I decided it was about time to post some of my go-to live aboard must haves. I thought I could make a definitive list, but, I am having some issues.
- I can’t narrow it down to just a certain number of items.
- My list keeps fluctuating in importance, based on what happening this week, or last.
- I like stuff. I’m trying to downsize my stuff to things I really need, but, I still like stuff!
My next best plan became, “My Five.” This will be a living list of the top five things I need to live aboard, based on what’s happening in our cruising life.
One: Yeti cups. Yep, they are horrendously expensive, and where a big splurge for me. If your boat has amenities that mine doesn’t, specifically unlimited ice, you might not understand my need to try and keep a drink cold for more than ten minutes in the Florida heat. This does the trick, and if I can get my hands on some ice, it keeps the drink colder, longer, and there is ice left when I’m ready to pour another drink. They also keep coffee hot all morning, if I get distracted and have to come back to it a time or three.
I see the same price for the Yeti cups everyplace I look, so the best deal I found was to purchase them at West Marine and get reward points. I actually got triple points during a special sale they were running. If you don’t have a reward number set up, I’ll be glad to send you my number, we seem to spend more than our share at that store.
Two: This laundry hanger thing. It hangs on our bimini frame or down below easily, and keeps my undies off the life lines, which for some reason still ekes me out. I may get over that after some cruising time, but for now…I can’t hang the undies out in plain view. It can be taken below quickly if the weather changes, which it always seems to do, when I want to do laundry. It folds away neatly, and doesn’t take up too much space. It also works well for socks and swim suits.
I have no idea where mine came from, probably a thrift store, but I did a Google search for “hanging dryer with clips,” and several styles came up from $7 to $14. I may have to get another.
Three: Cat food can cover. Yes I have a cat, but he eats dry food. This is for my grease can. I don’t make a lot of grease, but we have bacon every so often or I cook some ground meat and need to drain the fat. I have tried grease cans and don’t like having to deal with the mess when it comes time to clean them out. And pouring it into a coffee cup until it cools is always a disaster waiting to happen. These lids fit multiple size cans, which I save from veggies or soup. I use it until the can is full, or until I can’t stand the smell when I open the lid. But the nice part is I don’t have to clean the can, just throw it away when I’m finished with it and reuse the lid.
Another freebie, from my vet’s office. But, they can be had for .50 to a couple of dollars, if you can’t find a free one.
Four: Portable electric burner. We bought this earlier in the summer to use while we are staying at the dock. We have a CNG (compressed natural gas) stove. CNG isn’t easy to find and it isn’t the most economically priced. I actually love cooking with CNG, it is a shame we have only found one place on the East Coast of Florida where we can get it. I have talked to cruisers who have stove issues. The most common solution is to use a Coleman type portable stove, but I don’t have a good place to store one and I didn’t want to deal with the little gas cylinders. The burner has worked great at the dock and the Captain says it will run from our inverter (ours is 2,000 watts.) Even though my stove has three burners, I can barely use two at a time, because they are so close together that two pots won’t fit. Because of my limited burner space issue, I have already perfected many one dish wonders. This is just a temporary work around, until we bite the bullet and move to propane.
I got a solid burner for $19.94 at Walmart, and a regular coil style burner is only $8.10. Don’t get confused with the induction burners they sell, I wasn’t familiar with them, they need specific pots to work.
Five: Nutri Ninja 2-in1. This has two 16 oz individual cups, a food processor and a blender. The blender piece may go home, because the cups do a great job and the few times I might actually need the volume of a blender, I could just make batches with the cups. The cups are great for my morning work-out protein shakes or a quick breakfast smoothie. It also does a great job with frozen drinks when we have ice on board. The processor has three different blades. I use it regularly to make guacamole, and to mix banana bread. I also tested it before we left home with bread dough and cookie dough, it mixed the heavy dough well. My favorite things are the size and how easy it is to clean. With the separate base, I can use tight spots to stow it all. I had a regular blender on board, but didn’t use it very often, because it was a pain to clean. I took it off for the Ninja and am glad I did.
I got it on sale at Sam’s for $99 earlier this summer.
Well here is my disclaimer. I don’t get paid by any of these companies, and they didn’t give me any products to try. Although, on a couple of them I would like a dime for every time I tell someone how much I like them. Maybe I’ll sign the blog up for some advertising in the future. Until then, these are just a few things that make living aboard a bit easier. I’ll share more of my favorites soon. Let me know your five.