Sea Year / Sea Bag

DRMbig2024

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Nov 21, 2019
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11
What type of luggage is best for sea year? Did you take a sea bag or rolling luggage? Are sea bags issued by the academy? Is a sea bag a good Christmas present for a Plebe that just found out he is B split? If I understand correctly, a B split will leave for sea in June right after the Class of 2021 graduation? Sooo many questions.... I'm sure my Plebe will give me details EVENTUALLY but I like to plan ahead :) Thanks in advance from an anxious Mom.
 

Skipper07

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Sep 29, 2017
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I’m not a USMMA mid, but I spend a lot of time on the water and have invested a lot of money into offshore gear. Wait until your plebe tells you what he wants. Upperclassmen will know best.
 

kpmom2013

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Apr 14, 2009
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Sea bags are not issued. It is personal preference on what they take. Keep in mind that they may have to do a lot of carrying between airports, hotels, and their ship(s). They will likely want to take their KP backpack with their laptop inside, so another sea bag they would want to carry on their shoulders is difficult. My DS took a seabag first sailing and decided on a wheeled suitcase second sailing. My DD took a wheeled suitcase, a small duffel, and her KP backpack on both sailings. They need to bring a lot of stuff, especially for second sailing. Also depends on the ship/route they have. If they are assigned to a tramp ship, they will not know their destination so they have to bring hot weather and cold weather gear. Cold weather routes require a lot of heavy jackets and insulated clothes which take up a lot of room. They also have to take stuff for sea projects, including a bulky sextant if a deckie. Your mid will have lots of advice from upperclassmen and sea year lectures. No need for you to worry (well, at least not until your mid is at sea and in 20 foot swells or headed for a hurricane...)
 

KP Eng

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Oct 23, 2015
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I agree to wait for sea year lectures and advice from upper classmen. I had a massive duffle bag. In retrospect something with wheels would have been nicer.
 

Hockey10

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Nov 8, 2019
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Parents' buying stuff on their own has recently been discussed on another thread. "Anxious mom," sit back and wait for information and a request of funds. KP has been doing this for a long time. And remember, these are the tools of his trade and a big deal to him. Don't faint when you see the cost of a tool that doesn't spark and steel toed boots, etc. Enjoy his excitement.
 

CAT5

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Sep 10, 2020
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3
KP issued duffle bag (NE PA also sells a nice sea bag), rolling carry on bag, and a back pack. If flying duffle bag cannot exceed 50 lbs. but weight restrictions may be waived if they show their travel orders. They will be issued lists of sea gear prior to sailing. Depending on when, where, and what type of ship they are going on they will not need everything on that list. Best thing they can do is talk to an upperclassman who has sailed on their ship in the past and ask them for advice. Truth is they will not need most of the clothes that are recommended on the list. Dont overpack.
 

Hockey10

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Nov 8, 2019
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63
Most airline personnel do not know that the weight limit is 70 pounds when traveling on government orders. DD was smart enough to carry a copy of that page of the rule book with her.
 

deepdraft1

Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited
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Jan 21, 2009
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Most airline personnel do not know that the weight limit is 70 pounds when traveling on government orders. DD was smart enough to carry a copy of that page of the rule book with her.
There's a term we use in the Merchant Marine called going 'schooner rig'.. That means traveling light and only packing the essentials. So rules aside, if you're carrying over 50 pounds in your check on baggage, you might want to reevaluate what you've got packed in your sea bag.. As kpmom2013 correctly points out, it's not just at airline check in that you have to deal with baggage weight. You still have to schlep your gear from the airport, down to the ship and most likely up a very steep gangway.
 

cmakin

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Aug 26, 2010
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985
I agree to wait for sea year lectures and advice from upper classmen. I had a massive duffle bag. In retrospect something with wheels would have been nicer.

For my entire time at sea, I used a large green duffle bag that I bought at a military surplus store, secured with a combination padlock. Rolling bags are fine (and what I use know when going offshore) but can be a pain getting up a gangway. These days, if I have to spend time offshore or riding a ship, I have a large gym bag that I can fit my stuff into. Do NOT overpack.
 

golfindad

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Apr 13, 2016
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371
we went to REI, and got two waterproof duffles. One patagonia - smaller, for carry on, and the other a large one, w/o wheels, 70L I believe. they have stood the time and the abuse. Expensive but well worth it
 

KPEngineer

Eternal Father ...
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Oct 21, 2009
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As was told to me by an upper classman ... lay out everything you think you need, put half of it back and you will still have too much.
 

deepdraft1

Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited
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Jan 21, 2009
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With no disrespect meant to anyone, I don't have the courage to tell either of my daughters she has packed too much.
Well I'm sure they'll eventually figure it out.. some people are tactile learners.
 
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