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Old 04-21-2013, 05:46 PM   #1
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Question For Women Only!

I am going to be boating with Bigfish soon and have a few questions for the women out there. What is something you can absolutely not live without onboard? What is something you wished you had but didn't? Finish this sentence while cruising: Gee, I wish I.....

My name is Victoria, age 56 and the other half of Bigfish. If anyone has a catchy user name for me, let me know!! I'm very interested in the "boomer" women as I am one who feels, probably like most of us boomers, "40 something." Shoot, lets make that 30 something! Most media (magazines, store catalogues, etc.) cater to the younger woman. I know I can wear a string bikini. But, should I?

So, as one woman new to the cruising world, I am very curious what other women have experienced and what tips they might have to offer. Might be a fun blog, too! Thank you~vicky
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:59 PM   #2
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Welcome aboard Vicky!!

Bess here, First Mate - Skinny Dippin'. I sat here and asked myself outloud, what could I not live without onboard? Tom said, "Me!". I guess he's right about that.

But when I say Gee I wish.... "gee I wish we had done this sooner". "Gee, I wish we had enough time to go out for six months". "Gee I wish we'd have packed more beer".

What kind of boat do you have?? Where are you boating from? Where are you going?
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:27 PM   #3
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Hi! Please tell us more!!! I've been boating with my husband for about ten years, first sailboats and for the past two and a half years we've ad a "trawler". I love the space and creature comforts like the walk around berth and separate shower. The boat had an ice maker when we bought it and died after one batch of ice! We finally replaced it after a year and really feel like power boaters now. We love having all the comforts of home and are actually installing a dishwasher drawer as we replace our galley countertop.
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #4
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Sorry my phone started freaking out and wouldn't let me type anymore in the prior message.

We anchor a lot and just replaced our wildcat with hopefully the right one for our chain. I'm hoping that will make things easier -so the chain won't skip like mad.

We tow our dinghy and I'd really like some weaver davits or something as minding the dinghy can get to be a chore.

I like having everything I need on the boat other than a complete wardrobe. There's enough to haul back and forth as it is. Even after two and a half years we're still fine tuning what's on the boat and our grocery list, stuff like that. We have a grocery shopping app we both use and we keep a running list for the boat and home. I try to have all my same staples at both places so I don't have to schlep everything back and forth or forget the balsamic vinegar is on the boat when I need it at home or whatever.

So tell us more about what you're doing so we can think of more!!! . I actually met Bess last fall so I feel like I can call us "we". There are other women on here as well, hopefully more will chime in!
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Old 04-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #5
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So tell us more about what you're doing so we can think of more!!! . I actually met Bess last fall so I feel like I can call us "we". There are other women on here as well, hopefully more will chime in!
Jennifer I am happy to be part of "we" with you!

I do the same. I have a whole pantry full of stuff so I don't have to schlep too much back and forth. I've just started learning how to cook soups from dried beans, because I understand that is a good staple for when you are cruising longer than weeks or weekends. My pressure cooker will be something then that I won't want to be without. We have a coffee percolator. We went through the autodrip and french press and have found the percolator to be the best fit for us and it draws less power at anchor.

We don't have it yet, but I want a transom shower. It would be nice to have a fresh water rinse after swimming. Oh, and I want a water maker too before we go off cruising long distances and spending lots of time at anchor.

Laundry would be cool, but we don't have room for it, and I'm not afraid to hand wash and hang it up on the railings.

