We’re all familiar with how quickly “boat bucks” add up … most are four digit words, not three digit. But we have 10 valuable additions to Winterlude for under $100! Hopefully these might give you some ideas for your boat!
1. Duck Pressure Solar Shower. Despite having a separate shower below, while cruising, we take most of our showers in the cockpit. Originally we used the bag style sun showers, which were OK, but David was always complaining there was no water pressure. Surfing the web one day, I stumbled onto the Duck Pressure Solar Shower. Basically some innovative souls have taken a garden sprayer type canister, had it manufactured in black to heat up the water and voila, pump up water pressure for my cockpit shower!
By popular request, here’s the online link: Duck Pressure Solar Shower
2. Headphones. We did actually learn hand signals to use while anchoring, but it is SO much more convenient to be able to talk conversationally while navigating into a reef pass, while anchoring, even just when I go up the mast. Rather than screaming down to David that I need a pair of pliars, now I can just say “hey David, send up a pair of pliars”! This level of civility escapes some in the cruising community and we’ve even been made fun of for the headphones, but they work for us. We got ours over 10 years ago at Toys R Us for $19.95 for the set. Since then, I tried to buy a backup pair, to no avail. Toys R Us isn’t carrying them anymore. But some enterprising entrepreneaur picked up on the idea and was marketing the same exact headphones, with a nice carrying case for $60 at one of the boat shows a couple years ago. We got our backup set at a nautical flea market at Shelter Bay Marina in Panama for $25.
3. Hammock. Wow! One of the best additions to our boat is our hammock. David got it from a Columbian Trading Boat & surprised me with a Valentine’s Day gift! We use it to watch the stars at night, to read during the day, as our “get-a-way” escape from the world relaxation place. It’s one of the BEST additions to the boat ever!
4. Blue Foam Freezer Partition. Before we left to go cruising, we decided we absolutely had to have ice cubes. Our refrigeration was an Adler Barber Super Cold Machine which has a cold plate. We didn’t have a freezer. A friend suggested we go to Home Depot, buy some blue sheet insulation. Sure enough, a bit of duct tape holds a partition in place, separating the freezer by about 5-6″ from the rest of the compartment. Even though our refrigerator box was insulated by a prior owner in 1998, we added an extra layer of blue insulation all the way around and on top. Makes a HUGE difference! Without the blue foam on top, the lid gets condensation and I’m sure is leaking cold air. With it, no condensation at all. OK, so it looks tacky and we didn’t originally envision leaving it like this, but it’s been working for over 10 years.. who are we to mess with success???
5. Local Cell Phone. In many countries, you can buy a prepaid local cell phone for $25-ish or less. Buy a prepaid minutes card when they have “Triplica” or even “Quadruplica” days and you can call back to the USA for 10 cents or less a minute. Plus it’s a real cell phone connection rather than an iffy satellite phone connection. The very BEST way to communicate if you’re in one area for awhile — we have cell phones aboard from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Columbia!
6. Color Twist Ties for Anchor Chain. This one’s easy. We add 3 ties per 30′ of chain. They will inevitably wear off as the chain goes in & out the windlass, but it’s easy to replace them and usually at least one remains at the end of a cruising season.
7. SolarWalk Lights. Friends had these solar lights mounted on their stern boarding platform. Great for adding a bit of light for getting back aboard after sunsetters on another boat!
We bought ours at Menards, we’ve also seen them at Home Depot. Here’s a link to them at Menards online. SolarWalk Lights. They’re in the solar yard lights section and usually designated as driveway or dock lights.
8. Water Conserver for Faucet. We don’t use our pressure water alot, but if you do, this handy dandy water conserver on your galley faucet is worth it’s weight in gold!
9. Headlamp. The cheapo headlamps from your local hardware store, or WalMart, really come in handy for many, many projects! We use them for reading in the cockpit – mine even came with a red light option – to working “down in the pit” on the diesel, to just about every time we need to see in some nook or cranny. Very convenient!
10. Dental Tools. You will be amazed at how many times you use a pick-like dental tool if you have them aboard. They’re especially handy for cleaning corrosion out of hard to reach places. Our dental tools are the ONLY tools allowed in my silverware drawer, that’s how frequently we reach for them! Ask you dentist if he/she has any old ones, our dentist just gave us a set. If not, you can get them online for inexpensive!
Now you know MY favorite boat additions for under $100, what are YOURS? Leave comments below & share with other commuter cruisers!