Four cheap things that make being a liveaboard a ton easier

These are the top four (4) things that pretty much changed my life… *dramatic pause*

1) This plastic bag. That may sound dumb at first but WAIT! At dock, using the standard spring line config (a line that runs from the front of the boat to a midship cleat on the dock and back to the aft of the boat) the spring line rests on the toe rail. Which is fine, but in winds it makes the most godawful creaking sound. Why? I dunno. I tried everything to stop this and in the end got rid of spring lines entirely, instead using two bow lines off to either side in a V shape, which not only was a pain and looked SUPER dumb but also caused a lot of jerking around in a storm and probably had people making fun of me behind my back.

Then, I read on the internet that putting a plastic bag under the line would completely stop all the creaking sounds. Sounded too good to be true but one day I tried it and it worked. WHAT THE PHONE. MIND BLOWN. Ok, it doesn’t look like the neatest but with me still not having touched up gudge’s topsides since I got her, it isn’t affecting the prevailing aesthetic of abandoned deathtrap classic yacht really that negatively.


2) Washing up liquid.

Not only can you apparently use it to ‘clean dishes’ (or so various ex-gfs have frustratedly told me) but it can also be squirted on fenders to stop the annoying squeaky sounds when you are being blown into the dock, and can also be put on creaky dock lines to make them less creaky. Magic! Can also get knocked over in a nasty seaway and cover the cabin floor in a thin slippy film, turning the cabin into your own personal ice ring which is super fun and adds excitement to your heavy weather passage! Don’t ask me how I know this.



3) The hilariously called jiggle-siphon, one of these or similar

I have two, one for drinking water and one for fuel and it makes transferring liquids so much easier. Before I had one I had to try to pour a full jerry can in while underway. Also the filler cap is on the side of the boat, so this meant kinda perching on the side and lifting the 40lb can over the side and tilting it. This did not go well.

Now, I just have to put one end in the fuel filler, the jiggle end in the fuel can and jiggle it a bunch. Once the fuel starts flowing, if the jerry can is higher than the other end then the miracle of physics keeps it flowing. So much easier.


4) This net hammock.

This was all Emma, who suggested it to me when we were doing final provisioning. I ummm’ed and I errrrrrr’ed and eventually gave in but it RULES. As well as getting +5 points to my ‘salty sailor’ score, I can put in it all the non-can, non-fridge stuff like bread or fruit. The previous place was the old ice box which was used as dry storage. Unfortunately this is huge and deep and everything gets tossed around in it, so it was colloquially know as ‘the cupboard of doom’ due to stuff that got placed in there tending to vanish, never to be seen again.

So yeah, hammocks. Woo!




  1. If you ever get tired of the black garbage bag solution, they sell things designed for that (I saw them at Fisheries recently). They’re called rub strakes and/or No Wear chafe guard, and they have flexible ones with an adhesive backing for about $12.

    They look better than the garbage bag, but you won’t get that warm fuzzy feeling of the cheap / free solution.

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