When we had a larger boat and made offshore hops, conventional ditch bag thinking made sense. But when I downsized to a 24-foot trimaran, it dawned on me that with just a little adjustment, my day bag could ably serve my near-shore sailing needs. (See What to Pack in a Ditch Kit, PS May 2014, Abandon Ship Bags: Dont Leave the Boat Without Them, PS March 2001, and Bags Fit for Sea Life, PS December 2012, and The Get Home Toolkit, October 2018.)
Our upcoming report on lifelines, stanchions, and stanchion bases brought to mind several past articles we've run on stainless steel failures. Although high-quality stainless can provide years of reliable service, sailors need to be aware of its limitations. Owners of used boats with hardware of an unknown age should be particularly scrupulous when carrying out routine inspection of stainless-steel rigging and hardware.