* These Ice Orbs are the perfect ice "trays" for living on a sailboat. They are more easy to use than their reviews imply (ya gotta be smarter than ice) and They make about enough ice for daily use. The hardest thing is remembering to refill them... so I try to stay ahead and empty them into a ziploc bag.
* Water Filtration Sept. 26, 2012 on Dos Libras - The Purest One
* Living on the boat has revived my love of cooking. We chose this Magma nesting set based on many reviews. I love the clean look of this heavy stainless cookware. I didn't want anything with teflon coating which always peels off. This set has the perfect size selection and fits together nicely in my cabinet. I've never had anything stuck on that I couldn't get off easily and the set still looks beautiful after a year of use.
* I have several pieces of gear made by Progressive and I love them all. I have my eye on others... They are well made and fabulous space savers.
* Anything Lock & Lock makes is good on the boat. My favorite piece is my beverage pitcher. It's the perfect size for the fridge and does not spill!
* I got worried about our drinking water before we started using our watermaker. We bought this simple and inexpensive tester and I was amazed at what I found.
* This isn't gear, but it is for the Galley. Carolyn over at The Boat Galley mentioned Parmalat Milk in one of her posts. We tried it and we're SOLD! It is real milk that is UHT (ultra heat treated) to last for months without refrigeration. You only refrigerate it when it's opened. We bought bunches!
* Having spent our first season in the Bahamas, we needed a sturdy cart to help us schlep groceries from the store to the boat. We found this versatile multi-purpose cart with a removable bag and just love it.
* Sailrite sewing machine. We took a long time in deciding to buy this machine. We figured the cost of repairs for our enclosure would offset the initial investment and feel well justified in this. It is also gratifying to fix things ourselves. We hope that having the machine on board will be helpful in that we can use it for trade "out there" when we need some help with something.
* This waterproof backpack is one of the best buys we've made for helping us get stuff from shore to the boat. We were impressed with how well it is made and it is truly waterproof. The 30 L. size is great for packing our stuff.
* This item is moving up on my list since we've had such cold weather. We installed these Hypervent mattress underlay pads when we moved onboard. Only now are we realizing just how wonderfully they work. We raised our mattress the other day to get to the AC unit beneath the bed and found condensation on the boards, but none on the mattress! Wonderful stuff!
* We replaced an old car top carrier that was disintegrating from sun exposure, with two of these Platypus carriers, for storing a whole bunch of gear! Our boat doesn't have a lot of deck storage space. We found ourselves with a growing pile of stuff that needed a home. We store anything that I don't want inside the boat in these two packs. (swim fins/snorkel/mask, Life jackets, riding sail, floaties, dip net, etc.)
* Copy/Scan/Print - We bought this Epson after reading so many reviews and asking the advice of other Cruisers. We have found it very easy to set up and use. All of the functions are invaluable. We scan receipts/warranty information into our computer and throw away the originals. We scan all of our important documentation (US Doc/passports/etc.) so that we can access them easily and make copies for use in checking into foreign countries. We use it for copies of items such as Bill of Sale for our cars, etc. Of course the printing has been such a convenience when we find something on the internet we need to save. And, the ink seems to be very economical and the printer will still work with an empty cartridge.
* I bought this Polar Bear cooler in 2011. We have used it almost exclusively ever since then. It keeps ice twice as long as our previous cooler. It is the perfect size for carrying provisions from the market and has a comfortable shoulder sling that makes lugging it easy. We bought this size instead of the larger one for provisioning purposes. I will say that it has begun to leak after months of abuse, but it is still a great cooler.
* I shopped everywhere until I found this solar powered string light set. My only regret is that I didn't buy two! We string it up in the cockpit for ambiance and could easily take it ashore for a beach party after dark.
* I had to threaten divorce before Bruce bought me this flashlight. The boat is full of weak LED flashlights. Now we have a great flashlight to fight over. Maybe we need another one... Update... we now have His and Hers.
* We installed a SCAD waste tank monitoring system so that we would know when our waste tank needed a pump out before it was too late. The system was relatively simple to install once we got the kinks worked out. Our tanks are shallow, so we needed an amplified version of the sensor. The customer service from this company is STELLAR!
Products We Love:
* I've been a DIY cleaning fool since I discovered the magic of Tea Tree Oil. I quickly outgrew the two oz. size bottles I found locally and this is a much more economical size.
* I've been hoarding this sunscreen stick as it is a bit pricy, but it's so perfect for use in keeping my lips from being burned. I've used the chapstik type of lip SPF for years but could never find one that didn't leave a yucky taste in my mouth. This stuff is truly tasteless and works great!
