Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Stormglass Predicts The Weather

 Weems Stormglass (Brass) in Black Gift BoxCheck PriceI had never heard of a stormglass, so, when I saw that someone bought one of these off of my Handy Gifts For A New Boat Owner article, I just had to figure out what a Weems Stormglass was and how to use it. After figuring both out, I already have one in my Amazon cart. Once I purchase it, it will live aboard Namaste, our sailboat.

By way of background, a stormglass is an object generally made of brass which has liquid inside that changes appearance and predicts the next day’s weather. The liquid is usually a mixture of such chemicals as ammonium chloride, potassium nitrate, ethanol, camphor, and distilled water.

If you look at the liquid and it is cloudy, the weather the next day will also be cloudy. The coolest thing though is when it’s going to thunderstorm – then the liquid will turn cloudy and show little stars! How cool is that??

The Weems stormglass predicts 8 types of weather:

  • Clear weather is indicated by the liquid being totally clear
  • Cloudy weather shows the liquid being cloudy
  • Dots in cloudy liquid indicate high humidity
  • Thunderstorms are indicated by cloudy liquid with stars
  • Clear liquid with small stars in winter months shows snow is coming
  • Large flakes appearing in the liquid in summer indicate the next day’s weather will be overcast. In the winter, this appearance indicates snowy days ahead.
  • Frost makes its appearance in the liquid by crystals forming in the bottom
  • And, if the liquid looks like there are threads in it, that indicates that wind is in the forecast.

Stormglasses are one of the oldest ways to predict weather. This particular stormglass is petite, just around 4″ long and encased in brass. Reviewers love the thing. I think it would be a great item to have on a nice boat. And, how about getting one of these stormglasses to teach younger children about weather?

There’s a few other good ways to predict weather – for those of us who own dogs who react to changes in barometer, there’s almost no better way to know that rain is coming than to watch your trembling dog. However, for those of you who prefer a more precise way to predict the weather, particularly on a boat, here’s a few good choices from Amazon.com:

 Weems and Plath Stormglass with Display, BrassCheck Price Ambient Weather AW-YG737S-RD Admiral Fitzroy Storm Glass and Galileo ThermometerCheck Price 6″ Admiral Fitzroy Storm GlassCheck Price Ambient Weather WS-1171A Wireless Advanced Weather Station with Temperature, Dew Point, Barometer and HumidityCheck Price Oregon Scientific BAR208HGA Advanced Weather Station with Atomic Time (small white sensor not included)Check Price

The Picnic Time Manhattan Portable Travel Bar Set – Fun On The Go!

Introducing our favorite travel bar set – the Picnic Time Manhattan Portable Travel Bar Set

 Picnic Time Manhattan Insulated Two-Bottle Cocktail Case/Bar Tool Kit, MahoganyCheck PriceHot summer days provide boaters with no special reason for throwing a party but, just in case we should have the need, we always carry along our Picnic Time Manhattan Portable Travel Bar set.

(Note: don’t take the name literally – this beautiful travel bar doesn’t just make Manhattans; it’s great for martinis, scotch or whiskey sours – you get the idea….).

John and I often go rafting up with friends, anchoring our boats together offshore for a few hours of good company along with good food and drink. But of course, since the boat galley is so small, for these floating festivals of fun, we need a portable bar. And, John, being a good bartender and a better host, has the perfect solution. He brings on board his Picnic Time Manhattan Insulated Two-Bottle Cocktail Case/Bar Tool Kit that you see there to the left.

This suitcase-style travel bar has everything we need to serve up our favorite cocktails – Manhattans and Martinis, perhaps. John either carries the cocktail case aboard with its adjustable luggage strap or I might tote it with the sturdy handle.

We love this particular travel bar because of the lovely velveteen-lined interior which protects and showcases its libations. And, this portable bar has a fully insulated divided compartment that accommodates 2 “fifths” or 2 “liter” sized bottles of your best liquor.

The bar kit comes complete with 2 martini glasses, a cocktail shaker, jigger, tongs, strainer, stirrer, Vermouth mister, and even includes olive picks and napkins! All you need to do is grab your favorite liquors, a bottle of onions (for a good Gibson), olives for martinis, and hit the road – well, the water.

