With Christmas just around the corner, here are Commuter Cruiser’s 2012 Stocking Stuffer Picks! As usual, we don’t include anything we don’t either already own or have on our own Christmas wish lists! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Maybe you need a Christmas Stocking too? Atlantic Sail Traders has stockings made of used sails! (Scroll down the page to find the Christmas stockings)
Dexter Russell Fish Fillet Knife $24
We bought a Dexter Russell fillet knife at the recommendation of the local fishing tackle shop where we bought our fishing gear. That’s been 8 years ago and the knife has served us well and seen lots of service. A reviewer on Amazon says: What a great sharp Fillet knife. These Dexter Russel Knives are probably used in more commercial fish houses around the world than any other. Buy it. You’ll be glad you did… I don’t know much about fish fillet knives, but this one has worked for us.
EZ-Cup Keurig K Cup Adapter $15 We love the Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker, but for years we resisted buying one because spending over fifty cents a cup seems ludicrous when we can make an entire pot of coffee for a buck. Good coffee too. But finally we broke down and ordered a Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker for the boat. Each cup of coffee takes about 3 amps, so that’s worthwhile – we figured our Mr Coffee took about 15 amps, and since we each drink 2 cups, 4 cups total, we actually use a bit less electricity with the Keurig. But there was still the issue of K-Cup cost.
While there are several reusable filters, Keurig makes one themselves, this is the best we’ve found. It takes a special filter, but the big benefit on the boat is with the other adapters, you have to wash out the coffee grounds. The EZ-Cup adapter, sure you have to pay for the filters (also available on Amazon) but after use, the individual filter can be tossed into the garbage — no coffee grounds to get anywhere close to your drain (think: CLOG!). Using Duncan Donuts coffee, we figure our cost is less than 23 cents a cup, including the Duncan Donuts coffee and the filter. Much better than 2 to 3 times that amount. Still more than a Mr Coffee, but the coffee is better too… it’s our compromise.
Battery Post Cleaner …. while this isn’t romantic, neither is having your batteries fail while cruising far from somewhere you can get them replaced. Proper maintenance will make them last much much longer and keeping the terminals clean is integral. While a plain ole wire brush will do the job, this cool little gadget keeps my fingers from getting stuck with the wire brush bristles & makes it easier. Easier is always better! Especially for $1.99!
We added this cool light bulb idea to our boat wish list after seeing it in Cruising World’s new product list. Here’s what the manufacturer has to say: The LumiQuest SoLite is a solar powered light designed to look like a light bulb. It is powered by high efficiency, USA made solar panels that are the best commercial grade available. The multi-switch (low-off-high) shuts off automatically in bright light, pivots to direct the light and catch sunlight and lasts 6+ hours.
We’re going to try it as a cockpit light, although I think we’ll need to hang it in the sun during daylight so the solar panel can catch the sun’s rays. We’ll report back after we try it, but for $15, what boat innovation comes with this low a price tag? 🙂
I won’t use anything but the Dermatone Lip Balm. It’s expensive, but worth every penny. If you have trouble keeping your lips from getting sunburned while cruising, try it, it might solve your problem just like it solved mine!
We bought this little refillable butane mini-torch because it claimed it would light in the wind and is waterproof. We’ve used it in many situations – and we can verify it IS windproof which is the biggest reason we bought it. It is refillable with butane, which is easy to carry aboard, making it convenient. Some reviewers on Amazon claim it didn’t work well, all I can say is we’ve had ours for several years, refilled it numerous times and never had a problem. The flame heats up MUCH hotter than a lighter, so beware – but it also makes it handy for melting the ends of lines so they don’t fray and other boat related tasks.
Tervis Sailboat Tumblers $12-$15
While the Tervis tumblers may take up more space than some acrylic glasses aboard, we like to have a couple on hand because they’re great at keeping cold beverages cold longer and hot beverages hot longer. They’re also almost indestructible. If you’re really being creative, you can get them personalized directly from Tervis – we have two of the mugs that say “Winterlude” with a GREEN sloop instead of their standard sailboat!
We were looking for locks that were very secure, and opened in the harsh salt air tropical environment. The shop that manufactured our security bars recommended these as the best locks available, especially for the Rio Dulce, Guatemala jungle climate. When another friend that owns a storage complex told us that these locks were the only ones he had trouble cutting off when customers defaulted and abandoned their storage, we were sold. They are pricier than a normal lock. The German engineering produces a lock that feels heavy – when the lock opens and closes, with a “real” key, it has a solid “ker-chunk” noise. We opted for the 26/70 stainless steel version and bought several, all keyed alike — you have the option to have them keyed differently, but we figured we’d never have the right key for the right lock, so we opted for keyed alike! You DO have to remember to bring the key with you if you lock your dinghy to a dock in town, but it seems a small price to pay. We’ve had ours for over six years, and with a bit of routine maintenance (click the link for my post on “Freeze Free: Easy Lock Maintenance”), we’ve never had a problem getting them to open easily.