Skip to main content

10 Things under $10 to enhance your cruising lifestyle

My wife, Des, and I have just finished a two-year circumnavigation of the Caribbean Basin. Among the things we learned was that some of the most important things that made our cruising more enjoyable cost less than ten bucks. Here are some of our favorites. Insulated tumblers Ice is a precious commodity at sea, and so is hot coffee. We used our insulated tumblers for hot coffee in
  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

My wife, Des, and I have just finished a two-year circumnavigation of the Caribbean Basin. Among the things we learned was that some of the most important things that made our cruising more enjoyable cost less than ten bucks. Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Insulated tumblers Ice is a precious commodity at sea, and so is hot coffee. We used our insulated tumblers for hot coffee in the morning and cold drinks in the afternoon. I could leave a glass of iced tea, go diving for a few lobster for dinner, and come back an hour later to an ice-cold drink. $9.99
  2. Latex gloves Protect your hands when working with chemicals, paint, epoxy, or dirty oil. $8.98 for 100 pair.
  3. Suction-backed clothes hooks These were my wife’s favorite item. We used these handy little units to hang towels in the head, clothes on the back of the cabin door, rain gear in the cockpit. $1.99 for a large; $1.00 for a small.
  4. Microfiber rags These long-lasting, highly absorptive cloths are great for cleaning anything. They are so tough, even muriatic acid won’t damage them. Throw them in the washing machine and re-use. $8.39/doz.
  5. Plastic cable ties We used little ones to tie courtesy flags to a halyard, colored ones to mark depth on our anchor rode, and industrial-sized ones to secure our outboard motor. $3.50-$10/100
  6. Old-fashioned can and bottle opener with a corkscrew In many developing nations you’ll need one for products like canned milk or to crack a cold local brew. Hard to find, but I got one at a garage sale for $.25
  7. Grocery-bag grip This handy device makes it easy to carry 5-10 fully loaded plastic grocery bags in each hand. $5.00
  8. PB Blaster: It will loosen any oxidized fitting. The key is patience. If a nut has been frozen for two years, don’t expect a miracle. The worst jobs may take a few days but let Blaster do its work. $3.75
  9. Muriatic Acid Nothing removes stains on fiberglass as well; rust stains disappear before your eyes, as do many other stains and organic yuck along the water line. You must protect your skin and clothes; be sure to store it so that it won’t leak. $6.50 gallon
  10. Duct Tape Priceless. We used it for temporarily patching dinghy leaks and sealing ports and hatches for storm preparations. $5.97/60 yards

Related

thumbnail_Jump-1

The Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race Returns

It’s been four years since racers last sailed the cold North Atlantic in the venerable Marblehead-to-Halifax race—and finally, the wait is over. The Boston Yacht Club and the Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron have announced the 39th Marblehead-to-Halifax Ocean Race set for this ...read more

Wendy-2048px

Meet Wendy Mitman Clarke, Editor-in-Chief of SAIL magazine

Learn more about how she and the magazine’s team are committed to building on SAIL’s legacy of more than 50 years as an authentic voice about the sport and the sailing life, delivering stories that educate, inspire and inform. ...read more

maintenance-02

Cruising: Old Sailors Never Die

“Old sailors never die, they just get a little dinghy.” It may be a hoary old joke, but one of my problems at age 79 is I can no longer get easily in and out of a little dinghy, and neither can my (several years younger than me) wife. For this, and various other reasons I will ...read more

01-LEAD-DSC_0953

The Mighty Compass

Here’s to the humble magnetic compass, without a doubt the sailor’s most reliable instrument onboard. It’s always there for you and with the rarest of exceptions, always operational. Yes, I love my chartplotter, autopilot, radar, and AIS. They help me be a safer and more ...read more

02-En-route-Jost-Van-D

Chartering: Swan Song in the BVI

Joseph Conrad once wrote, “The sea never changes.” And while this may or not be true, something most definitely not open for debate is the fact we sailors, “wrapped in mystery,” as Conrad put it, are continually changing—whether we like it or not. I found myself thinking these ...read more

220307FP51_1JML0332

Boat Review: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

If you can sell more than 150 catamarans off-plan before the resin has even hit the fiberglass, you must be doing something right. Despite costing around $1.1 million once fitted out and on the water, Fountaine-Pajot’s new 51 has done just that. The French yard has been at it ...read more

00LEAD-IMG-9035

Ready to Fly a New Sail

It’s a typical humid, southern Chesapeake Bay summer day when I show up on the doorstep of Latell & Ailsworth Sailmakers in the one-stoplight, one-lane-roadway, rural tidewater town of Deltaville, Virginia. I’m late getting here to work on a new jib for my 29-foot, Bill ...read more

m5702_RACE-AREA-6

Dates for the 2024 America’s Cup Announced

Ever since making the controversial decision to hold the next America’s Cup in Barcelona, Spain, instead of in home waters, Defender Emirates Team New Zealand has been hard at work organizing logistics for the event.  The Racing Area for the Challenger Selection Series and the ...read more