The exterior of the Picnic Time Manhattan Insulated Two-Bottle Cocktail Case/Bar Tool Kit is constructed of nice quality leatherette, which you can even have personally monogrammed to suit your mixologist.

Now, if that doesn’t impress your boater friends upon the sea, we don’t know what will! John and I enjoy being tied up alongside our boating friends, enjoying a good cocktail and having fun on the summertime day.

Of course, the Picnic Time Manhattan Insulated Two-Bottle Cocktail Case/Bar Tool Kits make good gifts for boat owners any time of the year. Just be sure to get yourself one too!

Caution: While on the waterways, do follow all boating safety requirements and do be sure to know the alcohol consumption and BUI regulations in your area before rafting up or operating a boat. Stay safe out there.

Here’s a few other highly rated portable travel bars on Amazon.com.

 Two Tone Three Bottle Bartender’s Cocktail Bar Travel Bar With ToolsCheck Price 8 Piece Bar Set with 4 Collapsible cups, Ice Tong, Bar Tool and Stirrer in Eltra Suede and Brown Leather BagCheck Price Franmara Martini Travel Bar Set with CaseCheck Price Barmaster’s Pro Bar Travel SetCheck Price Seven Piece Travel Bar SetCheck Price

And a few things to go along with that travel bar set:

 Pack Premium Spanish Pitted Manzanilla Martini Cocktail OlivesCheck Price Set of 6 Stainless Steel Martini PicksCheck Price Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries – 400g JarCheck Price

 

Rapid Dissolve Toilet Tissue

Having a head (bathroom) on a boat is a total joy but pumping out isn’t necessary so much fun – especially if you don’t use the right type of toilet paper.

By their very nature, heads on boats are passive – that means that waste goes into a holding tank where it will remain until you reach a pump out station. Rapid dissolve toilet tissue does what it says – it dissolves so that, when you pump out, there will not be a mass of toilet tissue in the bottom of the tank clogging things up.

Rapid dissolve toilet tissue is suitable not only for boats, but also works quite well in homes with septic systems or in RVs or during any type of camping trip.

 Thetford 03300 Aqua-Soft 2 Ply Toilet Tissue – Pack of 4Check Price Camco 40274 TST 2-Ply Toilet Tissue – 4 packCheck Price Earthsmart Zero Trees Recreational Compostable Toilet PaperCheck Price Scott Rapid Dissolve Bath Tissue, 4 Count (Pack of 12)Check Price

And, while we’re at it, it’s a good idea to throw one of these holding tank deodorizers down the toilet every time you pump out. Without going into details, you’ll be glad you did. We personally prefer the little packets that you just drop in, but there’s a liquid also (note: we haven’t tried the liquids but they got good reviews on Amazon.com).

 Walex TOI-91799 Porta-Pak Holding Tank Deodorizer, (Pack of 10)Check Price Walex BIO-11530 Bio-Pak Natural Holding Tank Deodorizer and Waste Digester, (Pack of 10)Check Price Camco 41529 TST Blue Enzyme Toilet Chemical Drop-In – 10 packCheck Price Reliance Products Bio-Blue Toilet Deodorant Packaged (12-Pack)Check Price Thetford 09852 Aqua-Kem – 32 oz.Check Price MrGreen RVM RV & Marine Holding Tank Treatment 34 ozCheck Price Happy Campers Organic RV Holding Tank Treatment – small 18oz jar (18-treatments)Check Price

 

Bungee Docklines – A Perfect Docking Rope

Bungee docklines are a great addition to any boat’s docking supplies as they absorb shock beautifully. Each bungee expands and contracts as needed to keep the boat securely docked to a cleat, pylon, or mooring buoy.

These particular bungee docklines come in 3 sizes – 4, 5, or 6 foot. If in doubt about which size dock line to buy, always go for the longer size (bigger, in this case, is better….) as you can always make it shorter just by wrapping it around the cleat or whatever.

