Category Archives: The Things We Love Blog

Unbreakable Melamine Trays

melamine boating trayA perfect gift for a new boat owner is one of these unbreakable melamine trays. They’re the perfect thing to use when serving up cheese and crackers for hor d’oeuvres, or steaming bowls of oatmeal on those mornings after you’ve anchored out.

Melamine trays will never chip or break like acrylic tray may. I really like the two handled variety as it’s easier to hand the trays to another person top side when one is below in the galley (how do I always get stuck down there?).

All of these melamine trays are dishwasher safe, and, I mean that. I’ve put mine through the dishwasher time and time again and it’s still as bright and colorful as the day I bought it.

 Serving Tray Melamine Plastic with Handles 22 Inches By 15 Inches Palms IslandCheck Price Zak Designs 19-1/2-Inch by 11-1/2-Inch Large Rectangular Tray, BlackCheck Price Melamine Large Plastic Serving Tray with Handles 22 x 15 MagnoliaCheck Price Serving Tray Melamine Plastic with Handles 22 Inches By 15 Inches Palms IslandCheck Price Lolita Love My Party Leopard 15 by 6-1/2-Inch Melamine Hostess TrayCheck Price

Towel Clips

boating flamingo clipI found these adorable towel clips right before we took our last cruise. The things work like a charm not only to hold the beach towel to the chaise, but, it’s also so easy to find which chair is yours! And, in a sea of pool chaises (pun intended), that’s no easy feat! I also got lots and lots of comments on them with people wanting to know where I found them.

The truth is that I found those towel clips in the bin at a dollar store! Yep, I totally lucked out. Since I doubt you’ll have the same luck (although do look…), here they are on amazon.com. I was very surprised to see how many different characters of towel clips there are. Next up for me are those cute flip flops.

 Boca Beach Towel Clips FlamingoCheck Price Boca Clips 2-pc. Flip Flop Beach Towel Clip Set MulticolorCheck Price Boca Beach Towel Clips ParrotCheck Price Boca Beach Towel Clips Angry Birds YellowCheck Price Boca Beach Towel Clips (Set of 2) – Towels Stay Neatly and Firmly in Place – WhalesCheck Price Boca Beach Towel Clips Hello Kitty with Surfboard Set of 2Check Price Boca Clips Blue & White Dolphin, beach Towel HolderCheck Price

 

Good Quality Plastic Wine Glasses

plastic wine glassGlass and boats don’t mix as there are often bare feet (mine!) running around – not a good thing around glass shards. We always bring sodas and cocktails in cans whenever possible but, when it comes to wine, a box just doesn’t sound right. Don’t get me wrong – studies are showing that box wine, in some cases, is better quality than bottled wine, but, for me, I like a good bottle of chardonnay.  So, for those times when we’re anchored out for the evening, a set of lobsters on the grill, we like to bring out our very good quality plastic wine glasses.

The reason we have very good quality plastic wine glasses is because I’m a snob. There. I’ve said it.

The better quality glasses are made of polycarbonate have a better weight and feel. They also do not break at the stem if dropped…repeatedly. Cheaper quality wine glasses made of acrylic just don’t hold up as well. So, I’ve found that paying a bit more for a better quality wine glass is worth it in the long run.

Word of caution: never wash any plastic glasses with a scrubby side of a sponge – you’ll get a nasty scratching pattern. Word of experience speaking here….

 LeadingWare Group Indoor/Outdoor Chardonnay Wine Glasses, Set of 4Check Price Indoor/Outdoor Pinot Noir Wine Glasses -Set of 4Check Price Polycarbonate Cabernet, Wine Glasses Set of 4Check Price Wine Enthusiast Indoor/Outdoor Champagne Flutes, Set of 4Check Price

These wine glasses are just plain fun. And, they do keep wine at the right temperature for longer:

 Vino Luxe Stemless Wine Tumbler Set of 2 with Frost White LidCheck Price Vino Luxe 10 oz Insulated Wine Tumbler – Merlot and Verde 2 PackCheck Price Vino Luxe Stemless Wine Tumbler Set of 2 with Merlot LidCheck Price

 

Boat Coasters

boating coastersFor those of us who love to relax on our boats, the best times are times spent with friends, having a nice cocktail and serving some appetizers.

Summer afternoons find John and I doing just that, on the Chesapeake Bay. After we anchor, out comes a nice bottle of wine followed by cheese and crackers. In order to keep the teak surface of the boat protected, we have a nice set of boat coasters that you see there in the picture above. Our boat coasters always grab attention – loads of people have asked us where we bought them. The truth is, we don’t remember! But, what we do know is that these coasters are made of teak and have held up through 6 years of fairly intensive use.

Since we don’t know where we got our own boat coasters, I’ve searched Amazon.com and found a few nice sets suitable for any boat; they’d even look great in a living room on land. Click on any picture to see more information.

 Wooden Boats Drink CoastersCheck Price Life is Good Fleur De Lis Car Boat Truck Coasters Set of 2 Carsters ThirstystoneCheck Price Thirstystone Marble Mosaic Coaster SetCheck Price Cinnabar Sandstone CoastersCheck Price Impressions Square Scroll Brown Wrought Iron Coaster Holder – Style H50Check Price Naturals Cinnabar Coaster (Set of 4)Check Price Genuine Teak Coasters – Set of 4 Large Real Wood CoastersCheck Price Hindostone Set of 4 Mosaic Shells CoastersCheck Price CounterArt Leaf Collage Design Round Absorbent Coasters in Wooden Holder, Set of 4Check Price

 

Telescoping Boat Hooks

My job, as first mate, is to be on the bow of the boat when we leave our slip or come back into port. I’m in charge of catching or stowing the bow lines with my trusty telescoping boat hook – that’s right, I’m that important! Personally, I think John gave me this job simply to keep me out of his way on the stern.

One of the challenges I face in my important position is putting the docking lines back on the piling hook when we leave the marina – floating lines are a definite no-no as they can easily foul a propeller. So, I have to be pretty meticulous in wrapping the line on the pilon. There’s no way I could do this without my trusty telescoping boat hook.

We have the Garelick 12-Feet Telescoping Boat Hook. I like this particular boat hook as it just seems sturdier than the others we’ve had in the past. If we decide to anchor out, it makes catching a mooring buoy a breeze.

As an aside, I’ve been known to be pretty handy with my telescoping boat hook, especially when fishing things like nets, shoes, or small dogs out of the drink….

 Garelick 12-Feet Telescoping Boat HookCheck Price Telescoping Boat HookCheck Price Telescoping Paddle With Boat HookCheck Price Shurhold 130 Boat HookCheck Price

A Boarding Handle Is Indispensable

boarding handleTrue story – We were moving John’s new boat from Baltimore where he bought it to his home marina of Harrington Harbor North in Deale, MD. Unfortunately, he bought it in January so, although the boat had an enclosure, it was still chilly. Not a real problem as we bundled up in layers. I even wore my brand new Uggs.

We needed to gas up so, as we came into the gas pump, John put the engine in reverse and….the engine died. I stepped up on side of the boat onto the gunwale, boat hook in hand, to try and keep the boat from smashing into the dock. What happened instead is that I dropped right into the drink! That’s right – 36 degree water that day, and I sank right to the bottom of the bay. First and only time I thought I was going to die! The second I fought my way to the top of the water, John’s hand was there to fish me out. I will never forget how cold I was.

And, we will never again have a boat without a boarding handle. This thing would have saved me the grief of freezing for the next 2 hours as I never would have taken that unintentional swim. It also fits into any standard size rod holder. That’s our boarding handle above on our sailboat, Namaste.

 Boarding HandleCheck Price