Living aboard a boat is different than living in a house, unless maybe you live in a tiny house! We take no space for granted and have very little room for fluff. A lot of things have to do double duty. I thought I’d share a few of the ways we are doing  just that.

I can not tell you the number of times I have walked away from the fender department in West Marine shaking my head in awe of the price of those round ball shaped fenders. They are anywhere from $50 to $350 a piece! It occurred to me last February as we were preparing to cast off the lines that we were going to need to bite the bullet and buy at least two. Then the memory of my kids bouncing on the Kangaroo Ball led me to an amazon search where I found the latest version of the same toy. These are exactly as I remembered.  Why couldn’t we use them to fend off the dinghy while it was tied astern? I ordered two, $12.00 a piece, and we put them to the test. They come with their own pump to inflate them. We tested them through the westerly blows that plagued Destin Harbor through the winter months and they did great! If you are a frugal cruiser click the above link and order several for your vessel. The dinghy rode just fine snugged up to the two blue (toy!) balls. I keep two for spares under the helm. They take no time to inflate.  We might get some stares for our unconventional fender system but the wallet is fatter. They can double as an exercise ball, extra seat or bolster as well!

The makeshift fenders keep the dinghy off the swim platform with no problem.

Dampness and roaches go hand in hand on a boat. If you have one, you will no doubt have the other. We have some problem areas where dampness lurks on Pelican, plus I DESPISE ROACHES! I’m a yankee. I will never get used to them, ever!! My solution came from a conversation with my sister Lynn. She was telling me about a piece of used furniture she bought that reeked of smoke from the prior owner’s habit. Even though it in incredibly effective we hate the smell of DampRid, which many people use to get rid of smells and moiture. As an alternative Lynn sprinkled kitty litter in the drawers of the chest and the odor went away. Enter my roach bait hack! I cut the bottom off of water bottles and placed kitty litter in them so I could tuck them into my dampest corners and nooks. But, I was very afraid the kitty litter would attract roaches, so I laced it with about a tablespoon of boric acid .  Not only have the damp areas freshened and dried up but we have seen almost no roaches and absolutely no ants or silverfish.  I replace the mixture about once a month.

I knew I could not go aboard for the entire year and not get my hands dirty. I don’t grow a lot of things at the house but I like to cultivate low maintainance pots and I love lots of shades of green. I took along my flower pouches planted with vincas, basil, and mint and watch them thrive! I hang them from the rails with s-hooks and we get compliments on them daily. Shoot me a comment if you want some. I have them available to sell. If you like to grow things while underway this will be the best $7.00 you will ever spend!


My “girls” thrived all summer in my flower pouches hanging off the stern.

This month we are land lubbers. We have battened Pelican down in Shelter Cove, hoping for no storm threats while we are staying on the Gulf side of life for a few weeks. A stop in Destin to check on things and attend a wonderful wedding celebration of our son’s friend Bandon, and now we’re settling in at the house for a few weeks. The week ahead will find us hanging out at LEE TRACY  and attending  lots of  Cruisin the Coast activities in Ocean Springs. We hope you will stop in and say HI!

One Reply to “Money saving tricks and tips”

  1. Lee, Love all your post very good usable hints. We are in Texas for six months will resume in May and spend the summer in Canada. Hugs to you and Mac

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