Customer reviewers do comment on the fact that the spliced loop might be too small to stretch across larger dock pylons but work perfectly with cleats or smaller dock posts. We’ve never had a problem attaching them to any dock whatsoever.

We use these bungee lines on our jet ski and they work perfectly. You can’t go wrong by adding a few to your boat’s docking supplies:

 AIRHEAD AHDL-4 Bungee Dockline 4 FeetCheck Price AIRHEAD AHDL-5 Bungee Dockline 5 FeetCheck Price AIRHEAD AHDL-6 Bungee Dockline 6 FeetCheck Price

Mesh Beach Bags And Beach Totes

mesh beach bagStrictly by accident, I wandered across a bright orange mesh beach bag at a local chain store – that one you see there to the left. It is hideous, I tell ‘ya….Hideous. It is so orange that it was ridiculous.

Little did I realize that, when I bought that orange mesh beach bag for the offered price of $5, I would just fall in love with the thing. It is the BEST beach bag ever, if you ask me.

I love that a mesh beach bag (yours doesn’t have to be orange), shows and tells all. If I’m looking for my suntan lotion, a quick twirl of the bag will show me exactly where I have to go to get it. There’s no shoving stuff around inside in the dark – nope, a mesh beach bag bares all.

I also love that sand goes right through the thing. A few shakes at the end of beach day and we’re good to go.

So,  here’s some nice mesh beach bags on Amazon.com and a few other choices too.

 Deluxe Oversized Mesh Family Beach Tote / BagCheck Price Transparent Tropical Beach Body Mesh Tote Bag (Blue) by BAGS FOR LESSTMCheck Price Mesh Family Beach Tote – Black Whale Bag w Black Carabiner Hook by Saltwater CanvasCheck Price Getagadget Huge See-Thru Mesh Beach Tote Bag One Size PinkCheck Price Mesh Beach Tote Bag Black – Good for the Beach – 20 in X 15 in X 5½ InCheck Price

Here’s some more traditional beach bags:

 Coach NWT Beach Scene File Bag Shoulder & Crossbody Blue and Multi Colored 30023Check Price Dooney & Bourke Clear IT Large Shopper Beach Bag Purse Tote Black MultiCheck Price Water Resistant Beach Bag with Inside Lining and Easy to Carry Top Handle – 22Check Price Chevron Print Beach Shopper Tote Bag (Orange & White)Check Price Oversized Summer Striped Canvas Beach Tote Bag – W5Check Price Dakine Women’s Havana Beach Bag, Coraz, 26-LiterCheck Price Promithi Women Handbags Shopping Shoulder Bags Ladies Designer Beach Travel Totes (purple)Check Price Picnic at Ascot Beach Day Collection Small Insulated Tote Bag in Flip Flop CottonCheck Price

Waterproof Cases (Phones, MP3, Tablets, etc)

waterproof case

Waterproof cases are a staple in our lives now.

John and I always seem to get wet when on the boat, even when that’s not our intention – like the time I accidentally went swimming with the fishes in 38 degree Chesapeake Bay water. I sure wish I’d had one of these DryPak waterproof cell phone cases shown below on that very chilly swim as it would have saved me the price of a new iPhone – sigh.

Waterproof cases work incredibly well to protect almost any electrical device from dirt, sand, or water. They’re tried and true and have even been snorkeling for hours with me. You can even use your phone, camera, or MP3 player while you’re in your local pool or enjoying an summer outing on the lake. And, never worry again about leaving your passport unprotected on a beach while you enjoy a dip – just take it with you!

Here’s the best of the DryPak cases on the market. These are excellent gifts, especially for your favorite fisherman or anyone who likes to get their feet wet.

