Any boat cruising off shore needs an emergency ditch bag for unplanned situations. Being prepared means never assuming that rescue will come before you would need things in a bag, one can never predict circumstances or weather. Having a life raft or kit that comes with your vessel may not have everything you want or need as minimal gear is all that is included so building your own insures your needs are met.
The bag should be water resistant to insure it doesn’t fill immediately with water and sink. Purchase one that is yellow or international orange and you can attach reflector strips for added visibility with a flashlight. A throw bag can be back up as needed.
Clearly label the bag so everyone on board knows what it is keep it in a handy place.
Rescue items can include:
- Functioning EPIRB (emergency position indication rescue beacon)
- Handheld VHF radio (in sealed pouch with extra batteries)
- Flares, water dyes, and/or smoke signals
- Strobe Light/flashlight
- Signal mirror
Survival Items can include:
- Water (sealed packets better than jug)
- Food rations (high calorie bars or squeeze packets)
- First aid kit
- Extra medications
- Patch kit for dinghy or life raft/ inflatable repair
Other items depending on space:
- Handheld GPS
- Solar blanket
- Fishing gear
- Life vest/inflatable PFD
Check your bag every season and before a long voyage for charged items and batteries needed. For added information on boat safety, please see the available DVD’s.
First Identify the paint that is there. Is it compatible?
If yes – Sand, Primer, Paint
If no – the previous coating needs to be taken down. Sand with 80 grit paper until the coating is gone. Sand blasting is not recommended because it takes away the aluminum itself.
How do you know if previous paint is compatible with Awlgrip? Perform this test:
- Need a rag and some Lacquer thinner
- Sand the surface with 80 grit sand paper
- Apply lacquer thinner to the rag and hold it on the sanded area.
- Put a piece of plastic on to to hold the rag so the Lacquer thinner doesn’t evaporate.
- Hold rag for 35-45 min.
- Remove rag slowly. Is surface bubbling or lifting? If no, scrape surface with the blade of a knife. If the paint comes off with the blade or the paint feels rubbery you have identified an acrylic based paint. Awlgrip may be applied on top of it. If the surface was bubbling or lifting, the paint is not compatible and must be removed.
II. Apply Awl-Wash Primer CF (Mix Part A and Part B) within 4 hours of cleaning the surface. This provides excellent adhesion to the aluminum surface. Awl-Wash CF can be overcoated with primers after 1 hour of application. Maximum recoat time without sanding is 6 months.
III. Apply a Primer to the Awl-Wash Primer CF. There are 2 main choices.
- 545 Epoxy Primer – Thin, building primer. Usually applied when there is no need to fill scrapes or gouges.
- Awlquick – a medium build, primer/surfacer. Applied to a surface that needs to be filled where there are scrapes or gouges. Awlquick Base + Converter.
IV. Apply a topcoat.
- Awlgrip – may be brush rolled or sprayed – usually lasts 7-10 years.
- Awlcraft – must be sprayed only – usually lasts 4-6 years.
For more information on Awlgrip vs. Awlcraft, click this link.
Awlgrip Color Chart