I'm sure I'll think of more stuff. And I'll keep adding as I do!
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:54 PM   #6
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Woo Hoo! Just what I've been looking for. My husband and I just sold our 34' sailboat a few weeks ago and will be closing on a 38' trawler this week. I am 46 and he is 51. Everyone thinks we're nuts but we are buying it to live on. We have spent weekends and the occasional week on our sailboat and I have to agree that stocking the boat with the same things you use at home is a must. I tried to color coordinate them so things didn't hitch accidentally hitch a ride to the wrong place (i.e. hair dryer and curling iron one color for home and another color for boat... same with towels, dishes,etc. Now we will be selling the house and I do wonder what kitchen "gadgets" would be good to keep.... (I have a lot of them) the new boat has a four burner stove (propane) with oven. Do they make cookie sheets etc to fit that tiny oven? Should I stick with all plastic kitchenware? I have a lot of questions... but maybe some answers too. I have done lots of sanding, oiling, recovering, curtain making, etc.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:52 AM   #7
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Well, I am just a guy, but I can offer Diedre some help on kitchen stuff since I am the cook in our crew-skip all the kitchen stores and go to a commercial restaurant supply-you will find everything under the shining sun, usually quality stuff, built to last, and cheaper. Even smaller cookie sheets!
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:40 AM   #8
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I asked my wife who has been boating and working on our boats with me for 26 years for her ten " most important" things she has on the GB. Her answer in no particular order of preference---

1. Really good rain gear.
2. Dawn foaming soap for the galley (gets things good and clean but doesn't take a ton of rinsing like Joy, etc. A little bit goes a long way).
3. Heavy antique diffuser for the burners on our Force 10 propane stove.
4. A really good propane stove/oven (she is a semi-professional chef, whatever that means).
5. A really comfortable auto/manual-inflate PFD (Mustang in her case).
6. Her iPad Mini for everything from recipe download and storage, to the master list of everything on the boat (spare parts, tools, clothes, you name it) and exactly where it all is, to PDFs of equipment, engine, electronics, generator, etc. manuals, to bird, plant, and star guides, to navigation charts (Navimatics).
7. Her Makita heat gun ( for stripping old finish).
8. A really high quality frying pan.
9. A set of heavy, well-made crab crackers.
10. A heavy duty sewing machine permanently on board.
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:16 AM   #9
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Woo Hoo! Now we will be selling the house and I do wonder what kitchen "gadgets" would be good to keep.... (I have a lot of them) the new boat has a four burner stove (propane) with oven. Do they make cookie sheets etc to fit that tiny oven? Should I stick with all plastic kitchenware? I have a lot of questions... but maybe some answers too. I have done lots of sanding, oiling, recovering, curtain making, etc.
We moved aboard 3 yrs ago, first on a 37 ft boat and in the past year a 38 ft trawler. As for ovens, I had to downsize cookie sheets and pizza pans to fit the oven but it's possible. As for dishes, I use what I did in a dirt home (of course not nearly as much) but I have plastic ware for storage, stoneware dinnerware and real wine glasses ( I also have acrylic wine glasses for dock parties). I have a wine rack in the galley. For dishes I use plastic/vinyl(?) shelf liner cut to fit to layer between dishes (not every dish but between different types, ie plates, salad plates). The boat is our home so I didn't want to feel like I was camping out. So enjoy!!

Gina
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:45 AM   #10
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I am going to be boating with Bigfish soon and have a few questions for the women out there. What is something you can absolutely not live without onboard? What is something you wished you had but didn't? Finish this sentence while cruising: Gee, I wish I.....

So, as one woman new to the cruising world, I am very curious what other women have experienced and what tips they might have to offer. Might be a fun blog, too! Thank you~vicky
Victoria, great topic. The things that are important to me as a liveaboard are:

1 Good rain gear as Marin posted. Gotta have it for these torrential rainstorms we get here in Fl. I'm usually handling the anchors and/ or dock lines. Also no garage to pull into to unload groceries or do laundry.

2. Dishes, real wine glasses,- as I previously posted, I don't want to feel as if I'm camping out.

3. IPad and Laptop- again as Marin suggested, it's become an important part of our "electronics" on board. We can navigate (using Coastal Explorer and a gps antenna). We've cut down mail and storage space with the laptop and IPad. We pay all bills, receive and store all bank, credit card, insurance statements digitally. Anything with a manual is on our iPad in a .pdf format organized in IBooks. Before we moved aboard I scanned all my favorite recipes and stored on the iPad.

