Living Aboard: Make it Easy
A far-ranging crew names the items that made daily wants and needs a breeze.
Over four years of cruising, as we put equipment to the test aboard Osprey, our Adams 45 steel cutter, we came up with a list of ideas and gear that fall under what’s known as the “pink jobs” category. Unlike the “blue jobs” list (see “Simply Indispensable,” January 2013), this is generally made up of simpler, mostly inexpensive systems or items that just plain work for everyday use. In their own small ways, they make the care and feeding of a family of four on board a little more efficient and easier.
1. Galley saltwater foot pump. This sounds old school, especially on many new boats that seem to want to make people feel like they’re living in a condo, not on a boat. But more than one fellow cruiser has envied ours. They resort to schlepping buckets of saltwater down to the galley to pre-rinse their dishes, or they lug the dishes to the transom to do the same. We just use the saltwater foot pump at the sink, then wash and final rinse with fresh water.
2. Freshwater foot pump (or hand pump) in the galley and head sinks. This is the partner to number one, and I bring it up because so many boats I see use constant-pressure water in the head and galley. It doesn’t matter how frugal you are; pressure water systems invariably use more water than foot pumps.
Osprey came equipped with a freshwater foot pump for the galley and the head. In the head, hot water is pressure, but cold water (for daily stuff like tooth brushing) is via foot pump. In the galley, we added pressure hot and cold water but we rarely use it. It’s become so much a part of our routine to use the foot pump at either sink. If we want warm water for washing dishes or faces, we just heat it in a tea kettle and pour it in a bowl, rather than run the engine to make hot water and then turn on the pressure water pump to deliver it.
3. Sun shower. Even though I consider myself a low-maintenance female when it comes to personal buffing and fluffing, my one prerequisite is a hot shower. Daily. Osprey has a terrific shower, but whenever we are in climates and circumstances that permit it, we use the outdoor sun shower, which we hang from the aft arch. It accomplishes two things: One, it uses less water than a pressure-water shower; and two, the sun, rather than the boat’s engine, heats the water. So it’s a triple bonus, minimizing wear and tear on the boat’s hardware, saving fuel and helping conserve what is arguably the world’s most precious resource. We try to keep two on hand, since no matter the manufacturer, they only seem to last a season under heavy use.