As thrifty as they are salty, contributor-cruisers Jay & Karen Campbell offer up their secrets on six indispensable tools to keep onboard.
Karen and I are gearheads who cruise. Show me a new cool cruising tool, and I swoon. Make it affordable, and I drool. Convince me it’s tested and cruiser-ready, and I click the link to buy now. If you are anything like us, get ready to add at least one lowprice purchase to your better boating “Gotta Get” list. (We have no connection to any of these companies, by the way).
So, what’s our criteria for making this list? If we show a slick piece of boating gear we love to cruising guests on Largo, and the regular response is: “where can I get one?” it makes the list. Here are six out of a baker’s dozen in regular rotation on Largo. For more items, ones that couldn’t fit in this column, stay tuned for more on passagemaker.com.
So here they are: slick and useful tools we couldn’t do without—wouldn’t do without—and not one costs over $30.
Most cruisers dread fuel tank transfers. Decks are slippery and dinghies rock while one hand holds a funnel and the other tilts the feeder tank. It always spills. Cruising is hard enough without dumping fuel into a wave-tossed boat. We’ve used TeraPump battery fuel pumps on our boat for years to transfer gas, diesel, and water. This model transfers liquid at a rate of 10 quarts per minute. Nearly 500 reviews on Amazon an average user rating of 4.7/5. We love these pumps. Just put one end in the fuel or other liquid, flip the switch, and watch this little giant suck your troubles away through the transparent flexible hose.
BEST ANCHOR SHACKLE
Arguments over anchor tackle are unavoidable, but I have yet to hear anything but love for this little gem from Crosby. It is rated to equal or exceed your chain’s working and breaking loads (this description is for the 3/8-inch shackle, with a 1-ton working load limit). It has a threaded bolt and cotter pin designed for belt-and-suspenders coverage.
Above Left: This lineup of “Gotta Get Gear” includes: Can Caps, for keeping drinks fresh; An NRS 1.5-inch cam buckle lashing strap; Crosby galvanized anchor shackle with a threaded bolt and cotter pin; 2 of the Cressi take- down dive knives, showing one assembled and the other taken apart for cleaning and oiling.
Left: This ¾-inch dock line shows one use (of many) for the Ball Bungee Cords (these are the 9-inch variety). Virtually every line and extension cord on our boat is secured with these fabulous stretchy cords.
Above: Karen demonstrates how easy fuel transfer is on our dinghy: Simply drop the TeraPump drawing end into the filler tank, and place the flexible transparent fuel hose into the empty dinghy tank. Done with spills forever.