4.Sewing machine. Hadn't sewed in many years( and wasn't that good even then) but when we moved aboard I got a new Sailrite sewing machine. It's more than paid for itself in the first year. I've made sunshades for all the windows, hatch covers for the vberth and aft cabin door and lots of little things.

"Gee, I wish I...." had a washer/dryer ( our boat is too small but I'd love one).
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Old 04-22-2013, 11:31 AM   #11
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I am lucky enough that my wife for saw what we would need and bought me a big boat with plenty of closet, drawer and storage for our cloths and shoes. OK, my cloths and shoes. Are you going to be a live aboard and if not what % of the time are you going to spend on the boat?

My advise is to leave most of your dirt habits/notions on the dirt and start fresh as a boat is doing to change your daily routines and functions, depending on the boat, slip, marina and tide changes. What you might consider part of your normal daily routine may become a chore. Just walking/carrying to from the boat can be a daunting task, especially in the dead of winter.

My advise is to bring some of your personal stuff, and go from there. Basically some aspects of your life are going to become simpler and some are going to be come harder. Mostly harder if you do not simplify. Being most things on a boat are limited electric, heat, water, sanitation, hot water, storage, refrigeration etc. you will WISH you have more of the basic and creature comforts.

The hardest for us was only 50 amps AC electric and limited domestic water! Oh, and heat in the winter.
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:34 PM   #12
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Some things others have mentioned

1) fresh water shower on swim step-yes yes yes love having this. Have cold water spigot on the transom now and would love to have a "real" shower with a pull out sprayer and hot and cold water. Not a neccisity by any means but sure is nice to get a rinse there before tracking all over the boat
2) cooking gear- when we went from sail to power we left all the nesting pots and really all our kitchen stuff on the sailboat for our boat partners and we bought all new regular home stuff. For instance, we got a complete set of "Emril" pots and pans and Henkels knives (luckily it was labor day weekend--lots of sales). We still have the complete knife set on board because we use them all but we have pared down the pots and pans to the ones we really use, plus added a nice non stick pan. We have duplicated all our favorite tools from home to the boat. I'd say the only thing we have at home that we don't have on the boat is a food processor. (note I no longer own a mixer or blender )
3) coffee-only my husband drinks it and he has one of those Keurig things. The original one died and he just got a new one that is much smaller but more manual
4) we don't have propane. We are in the process of installing a smooth surface two burner stove and we replaced the oven with a convection microwave.
5) totally agree that I do not want to feel like I am camping. We keep it as much like home as we can.
6) I think quarter sheet pans will fit in the boat oven- 13x9 pans should fit so a cookie sheet a similar size will! on the boat I use a metal 13 x 9 pan instead of a sheet pan. Things that can serve more than one purpose are good on the boat b'c storage is usually limited.
7) We boat in kind of a laid back area and I absolutely wear a bikini even though I don't have a bikini body.
8) I've never used a pressure cooker. Would be interested to hear what Bess thinks of hers. We tend to grill on the boat and the stove is most used for bacon and eggs.
9) color coding--yes very helpful! Keeps us from ending up with, say, all the towels on the boat and all the sheets at home.

It is definitely a process. As I mentioned, we are still fine tuning after two and a half years!
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Old 04-22-2013, 12:59 PM   #13
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I've never used a pressure cooker. Would be interested to hear what Bess thinks of hers. We tend to grill on the boat and the stove is most used for bacon and eggs.
I love the pressure cooker. It cuts cooking time considerably for things that you would slow roast at home. Roasts, ribs, chilis', soups. I've only had it for a couple years, so I'm no expert for sure. But my F-I-L who was a sailor, gave it to me. For sure as weekenders, I rarely need it on the boat. But if we were to cruise for longer term, I'd want it with me.

