There are many tricks that you pick up along the way when you are living aboard, especially when you are starting with no boating knowledge base like me. Of course there are all the boat terms, parts, and functionings to learn, but the ones that I find more intriguing are those little tips that you will rarely find in a book. One of my favorite is Vegetable Oil. On a sailboat with manual heads (toilets that you hand pump) like ours, we learned that a little vegetable oil dumped into the toilet every now and again when the pumping gets to be a little resistant, will lube the pump right up making it much easier, quieter, and keeping my hands callus-free. Yes we do know that there is silicone grease and many products that you can find in marine stores that are meant for the same thing, but for the cost of it, we much prefer using the vegetable oil and not having to worry about how much money I just dumped down the drain, literally.