Its been about two years since I made a list of our “favorite” boat stuff, but with the growing amount of readers that we are gaining (thank you for joining us!) more and more emails have been coming in with these types of questions. So I figured I would write a post about it rather than type out the same email to everyone.
Between the bathrooms and the kitchen, here are 10 things that I find I use on a daily basis on our boat. Some are must haves and some I find are just super useful extras. Most are on the lower end of the price scale, except for two items (#6 and #10) that have simply changed the way we live on our sailboat.
I also want to mention that three of these items (#1, #2, and #9) we now have as sponsors. But that is only because we loved their stuff so much that we wrote to them asking if we could get some more for free. And adding them in this post is not something I owe them, they have no idea they are on this list, we just really love them and thought we should share the love. And speaking of sharing the love, if you use any of the below Amazon affiliate links we make a few extra dollars for the cruising kitty at no cost to you, so shop through our links if you can.
Ok, let the online shopping fun begin:
1. Trekr towels
I don’t know how people shower with washcloths. They don’t leave me feeling like I have removed the dirt from my skin, and just the thought of them sort of makes my skin crawl. I can’t handle those shower puffs either, they get way to soapy and just feel like I am rubbing myself in plastic. So what does that leave me with?! The Trekr. We were introduced to these a couple of years ago and I don’t know how I went so long without one! They clean, they exfoliate, and they last FOREVER!
sidenote: In india we forgot one of these at a hotel we had checked out of, and we went out of our way, back to the hotel, just to retrieve it. They are that good.
Another awesome scrubby worth mention, made by the same company, is one for doing the dishes, The Scrubr. It is just as amazing as the one I wrote about above just for a different purpose. This one scrubs off that stuck on gunk from your plates, without wrecking your plates and pans, and NEVER gets the gross smell that a lot of dishcloths get.
Turkish towels are my newfound obsession. I love them. My friend Brittany put me on to them and since then I have been stockpiling my collection and liquidating our regular towel stash. Turkish towels are magical! They are extremely thin, which is a huge space saver on a boat. They are really absorbent, I find they wick away water just as well as a normal towel. They dry super quick, meaning that they do not get that gross mildewy smell that boat towels can get. And they can be used for almost anything, for the boat, for the beach, as a cover up, as a super hero cape; they do it all. I love them so much that I thought it was worth writing a entire post about them!
We never really thought we needed a vacuum cleaner on our boat, but then our friends from Turf to Surf gifted one to us recently, and I must say that it has changed my life. Since it is a handheld the battery does need to be recharged on a very regular basis, but we have just gotten into the habit of making sure it is plugged in whenever we turn our Honda Generator on to charge all of our electronics. The charge only lasts a few minutes while this thing is running, but its suction power is impressive. Everyday you will see me running around the boat, this Dyson vacuum cleaner in hand, sucking up all of my lost hair and the girls’ spilled cereal.
Living in the caribbean = humidity. Humidity on a boat = everything gets mushy. There is no working around it but there are ways to slow it down. The best that we have found are known as Gripstics. Where the Coconuts Grow use lent us one of these when they dropped off a huge bag of gummy worms to us. All you need to is when you are done with said gummy worms you just have to fold over the top of the bag and slide these cool devices across the crease and you are good. Your goodies stay mush free for a little while longer.
5. Simple Green
With two kids on our boat I am not the biggest fan of using chemical detergents to clean the boat. We use Simple Green. It is a multi-purpose cleaner that is non-toxic and biodegradable. And the best part, in my opinion, is that you can buy a gallon of the concentrated stuff, and so whenever your spray bottle runs out you just mix the concentrate with water and you have a brand new full bottle! We use this stuff on everything on our boat. And I don’t have to worry if ever our girls get their hands on it (even though I still hope that never happens).
We bought these on the recommendation of our friend Joaquin who loves to cook. He told us that there were no other pots to consider for boating. After having used them for five year we totally agree. We loved these pots and pans so much that we have even said that if we ever were to move to land we would still continue to use these. The 10 piece set we have includes 4 pots, 2 lids, a pan, and 2 detachable handles that fit on to all of them (and one handy elastic that keeps them all together, they consider that the 10th piece!). This set has lasted us all of these years and we have never felt that we needed anything else. We use them both on the stove top and in the over. They do it all. And with the non-stick in them, I barely ever ruin a meal.
If you want to be the life of the beach party you need to get yourself some of these! When we first reached the Bahamas everyone seemed to have some of these. I mean they are great for boating, they are plastic, they are insulated to keep your drink warm or cold, and you can get them monogramed or personalized any way you want. But when we saw the price tag on them we couldn’t bring ourselves to pay that much for “glasses”. Instead we started getting them for each other as presents for holidays and birthdays. What started with just a glass each has turned in to us having 2 full sets of 4, some with handles and lids (24oz) to bring along when we are going to drink on the beach or on another boat and don’t want to spill on the way or on their boat, and another 16oz set that we use just for drinks when we’re staying home.
I have never been fond of the look of these, a bit tacky if you ask me. And so it took forever, literally almost five years, for Eben to convince me that we should set some up. Now that they are up in both corners of our kitchen, I have to admit that I do like them for their practicality. We use one for fruit and one for veggies, and it has been a major help for staying on top of what we have, what needs to be eaten before it goes bad, and what we need to reprovision on. Nothing like keeping your shopping list up to date when your produce is hanging right in your face.
We only recently got our hands on an Aeropress and we use it everyday and love it. It is a press that makes the most delicious coffee in a quick and easy process. This tiny press produces espresso shots that you can turn in to any type of coffee you desire. We usually stick to lattes, but it makes it all. And it requires no power, just coffee grounds, hot water, and a little strength. Since I am on and off of coffee, depending on my mood, my stomach, and how much sleep I got the night before, it is great that you can also make a single or a double serving depending on how many people will be drinking.
We refit our boat with a front loading fridge when we first moved aboard. I couldn’t stand the thought of a top loading fridge, having to riffle through everything to figure out what food you have at the very bottom of the fridge. Most sailors do it, but it was just not for us. The Engle front loader has been a great size for our family of four and it has saved us many tetris style headaches that I envisioned with top-loaders.
Since the beginning Eben has always wanted to buy a standalone freezer as well. But the cost seem quite high, and I didn’t feel like we really needed one. We sailed four years without one and have managed just fine. But this year we went out and bought one and it has been amazing. Being able to buy bulk bags of frozen meats has made provisioning so much easier. And being able to make ice for ourselves rather than always looking for somewhere to buy ourselves bags of ice, has saved us a lot of time and money.
|If you can look past the very cute kids you will see our stand-alone Engle (bottom left), hanging nets (above Arias’ head), and nesting pots (top right).|
I hope this helps the few of you that were needing ideas of handy things to grab before setting sail. And maybe given the rest of you some fun christmas presents, because someone just told me there are only 19 Fridays left till Christmas!