The magma grill...there is something I wouldn't want to be without. I use it all the time. Tom just refurbished mine. all new insides!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:06 PM   #14
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I'd say the only thing we have at home that we don't have on the boat is a food processor. (note I no longer own a mixer or blender )
Not long after we bought the boat my wife bought the small model Cuisinart. I have no idea if they still make it but it's really cool (as a machine; I have no clue how to use it.). It's identical in capabilities to her full-size Cuisinart at home but it's really compact. Has all the same blades and such, just smaller. I think she keeps it in the storage space under the Force 10 in the galley.

She doesn't use it a lot but she says it's the sort of thing that when you need it, you need it. We have a 2500 watt inverter as well as a generator so running an AC appliance like this is no problem.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:18 PM   #15
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Not long after we bought the boat my wife bought the small model Cuisinart. I have no idea if they still make it but it's really cool (as a machine; I have no clue how to use it.). It's identical in capabilities to her full-size Cuisinart at home but it's really compact. Has all the same blades and such, just smaller. I think she keeps it in the storage space under the Force 10 in the galley.

She doesn't use it a lot but she says it's the sort of thing that when you need it, you need it. We have a 2500 watt inverter as well as a generator so running an AC appliance like this is no problem.
LOL that is probably the one I have at home. Well, MAYBE there is one size smaller than the one I have. I don't use it much but like your wife says, when you need it you need it. I have hauled it the boat a time or two for a specific thing so I probably should get a second one.
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:28 PM   #16
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Just saw bigfish's posts--looks like you will be headed from FLA to the Caribbean! Lucky girl. Bring lots of sunscreen and after sun lotion and definitely the bikinis!

He mentions your boat holds 700 gal of fuel, how much water? May want to think about a watermaker like Bess mentioned.

When I have been in the Caribbean I have had a weird skin reaction to something. I THINK it was the detergent the sheets (rental boat) had been washed in. Definitely bring a good first aid kit--there are some good books on marine first aid and there are some threads on here. If you get seasick at all I would recomment Zofran (ask your doctor about it, Rx only).

If you find yourself feeling nervous--that's normal! Especially with a new boat, you may be worried if something will break or what if you missed bringing something important. Hopefully you can take some time to do some short trips at first and familiarize yourself with the boat before you make the hop to the caribbean! I'd say you will be able to make do with whatever you have along, as long as you have food and water! And sunscreen!
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Old 04-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #17
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LOL that is probably the one I have at home.e.
IIRC the one she bought--- and this was many years ago so the model lineup has probably changed a lot--- is about eight inches high. It looks pretty much like the full-size Cuisinart she has but it comes apart into small components so it's easy to store in a small space.
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Old 04-22-2013, 02:07 PM   #18
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........and definitely the bikinis!

May want to think about a watermaker .........

Definitely bring a good first aid kit.........

"I'd say you will be able to make do with whatever you have along, as long as you have food and water!"
All good things to have aboard. (Especially the bikinis, huh, Art?)
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Old 04-22-2013, 03:13 PM   #19
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All good things to have aboard. (Especially the bikinis, huh, Art?)
Art will probably say.... who needs bikinis??
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:47 AM   #20
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Hey guys, be careful not to hijack the ladies thread. Of course we all know you like feminine company. On the other hand, as a moderator, I probably should add that maybe a women's only thread is not politically correct..?

Fortunately, on here we don't pretend to always be politically correct, do we Jennifer?

So go for it girls. We guys find this stuff interesting, and I suspect one reason is that because the boat is often the male partner's main interest, and so, as not all our 2iCs are as keen as you lot, us guys often do more of the housework and cooking and cleaning up while out on the boat than we would at home, sort of as a thank you to our partners for going along, and thereby keeping us happy, and possibly because some of us don't do it so much of it at home...maybe...?
Oh bugger, sorry guys...have I let the cat out of the bag...? Damn...!
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