Friday, August 9, 2013


Annapolis, MD

... THAT MAKE MY LIFE BETTER. At least these are the ones for today!

1. GO TOOBS -- NOT the knockoff brands -- in that photo above.

I remember pondering over these little tubes in REI three years ago, wondering if they were really worth the money. Now having used them daily for the intervening three years, I know they are an amazing bargain. These little tubes are impervious to heat, cold and salt water. The liquid only comes out if you heartily squeeze the tube. They are irregularly shaped and slightly grippy, so they don't go flying off in showers. They float, so when I'm washing my hair in the biggest bath tub on earth, they just float there next to me. My only tiny complaint with them is that the lids crack. Small beans after three years of daily use!

ONE OTHER TIP: If you add some fresh water to your shampoo, it lathers up better -- even on land.


I found a roll of this stuff at Home Depot and have been using it ever since. Window coverings for boat portholes are confounding and often incredibly expensive. I did my whole boat including overhead hatches for less than $30, and it's UV protected.

At a private anchorage? Pull them off. When you tie up at a dock, just wet the film or the glass and stick it back on. So A.W.E.S.O.M.E.

The only challenge is cutting to fit. It has to be a wee bit too small or air gets under the edges. Mine are plain frosted, but the film comes in designs and colors. For this price, you could change every season!

This helps keep the cabin cooler, blocking out direct sun.
Type 'static cling window film' in Google for an array of options. I like this etched leaf design. Wouldn't this be nice in the bedroom or bathroom.


I read this tip in the book Why Didn't I Think of That? You fill your glasses a third of the way with water and put them in the freezer. The next day, voila, pre-iced glasses.

We pop the ice out and store it in a gallon Ziploc for backup. They are much bigger than cubes, so therefore last a lot longer without watering down your drink so much. No fuss ice, a.k.a. sailboat diamonds. For mixers, freeze the juice!


We love sprouts. I just drilled holes in a plastic peanut jar lid, and there's my free sprouter. I had a much better one using a squared container but gifted it to a fellow cruiser. My general policy for buying any storage container on the boat: IT'S ROUND, PUT IT DOWN!


My trusty little friend is great for a quick cool down on a hot day, a swift antidote for hot flashes and for putting on booboos. God knows, there are a lot of those onboard -- at least on ours! Keeps swelling and bruising to a minimum.

And if you'll set it on something curved in the freezer, like a bottle laying on its side, the ice will freeze into a body-friendly shape that's easier to keep in place.


Remember hot water bottles? When you have limited AC power, it serves nicely as a heating pad. Soothing for sore muscles and is such a delicious treat at the foot of the bed on a cold night. They are a little hard to find in stores, but Amazon has a bunch.


You probably already know about these. Not much to report, except they're awesome, and they politely fold up and tuck away out of sight when not in use. I soak mine in a bit of bleach water every week or so to keep the cooties away.


I use these for so many things. They last longer and are easier to find than big-ass rubber bands. They are nice and firm for holding the bag around the trash can. I attach duty-specific rags to their matching cleaning agent (clean towel attached to spray cleaner for dodger windows, polishing rag to stainless polish). Cuts down on rags, washing them and potentially using a dirty rag to clean, I mean scratch, your dodger windows. No rifling around for a rag.


Chip actually thought of this. When dusting or oiling the teak louvres on doors, it's hard to get in those little slots. A small foam brush makes it easy.


I've tried every brand of high tech (quick-drying) towel I could find and hated all of them but Aquis. We absolutely love these waffle weave ones. They are pricier than most others, but more than worth the money. After using them every day for almost 5 years now, they are just starting to look tired. As a bonus, they feel sort of like real towels but roll up very small. I've learned the hard way to dry them separately at the laundromat, because they absorb the water from everything else and just get wetter! Often I hang them in the cockpit or on the lifelines if we're in a place where that won't look too ghetto. They dry super fast and rarely mildew. Amazon's are cheapest: Aquis on amazon (Don't be tricked by cheaper "hair towels" from Aquis. They are not bath towels.)

Other lists you might enjoy:
Our Five Favorite Tools
Tammy's Top Ten crossover products

Have your own list to add? Share it with us in the comments or on my topic in development at Monkey's Fist.


  1. oh my gosh, you have some awesome ideas that I'm going to use in my house (since I'm not lucky to live on a boat.) Love the hairbanded rag to the cleaner idea! Amazon has such awesome stuff.

  2. Your (Chip's) idea re: the foam brushes to clean teak louvers is genius. I've bought a few specific brushes but (sight unseen) they've always been too thick. Can hardly wait to try!

  3. Tammy.....I will write a blog post for our blog site, and send you the link about my Top Ten List (Twizzlers)
    We read your blog! Janet Lee Knizner-Enders, WWS.

    1. Hi Janet Lee! Thanks for reading -- and let me know when your post is done. Look forward to reading it!

  4. Love it! I recently installed static vinyl to our hatches and it's perfect! I may steal your idea of attaching the correct rags to cleaners - I frequently find my "good" hand towels laying around with weird crap all over them...

    1. I know what you mean. Very frustrating -- especially without ready access to laundry facilities. Hair bands work for some, ziplocs for others. Makes life easier!

  5. Love the window film idea! I'm tucking that one away.

  6. It is amazing how men and women think so differently. My list would be completely different. It would only have two things on the list. The first is beer and the second is my wife who does all that stuff and thinks of things I have never considered to make our lives easier and our live aboard boat a home.
    You might enjoy this post on making sure you can live aboard a boat before actually moving on to it.

  7. Great idea about the static cling window film!! I absolutely can not stand the pull across 70's style RV-type curtains, so this is a great alternative to try!