* Zip Care for keeping our zippers running smooth and stopping corrosion. Plastic zippers are the optimal material on the boat, but for those metal zippers, this stuff works great.
* Feliway helped our kitties adjust to life on the boat. I was skeptical but felt it was a small price to pay to ease their transition. I can testify that the cat's behavior changed when the diffuser went empty. We used it for about four months (more than enough time) to transition them. I WOULD NOT recommend the spray as it works differently and I found it useless.
* What did I do before I knew about Butyl Tape? I am always looking for ways to use this handy stuff. It seals water out of ANYTHING!
* Captain Tolley's Creepin' Crack Cure is a product every boat should have. I read about it and purchased a bottle to use on one of our leaking hatches in an effort to save us having to reseat the glass. It worked! We later found that there was already a bottle of the stuff left onboard by the previous owner. It seeps down into the cracks and dries without hardening.
* Our Hypalon dinghy came magically clean with Amazon's Amazing Dinghy cleaner. And once we had it clean, we used this Inflatable Boat Top Coating to revitalize our Dinghy.
* I don't go anywhere without my Camera! This is the second Cannon Powershot I've had. The previous version, the D10 lasted me for years. When it began to have "hiccups", I bought the newer D20. I use both now. They are underwater cameras that take great pictures and movies both in and out of the water. UPDATE: Since my Cannon got dropped to the bottom of Pass Christian Harbor, never to be seen again... I had to replace it with a new camera. The Women Who Sail FB group helped me find a new love. I still like my Cannon, but I LOVE my Olympus Stylus Tough! It does some things that my cannon did not, my favorite being: one touch movie with continuous still shots simultaneously! LOVE!
* Maybe our hand held depth sounder isn't really a toy, but more of a tool. Anyway, we love it! It takes fast readings even while under way. We use it in the dinghy to check depths of places we might want to take the boat but aren't sure of. It is also good to check depths in the swing area for anchoring.
* Mantus Chain Hook - I've seen these and have coveted them for some time. We finally found one in Seabrook and added it to our home made Snubber Bridle. I feel better about being on the hook without worrying that our hook will fall off the chain.
* Outboard Motor Fins We want our dinghy to have every advantage for planing as it is our "Car". These fins help get onto a plane faster.
* I will say I love the folks over at Standard Horizon because they were very very good to us! We sent our VHF radio back to them to have our new MMSI number programmed with a quote of $35 plus s/h. We received it back with the new MMSI number installed and at NO CHARGE! Way to go Standard Horizon!
* We installed AIS on the boat and can't wait to see what it does under way. We have had a great time spotting targets around us while in the Harbor. I think we got the very best AIS on the market for features/price in the Watchmate Vision from Vesper Marine. It was easy to install and just works. Just check out all of those lovely features!
* Taylor Made snubbers - We bought a pair to go on our docklines for our first winter aboard Dos Libras. The repetitive Norther's we experienced literally disintegrated the original blue snubbers. I was expecting a fight when we contacted Taylor Made Products for warranty replacement and was pleasantly surprised. They simply sent out a new set once I emailed them pictures of the pair we have. The new set are made of a different material with a completely new (simpler) design. We are so happy with Taylor Made Products and their awesome warranties.
* Shaker Syphon hoses - These hoses have saved our backs so many times. We use one for transferring water from our jugs to our tanks, and the other to transfer fuel from jugs to tank. They are easy to use, just insert the end into the tank fill, put the shaker end into the jerry jug and give it a few strokes to start the flow. They quickly syphon the fluid from jug to tank without pouring.
* No sailboat is complete without a book about Rum Drinks! One of my passions is RUM! I have collected different rums from the many places we have been through the years. The Original Guide to Caribbean Rum and Drinks has been an informative guide as to what to buy and where... and what to do with it once I have it.
* This book on Anchoring came to us highly recommended by a trusted friend.
* The most used book on the boat is The Boat Galley Cookbook. I can't say enough good things about this book. No Cruiser should be without it.
* One Minute Guide to the Nautical Rules of the Road provides an easy to use, concise method of checking the rules and regs.
* On The Water Chartguides - books written and produced by Mark and Diana Doyle as they actively cruised the ICW. We got three books: ICW and the two volumes on Anchorages.
* The Cruiser's Guide to Fishing has been helpful in the past and we look forward to getting it back out, dusting it off and (hopefully) catching some dinner!