Waterproof Wallets:

 DRY PAK DP-44 Alligator Waterproof WalletCheck Price WITZ See it Safe Waterproof ID/Badge Holder Case, ClearCheck Price Aqua-Quest ‘The Continental’ Waterproof Wallet Travel Pouch – Black ModelCheck Price DRY PAK DP-65 Waterproof Case 6 Inch x 5 InchCheck Price Pelican Crushproof/Water Resistant Rigid Sports WalletCheck Price Aquapac Keymaster AQP-608 Waterproof WalletCheck Price

 

Waterproof Cell Phone Holders:

 iPhone 5 DryPak Floating Waterproof Phone Holder Case with Lanyard and Belt ClipCheck Price DRY PAK DP-46 Cell Phone, GPS, MP3 Waterproof Case, BlueCheck Price Dry Pak DP-46W WhiteCheck Price Kwik Tek Dry Pak Cell Phone Case 4 In. X 6 In.Check Price Dry Pak DP-58W White/Gray 5Check Price Flip Phone Case by Dry Pak. 02083580Check Price

 

 

Waterproof Tablet Cases. Of course, you can store anything you choose in one of these waterproof cases, like a passport, your wallet, etc. Just make sure that the waterproof case you select is 1) the correct size for your tablet or items and 2) supports the depth that you plan on reaching. Some of these cases only protect in shallow water for that 3 foot deep snorkel trip and some will go much deeper, like the 100 foot Scuba trip you’re planning.

 OverBoard Waterproof iPad Case, BlackCheck Price Pyle PWSIC30 Universal Waterproof Sport Case with Headphone Jack for all iPads, Tablet PCs and eReadersCheck Price Chromo Inc. Waterproof Case For All Apple iPads – Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1-Inch And Other Like Sized Tablets – BlackCheck Price SANOXY® Waterproof Case Bag for 10.1 Tablet. Certified up to 100 feet (30 meters)Check Price TechCare Waterproof Pouch Case for Mini Devices (up to 7″)Check Price Professional PVC Waterproof Case for iPad 2/3 or Similar Size Tablets Includes Waterproof Earhook Headsets (Black)Check Price

Waterproof MP3 Cases

 QQ-Tech® Audio Waterproof Case Bag for iPhone with Built in Headphone AdapterCheck Price Lewis N. Clark WaterSeals standard Waterproof MP3 or IPOD pouchCheck Price FRIEQ Universal Waterproof Case With Waterproof External Earphone/ Accessory Jack and Armband for Apple iPhone 5, Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Galaxy Note 2 – IPX8 Certified to 100 FeetCheck Price DRY PAK DP-46 Cell Phone, GPS, MP3 Waterproof Case, BlueCheck Price Eco Pod Rugged and Waterproof Case for MP3 players and Smartphones including the iPhone 5 and Galaxy 3Check Price Waterproof Bag Case and Earphones For iPod iPhone 4Check Price

Boat Cup Holders

 Shoreline Marine Drink/Mug Holder C/P BrassCheck Price

There never seems to be a cup holder on a boat where you need it. We have built in cup holders in the boat cockpit, and, that’s fine if we’re underway, but, once we stop for fishing or just relaxing, there’s nowhere to put our refreshments.

I surprised John with 2 of those Shoreline Marine Drink Holder you see above. I originally liked them because they were in brass and were classy looking. I fell in love with them though when we were on a particularly rough bay – these cup holders are on swivels so, even through the boat was rocking and rolling with each wave, our drinks were safe and sound there in front of us.

 The Incredible Spill NotCheck Price

And then there’s this very cool cup holder, the Incredible Spill Not. The thing is really magical. So far, we’ve never lost a drink. This cup holder works by swiveling and leveling itself automatically. It’s even fun to watch.

Here’s a few other decent boat cup holders for your consideration:

 BoatMates 2150 Drink Holder, WhiteCheck Price American Technology CH-00100-BLK-1 THE MUGGER Black HD Folding Cup HolderCheck Price Universal Drink Holder – Holds Everything!Check Price

Cockpit Organizers

 BoatMates Seat PackCheck Price

No matter what, we could never find items in the boat cockpit before we bought organizers. For one thing, boat cockpits tend to be kind of lean and don’t have a lot of storage area. Stuff was just everywhere but nothing was where we could easily find it. Enter boat cockpit organizers!

I particularly like the captain’s chair organizer. It’s a great way to add boat storage to an area that is usually wasted space. We keep essential items in our chair organizer like a boat safety kit so that it’s right there when a fish hook pierces a finger. Yes, it happens. Ugh.

