This past year we've found the items below have made our cruising experience so much more comfortable and enjoyable. Space and power are always priorities in determining what we use on the boat, but these items we believe are worth the space they occupy and take into account our limited power supply. Obviously this list isn’t comprehensive of everything needed to safely operate a boat (and do the Great Loop) but we wanted to share some of our favorite things.
We don’t get any $ from promoting the items below--just the satisfaction that maybe someone finds this list helpful.
On the Boat
Whether it’s reading, napping, or driving from the flybridge, sometimes it can get a little chilly. Ours is a Rumpl packable outdoor down blanket has been great to pull out to warm up and know it’s going to keep up in the elements. For those colder nights we throw it in the v-berth for an extra blanket. Rumpl $250
Anchoring is one of our favorite things to do, and happy hour on the bow is one of our favorite things to do while at anchor. We pull out our bow loungers which make it so comfortable to sip a glass of wine or read a book while hanging on the bow watching the sunset. Plus, they store nicely on our flybridge so don’t take a lot of space. Sport-A-Seat $160
Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
We don’t have a speaker on the flybridge, so we use our portable bluetooth speaker all the time when driving up top--whether it’s listening to music or audiobooks. It’s small, holds a decent charge, and allows us to listen together when on long cruises. Amazon $50
Korkz Sunglass Holders
This is probably the #1 thing we get comments on--our wine cork sunglass strap. They make it easy to hang your glasses when not using them, easy to grab out of the water if they fall, and you can get anything you want printed on them. (Thanks Colin for this awesome gift!) Korkz 2 for $27.50
Storage is always a priority, and we needed a solution to easily access our clothes since they are one of the few items we actually need to use every day. With no real drawers, we found using packing bags has made it easy to keep our clothes organized and accessible in our v-berth. Not to mention whenever we do take an occasional trip off the boat, they make it easy to pack what we need. Amazon (take your pick!)
Beach Towel Clips
We use these for anything we want to clip to our boat--which is a lot. Whether it's a bathing suit to dry in the sun or our mosquito net to hold it in place on a windy night across our hatch, these are great. We use them everyday. Amazon $11
Dock & Bay Quick Dry Towels
We have a set for showering and a set for the beach. They take up almost no space, dry quickly, but also super absorbent. Easy to wash too. Bath Towels $19 Beach Towels $16
Off the Boat
We have a full post on all the reasons why we couldn’t imagine looping without our bikes, but we use them almost every time we pull into a port. They sit in the back and we tie them down with straps while underway. We do have to move them to access the dinghy, but well worth the effort to have them on board.
Three Pairs of Shoes
We really only use 3 pairs of shoes on the loop--sandals (that can get wet and for showers), trail running shoes, and running shoes. Having shoes with a little thicker sole makes riding our bikes easier and are great for hikes (and we’ve found several on the loop). They also are shoes we don’t mind getting a bit dirtier to spare our running shoes for only running.
Cliq Portable Camping Chairs
We were targeted for these on Instagram, and now you might be too. But these or any similar type of portable camping chairs have been great. We throw them in the backpack before hopping in the dinghy to shore or pull them out during docktails at a marina. We like how portable they are and we can easily hang them when we’re not using them. Amazon $99
We have a tiny propane oven, which we use regularly while cooking. Having been an avid bread baker during the pandemic, wanted a way to continue to bake loaves on the loop, so found a dutch oven at Home Goods that fits perfectly in the oven. We not only bake fresh bread but it also has been great for making soups, rice, and other meals on the stove top. We store it in the oven while not in use, so doesn’t take up space and is well protected in rocky waters. Le Creuset $160 (but got ours for $60 at Home Goods)
This may not be for everyone, but we’ve had our starter going for about 18 months now and couldn’t let it go just because our lifestyle changed. It’s been great to know you can make a loaf of bread if you’re not near a grocery store or some quick and tasty crumpets for a breakfast snack.
Yeti Coffee and Wine Cups
We use our Yeti tumblers every day for coffee or tea. They’re easy to clean, secure, and keep things warm for a long time. Yeti wine cups are great for wine on the boat (or at docktails), but they also are a great backup coffee cup if you have a guest on board. Yeti Tumbler $30; Yeti Wine Tumbler $25
These are great for keeping beer or cans cold. But they also serve as great pen/knicknack holders. The Toadfish ones are especially helpful because they have a suction bottom so they don’t easily fall off in rougher waters and come in various sizes. Amazon $25
Stainless Steel Insulated French Press
We didn’t want to have to rely on electricity to make coffee, so we found a sturdy french press and it’s been great. Since it’s hard to find coffee beans ground for a french press at the grocery store, we visit local coffee shops wherever we are to stock up. It’s been an unexpected but fun activity along the loop. Amazon $30
Obviously china and boating don’t mix, so found these super durable, microwaveable dish ware that are easy to store and use for eating on the boat. Plus, they’re made out of sustainable materials, so feels better knowing not adding any more plastic out there. Amazon $22
As we continue to find items that make our boat a home we will be sure to add to this list. Happy cruising!