The Boating Lifestyle

From canvas to clothespins — suggestions to make your boating a little more comfortable.

Towels For After-Swim Drying

Light colors reflect sunlight while dark colors absorb it. That absorbed light turns into thermal energy, making dark towels dry more quickly. Ideally, this gives you a dry towel rather than a damp one for your second dip of the day.

Clear Vision

Salt spray can quickly coat the lenses of eyewear. Dim vision is the result, often accompanied by eyestrain. An easy solution is a small trigger bottle filled with fresh water. Several strong squirts on the face of each lens dissolve and carry away the salt film, rendering those fuzzy numbers on instruments clear again. It's not necessary to wipe the lenses after spraying as the remaining spots of clear water will not have a large effect on vision and the fresh water quickly evaporates. Restore your vision this way without even removing the eyewear, and on a hot day you'll get the added benefit of a bit of evaporative cooling on your forehead.

Holy Shrinking Canvas!

Some types of canvas shrink when wet. If you leave the canvas exposed to dew, then try to snap it on first thing in the morning, it won't fit. Eliminate the problem by stretching it out in the sun and allowing it to dry thoroughly. Then keep it dry before putting it on. Canvas-fitting problems often result when the frame's top becomes slightly bent. Luckily, you can get canvas extensions (available from West Marine), which fit between the canvas and the snap, making an easy fit possible no matter the cause.

Hotels Are OK, Too!

Plan overnight trips by stopping at marinas with hotels/motels on premises. There are lots of these and, with a little investigation and planning, you and friends with smaller boats can take longer trips, stopping each night, refueling, sleeping ashore in comfort, enjoying local restaurants and sights, and moving on at your leisure. Because a trailer boat is relatively small, your dockage fee will be reasonable.

Protect The Skipper's Territory

Weatherproofing the steering area, with a T-top for a center console, can add to comfort and safety by keeping the skipper out of the worst of the weather. It must be easily folded and stored out of the way, easily put up, and constructed of quality materials.

Water With A Handle

Carry extra water in collapsible jugs. You can fold these up and get them out of the way when they're empty. You can also use them to heat water for showers. Just leave them in the sun. Better still, cover them with a black garbage bag and they'll heat up quickly. Wash out before reusing.

Clothespins To The Rescue

Keep a bag of clothespins aboard, and use lots of them to secure drying towels and swimsuits to lifelines and pulpits. Plus, use a couple to hold pages open in your chart book, to pinch food bags closed, or to keep all kinds of items from blowing away. 

— Published: Fall 2014


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