After living aboard our sailboat full time since 2014, we have some tried and tested kit that we refuse to live without. These are the items we use on a daily basis and make a massive impact to our lives. Before you set sail make sure you have these items or similar. They’ll surely make your experience easier, safer and/or more enjoyable and comfortable!
We use our Leatherman non-stop around the boat.
Dyson handheld vacuum
They Dyson helps keep the boat looking good. We have to vaccuum every day at least once. Even with screens on all the windows, dust, crumbs and foreign particles seem to fill the boat. I’m not sure where the mess comes from but it appears every day.
Magma Pots and Pans
These nested pots take up very little room and are the perfect size for our boat oven. With the removable handle, the easily fit in our cupboards leaving room for other items.
A sailor without a waterproof backpack hasn’t been a sailor for very long. The amount of times we’re caught in the rain or have a very wet dinghy ride are often. When transporting iPads, iPhones and computers a waterproof backpack is a necessity.
Headlamp or headtorch
We have several headlamps. They’re helpful when looking in the engine bay, down into the bilge and throughout night sails and/or anchoring at night. We use a headlamp during the day and the evening. It helps to see back into dark spaces and ensure that everything is looking as it should be. Our favorite headlamp is the Mantus Headlamp but we also use this one.
Rapid Hydration Drops
Dehydration is a big issue amongst sailors. It’s so easy to lose water and it can be hard to get all the good stuff back into you. We put a few of these drops in our water every day or every other day and haven’t had any reoccurrence of dehydration.
Waterproof Solar Inflatable Lights
Every night before we leave the boat, I blow one of our three inflatable lights up and turn it on. It helps us to easily find our boat and when we’re in the cockpit we prefer these lights more than our boom lights. They’re inexpensive, run on sun power and can be squashed up to take up very little space.
Yeti Drinking Cups
Getting ice can be a difficult task. We have metal reusable ice cubes that we keep in our freezer but they warm up too fast. And ice melts too quick. We’ve found that the best thing to do is to keep your beer or wine cold in the fridge and then use a Yeti as these cups will keep liquid cold for ages. The lid works well too when we’re out sailing.
If you’ve watched any of my YouTube videos you’ll see the quality of the videos I take with my camera. It’s fantastic – especially at night. This camera has a handy screen that flips over so you can see yourself in the view finder making it perfect for vLoggers. The photographs it takes are also excellent. Magazines and newspapers often ask me if they can buy my photos! The reason I love this camera is that it’s not a pain to carry around. The SLR cameras are so large – I have one but I never use it. With the GX7 I pop it in my tiny handbag and pull it out whenever I need it.
We use this handy device to download our weather reports, send and receive emails and even tweet on Twitter when we’re out at sea. When paired with the Predict Wind service you can also get a cool map showing your location to put on your website. Check out Britican’s Location to see what that looks like. Note that speeds are very, very slow. Think 1980’s dial-up. But it’s affordable and provides you with a way to communicate outside of cell coverage. It also doubles as a safety device as there’s an SOS button.
We have this in most of our cupboards and we cut it up into placemats to put around the boat when we are sailing. We use a mat on our cockpit table, next to our plotter, on our saloon table and in the kitchen area. These mats really do a great job at reducing movement in the cupboards and keep things from flying around.
Oil and/or Liquid extractor
We use this daily (unfortunately). What do we use it for? To suck out water from our bilge. After checking our strainers, cleaning the bilge and/or working on the engine, generator or any one of our pumps water gets into the bilge. To avoid having our bilge pump go off automatically (and scare me!) in addition to elimination the risk of mosquitos from laying eggs we get rid of all water from our bilge as often as it arrives.
Other Items Worth Having
We many not use our Mantus mini Scuba tanks all the time, but when we need them we’re happy to have them. These have come in hand on multiple occasions to clear a fouled prop, check on our anchor and even to add another anchor to an existing one while at the bottom of the sea. We also use these tanks to change our hull, prop and shaft anodes. The Mantus mini tanks only last about 10 minutes but they’re perfect for quick jobs like those mentioned. Furthermore, they’re small and take up very little space. We have two on board an the whole pack fits easily under our forward berth. Check out the Mantus Pack here.