The fundamental question they wanted to ask was this: how can you start acquiring essentials for long term cruising before you have a boat? The underlying concept: while you have time (and an income), attempt source the essentials by trolling eBay and Craigslist so you minimize paying retail at the last minute.
Dinghy on the Beach, Baja
But then I started to think about it some more...and Jamie and I started ruminating...and brainstorming...and the list of things you could reasonably acquire in advance started to grow.
It's also about saving money. With time and patience, there really are quite a few things which are generally essential to have, and if you can score a fantastic deal, the worst case is that you end up having to resell one later. This is potentially a hassle (not to be underestimated in the chaos of trying to cut docklines at last!) but not going to literally cost much. I think it's fair to say that almost every cruiser we know- ourselves included- hemorrhaged cash as their anticipated departure date loomed. Much of this is due to unknowns (we really did not plan to buy that autopilot THE DAY BEFORE WE LEFT, but when the one on the boat died, we didn't exactly want to hand-steer from Puget Sound to San Francisco either).
So stay tuned. Lists o' Stuff are coming.
Sunset, Sea of Cortez