And, we almost always tote along the pedestal cooler. It fits perfectly right under the seat so that sodas and refreshments are always handy. It’s much nicer than having to go into the cabin every time the captain needs to refresh his drink. It keeps items on ice for about 8 hours or so.

 BoatMates Pedestal CoolerCheck Price BoatMates Seat PackCheck Price BoatMates Underseat BagCheck Price

Here’s some other boat cockpit organizers. The ones with suction cups work pretty well, provided you don’t overload them.

 BoatMates Stainless Cockpit OrganizerCheck Price Seachoice 79321 Cockpit OrganizerCheck Price BoatMates Cruisin CaddyCheck Price

Boat Fenders

 Taylor Made Products Classic Mermaid Boat FendersCheck Price

Crashing the any portion of a boat into a hard surface such as dock is detrimental both to the boat and the dock. That’s why boat fenders are so important to have on board. And, we suggest you have more than you expect you might need, just in case. Boat fenders are also a very necessary item when rafting up with other boats. Heck, we even use them to float on when we swim in the bay.

I surprised John with those mermaid boat fenders that you see above to use on Namaste. We get comments on how cool they are every time we pull them out to dock. They’re not only cool but they’re very thick and cushiony too so they protect the stern and bow from the pilons we frequently tie to. My one complain is that the mermaid boat fender tends to get dirty and John seems to like cleaning her off!

Here’s a few more choices on Amazon.com. The boat fender adjuster (the big picture below) is very nice for allowing easy adjustment of the height of the fenders depending on the height of the dock.

 Taylor Made Products Tidy-Ups Boat Fender Adjuster with Fender Rope (White)Check Price Shoreline Marine Promotional Fender Kit (Pack of 4), 6.5-Inch x 23-InchCheck Price Dock-Rite Ribbed Twin-Eye Fender (Blue\ 8.5 x 27-Inch 21.6 X 67.8 cm, 5/8-Inch – 1.59 cm)Check Price Extreme Max Fender Value Pack 2 Inflatable Vinyl Boat Fenders and 2 Fender Lines (Pack of 2 Fenders & 2 Fender Lines)Check Price Case of (4) 23Check Price

Some boat fenders may scuff the side of the boat. Here’s some fender covers that can prevent this kind of marring:

 Taylor Made Products Traditional Boat Fender Boot (2-Pack)Check Price Taylor Made Products Fleece Boat Fender Cover for Center Rope Tube Style FendersCheck Price Polyform US EFC-2 Fender Cover, Black. Click for sizesCheck Price

 

Boating Log Books

 Weems & Plath Boat Log Book Teak Cover (Marlin Plate)Check Price

Boating log books do more than keep track of weekend travels; they’re also important for someone who hopes to get a captain’s license.

Maritime law requires that anyone applying for a Captain’s license, spend a certain amount of time on the water. For example, if applying for a Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (OUPV) 6 PAK, one has to log at least 360 days on the water past the age of 14 to when the application goes in. And, 90 of those 360 days have to be within the last 3 years on either a power or sail boat over 16 feet in size. Noting down hours and trips in a boat log book becomes essential as proof of meeting the requirements. And, your boating log book may well be reviewed prior to getting a license.

And. there’s other cool logs, such as the guest log. What better way to remember the fun days spent aboard the boat with friends and family?

When it comes to logs, Weems & Plath Log Books are the best sellers on Amazon.com. These are the ones that we’ve chosen for our own boat. They’ve held up beautifully for the 4 years we’ve had them. And, the teak cover shown above is a great way to protect the log for many many years. It’s true quality and will delight any boat owner.

 Weems & Plath The Guest LogCheck Price Weems & Plath The Cruising LogCheck Price Weems & Plath The Maintenance LogCheck Price Weems & Plath The Ship’s LogCheck Price Weems & Plath The Sportfishing LogCheck Price

And, a few more ship’s log for good measure:

 Ship’s LogCheck Price BookFactory Captain’s Log BookCheck Price Boat Book for Captain’s Log Book, Boat Log Book, Ship’s Log Book, Nautical Log Book Leather LookCheck Price