We’ve talked before about the benefits of bugging out on a sailboat. A decent size sailboat will have all the amenities of home. Sleeping quarters, cooking space, a bathroom and shower… If you bring enough dry goods, and proper fishing equipment (including a cast net for catching bait fish and the like), you could sustain yourself on a sailboat for a while. Solar panels and wind generators can keep you powered minimizing the need for fuel, and the wind will do most of your work. (If you can get a nice electric motor for your sailboat, it can recharge your batteries while you are under sail). If you are brave enough, and a good enough sailor, you can go anywhere in the world on your sailboat. (A good friend of mine circumnavigated the globe a few times in his 34 foot sailboat).
However, sailboats do present some difficulties that are unique to them. The first thing to consider is your escape route. Because of the sailboats keel, you need to be aware of where the waters will be deep enough for you to travel unhindered. The last thing you need while trying to escape is to ground yourself. Always make sure your depth finder is in good working order, and keep depth charts available for the areas you plan to escape to and the path you need to take to get to them. If you have a swing keel, you can use it as a “poor mans depth finder”, but make sure to keep it serviced and barnacle free. A few poorly placed barnacles can keep you from being able to raise your keel and leave you stuck where you don’t want to be.
You should sail your escape path a few times to make sure it is free of problem areas. Draw bridges are not a problem when society is acting normal, but in a SHTF type situation, you may find them unattended. You don’t want your self cornered by a closed draw bridge. Try to find alternate routes that don’t rely on draw bridges. Check your escape routes for safe harbors, and coves that you can bunker down in for the night while you make your escape.
Make sure you have spare sails, and rigging. Be prepared to replace anything, and everything needed to get under sail. Be prepared to climb your mast and fix things. You don’t want to find yourself adrift in the open ocean. Have extra fuel, and an extra outboard motor on hand in case you have engine troubles, and keep a inflatable dingy safely stowed aboard.
You may also want to consider keeping a safe amount of bullion in your bug out bag so if you do bug out in a sailboat, you will have funds when you land in a country that doesn’t accept your local currency.
Keep seed packs on hand so if you end up in a deserted area, you can start to grow food and other necessities. (Christopher Columbus kept hemp seeds on board so that, in case of emergency, his crew could grow hemp to make rope and even sails if necessary.)
Bugging out on a sailboat can be a brilliant option as long as you plan it properly. A decent sailboat can take you anywhere in the world, and you can easily escape from the troubles the plaque your homeland. But it isn’t as simple as “get in and go”. Make sure you have a plan.