Top 10 Things We’re REALLY Glad To Have On Board

When moving from a house to a boat you’ll be getting rid of a LOT of things, but you’ll also be buying a lot of boating related items as well. The list can be very long, but here are some of the things we have on board that we love and use the most!

Disclaimer: Yes, most of these are amazon links, we will receive a (very) small percentage of anything you order after clicking one of these links, even if you don’t buy the item you clicked on!  It works as long as you buy within 24 hours, and it doesn’t add anything to the cost of the items!

  1. Vibrating Speaker –  When we left our house in Texas, the one item I thought I would miss the most was our sound bar.  We enjoy watching movies, and good sound is a big part of that.  I received this as a giveaway from one of the vendors I used to work with, and it’s small, but this little guy manages to put out pretty good sound!  Place it on top of something big and hollow, and the bass is amazing.  Sound quality isn’t quite as good as our sound bar was, but it’s pretty awesome for the size!
  2. 2-1/2 Gallon No Spill Gas Can –  There are the cheap, crappy gas cans you get at Wal-Mart, and there is this.  Seriously, trying to fill a generator or outboard in a rocking boat with a conventional gas can is the worst.  It’s heavy, awkward and you spill all over when trying to get it lined up.  With this gas can, I can literally just stick the spout in the fill cap, push the button, and bam, filling done!  We still use the old style 5 gallon cans for deck storage, but I transfer it to this can for filling our gasoline powered devices on a daily basis (I’m slowly replacing them all with the 5 gallon version).
  3. The Wagon Store Folding Wagon –  We thought for a really long time about this before pulling the trigger.  Specifically, how to get the kids and our gear to and from the boat. We talked about dollies with folding bins, strollers, and wagons, then we saw this wagon.  155 lb weight capacity, 2 seat belts for the kiddos, a shade, and it folds up into less space than a stroller. (Brittany here) I LOVE this wagon. It’s a breeze to pull, even with all three kids or bags and bags of groceries. I recommend this wagon more often than anything else. Side note, it was featured on Windtraveler’s Instagram account, and that’s how we heard about it!
  4. Amazon Kindle –  For years I tried to get Brittany on the Kindle bandwagon, she loves reading books and I figured she would like one. But she’s always had a love of paper books, and the Kindles never excited her.  Just before we left, someone from my work gave us a Kindle (you know who you are), and she can’t put the darn thing down now!  On a boat, space comes at a premium so the Kindle makes sense in this respect, but just the ease of browsing books, reading samples, and buying them got Brittany hooked.
  5. Yamaha 2000 Watt Inverter Generator –  While we do have solar panels and a wind generator on the boat they can’t always keep up with demand, especially in northern climates or in the winter time.  I did a lot of research and the Yamaha EF2000ISV2 is the top of the line for 2000 watt generators.  Lighter and quieter than a Honda, has a gas gauge, 1.1 gallon tank will last about 4 hours full tilt, but the engine idles down to the demand and we’ve had it run as long as 8 hours with our space heater on low.  Some boats have an on board (built in) generator, but this is nice because I can take it ashore if power is not available.
  6. Dorcy Floating LED Flashlights – OK, I like to think I’m on the cutting edge of flashlight technology, and I’ve always wanted to have one of those really cool bright flashlights that can blind you from a mile away.  I’ve always had bad luck with LED flashlights, usually the circuit board will go out within a couple of months and they’ll start flickering on me.  BUT, we bought 4 of these cheapo flashlights, and they have been truly impressive.  They are cheap enough I don’t mind giving them to the girls, knowing they will drop them, but we have yet to have a failure.  They are bright enough for general boat needs and they seem to last a pretty long time before needing a battery change.
  7. Washing Wand –  I have to admit I started out cruising naively thinking we would do all of our laundry in a bucket with a plunger and hanging it out to dry.  Unfortunately, we do Laundromat more often than I’d like (cha-ching!), but now that we are in warmer climates doing laundry-by-bucket is a bit more feasible.  The plunger method has worked out fine, but wore out quickly and isn’t that easy on the back.  Brittany now swears by the washing wand – it is sturdy, has a tall handle, and is larger in diameter than a typical plunger.
  8. Havianas Flip Flops –  OK, this is kind of expensive for flip flops (according to our standards), but these are comfortable, durable, light, and they float if (when) you drop them in the water!  I’ve even spilled diesel on them, and they don’t disintegrate on me.  Brittany even got a pair for herself, after seeing how great mine were.
  9. Our iPad – These days you would think pretty much everyone has a tablet, but we were holdouts.  Seriously, I’m not an Apple person, but as usual I didn’t know what I was missing out on until we had one.  We use the iPad for kids games, watching movies, internet, but most importantly it’s our main navigation device.  Again, we got this as a gift from someone at work, and it’s been invaluable!
  10. Blow up pool – If you have young kids this can be a great way for them to get some “water” time when you aren’t able to supervise them in the water or shuttle them to the beach.  Just blow it up, scoop some water into it, and throw some toys in it (our kids love spoons and cups) and they’ll have hours of fun.  This one fit our back deck, but get any size that fits your boat.

Whether you’re looking for a gift for your favorite cruiser or just trying to outfit your own boat, I hope this list will be useful to you!

This was written earlier this year while we were still cruising and island hopping!