A short list of useful things to take cruising.....

 

1) Lock & Lock storage containers

Lock & Lock is THE ONLY BRAND of containers that is actually waterproof and leakproof.  These containers can fly across the cabin and not leak a bit.  They can float in funky cooler water and not let any funky cooler water in.  The tops DO NOT come off until you take them off!  Great for food, liquids, hardware, and any supplies that you want to protect from dampness (i.e. sewing supplies, greeting cards, first aid supplies, spices, etc. etc.).  If you're headed for the tropics, do not underestimate the power of rot due to humidity.  It will rot everything! so store anything worth keeping in a watertight container.  

You can get Lock & Locks lots of places, including Target stores.

 2) A pump-spray-type 2-gallon Garden Sprayer (i.e. Ortho brand)

A garden sprayer is SO much better than a solar shower!  Not only can you use it for bathing, but since it is portable and does not rely on gravity, you can use it to spray off any part of the boat too, like your dodger windshield or your rigging or anything salt-encrusted.  Get a translucent clear one, and it will heat up to a comfy shower temp after just a couple hours in the tropical sun.  you'll be amazed how many showers you'll get out of just one gallon!

3) Freeze dried ginger root

It may sound funny, but this is an incredibly useful spice to have aboard!  It keeps forever, and tastes as good as fresh when finely grated.  When you're sick and tired of eating the same old foods, this will add some spice to breads, fish, cookies, veggies and more.  We got ours from the Spice House in Milwaukee (we highly recommend this store as a source for all kinds of spices, spice mixes and freeze dried foods.  try the freeze dried green peppers too! find them on the web at www.thespicehouse.com) 


4) Flexible cutting boards

They're easy to use and can be crammed into almost any boat cabinet.

5) A high-gain wireless antenna for your laptop

We like this one made by Hawking Technologies.  It enabled us to get wifi right in our cabin in dozens of anchorages in Central America!  Its effective range is much larger than that of a wifi card, and it plugs right into your USB port.  A worthwhile investment... 

 

6) Some quality seeds to grow basil and rosemary

If you end up being out cruising for awhile, you can grow these herbs on board most anywhere, and make delicious pestos, breads, and more.  But the seeds are hard to find in many countries! (Dirt, however, is available on most any mainland!) Keep the seeds in a Lock & Lock and they'll stay fresh....

7) A pirate-y rum dispenser

This is sometimes referred to as a rum "optic" (ask a Brit, I don't know why) and is a must-have. It keeps your rum bottle from flying loose around the cockpit (thus it qualifies as safety equipment) and it dispenses the perfect shot of rum every time, no muss no fuss.

8) A dedicated waterproof backpack for your laptop

Because you WILL need to take your laptop in the dinghy at least now and then, if not frequently.  and it's also a safe, clean place to store your laptop underway when you're not using it.