, and something like a handheld compass used by hikers / walkers can take all the stress out of the situation.
5 Outboard. Plenty of people (including Frank and Margaret Dye) choose not to have one and carry oars instead. I have chosen to have one because it can be jolly useful when the wind drops and there is limited prospect of it reappearing before the tide turns against you. I chose the Honda 2.3 with standard shaft, because I liked the fact that it is aircooled and thus has less parts to go wrong. This does make it slightly noisier, but I’m very happy with it and use it as little as possible. The only other point of note is that I reassembled the bracket so that it is angled slightly down rather than slighty up. This means the prop is lower in the water, and because our boats have such a slinky low transom, it still clears the transom when in the raised position.
6 Transom flaps: My recommendation would be to leave them as they are unless you are sleeping in the boat. The lack of washboards on our boats means that when in amongst the waves they take on more water that the other designs of Wayfarer. With the self bailers and the transom flaps this doesn’t come close to being an issue. I recently slept in the boat, however, and for that occasion I sealed the flaps shut with silicone sealant and taped them over. Kept the water out nicely, but at one stage due to user error off the suffolk coast we shipped rather a lot of water (well over the centre board case) and it took the selfbailers quite a few minutes to get the water out. If the transom flaps had been open it wouldn’t have been an issue. My hope now is that I can make some flaps that can be opened and that can also be shut and made 100% watertight so that my slumbers are not interupted by dampness.
7 Handheld VHF radio. Anyone will do. I like being able to listen to the coastguard’s forecast every 3 hours (maritime safety information broadcast), as announced on Channel 16 and broadcast on whichever channel they tell you to go to. It could also be useful for communicating with other boats or summoning help. In thgese days of DSC, however, there is, however, no longer a coastguard dedicated to listening to channel 16
8 Boat tent: For when you get serious. I’ve tried an old Mk3 tent, and whilst it was sort of OK, I’d be inclined to ‘watch this space’ at Hartleys.
Hope this helps, and hope you have fun.