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The Simple Things In Life

Owning a boat has an oxymoronic quality to it. “The Simple Life” can be quite complex – I think it’s like having an airplane, a car and a house compressed into a very small space. This requires specialized media for specialized equipment and tactics … sometimes. In spite of what marine retailers would like to think there are a number of “normal” (and cheap) items that we can make very efficient use aboard our boats. For example: For easy lighting that will not affect night vision, the actions of red cellophane (the kind you get on rolls in a gift wrap store) and rubber bands. Cut squares to fit over flashlights and rubber band in place. Forget buying purpose-made bag clips.

Clothespins can do double duty to ensure the clothing lines of life as well as keeping the bag of potato chips (or whatever) closed. And only use rubber covered clamps – the metal depends on wood, rust in about five seconds in a marine environment. Surprisingly, you’ll find very little mention of Healthy Living on most websites. When the dryer eats one sock, do not pull your partner. Save unmatched socks to use as container and the bottle refers to board the boat. They provide good shock absorption. If you have not completely changed over from a digital camera, you should be turning plastic jars. Reuse them for storage aboard the boat – small accessories, pill boxes, herbs / spices, anything small you need a compact home.

Have several plastic spray bottles on board. Besides its use for cleaning solutions (for example, a bleach water mix to control fungi), are great “hand shower.” Turn it on hot days to encourage evaporative cooling. And when you’re in the ocean and go overboard for a swim, use a spray bottle to clear yourself with fresh water – the great works. Just be sure to keep your bottles of cleaning solution separate shower bottles! If you are not already doing so, save your old toothbrushes for cleaning and maintenance on the boat. There are a lot of tight places above and under bridges, and a small brush the great works. A high point: Use a toothbrush to clean the inside of the links in the anchor chain. You can never have too many zip lock bags. Keep several sizes available, and use them more than food storage. Spare parts, clothes, office equipment, medicines, and many other things we will pack more compactly when transferred to zip lock bags. And reuse the bags: invert, wash, and then hang to dry with clothespins a dual role. These are just some examples of the use of ‘non-marine’ things that have a place on board a ship.