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

promo-2048x

Just Launched Mid-sized Cruisers

With so many manufacturers dreaming up bigger production boats, more and more mid-sized cruisers fall on the smaller end of their lines. However, “smaller” does not mean less, and the tricks for optimizing larger models have helped with squeezing more enjoyment into less LOA. As ...read more

05-DSC_0638

Charter: Lake Tahoe

A sail on Lake Tahoe has been on my bucket list since the day I first laid eyes on it, and come hell or high water, I decided I was going to someday charter a boat there. North America’s largest and deepest alpine lake, Tahoe sits at 6,225ft above sea level and straddles the ...read more

East-River-Rapids

Escape from New York Part 1

I was never supposed to take my boat through New York City. After getting sucked backward through the Cape Cod Canal on my way south from Maine, when the speed of the current exceeded the maximum speed of my little electric auxiliary, I wanted nothing to do with Hell Gate and ...read more

LEAD-Celeste-in-the-Tuamotu

A Watermaker Upgrade

As a classic-boat sailor, I’ve long held that simpler is the better. I still think this is true: a simpler boat is cheaper, she has less gadgets to break down and there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing you’re able to handle a bit of discomfort. Thus, for a long time, I sailed ...read more

01-LEAD-IDECsport_180919_032

Sailing Speed Records

Although the 1903 defender of the America’s Cup, Reliance, was deemed a “racing freak”—the boat pushed design rules to their limit and couldn’t be beaten, at least in very specific conditions—designer Nat Herreshoff was nonetheless onto something. A century later, purpose-built ...read more

BVIFeetup

Chartering with Non-sailors

Three tips on managing the madness First-time charterers and first-time sailors aren’t at all the same thing. One group may struggle with beginner chartering issues, like sailing a multihull, catching a mooring or dealing with base personnel. For the other group, though, ...read more

AdobeStock_455372159

A Gulf Stream Crossing at Night

Even the dome of light glowing above the city behind us had disappeared as if swallowed in a gulp by Noah’s whale. The moon was absent. Not a star twinkled overhead. The night was so dark we could have been floating in a pot of black ink. The only artificial lights to be seen ...read more

00-Lead-549215sJL2uLEa

Summer Sailing Programs

Every year, countless parents find themselves navigating the do’s and don’ts of enrolling their children in a summer learn-to-sail program for the first time. While the prospect of getting your kid on the water is exciting, as a sailing camp program director, there are a lot of ...read more