It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas over here in these parts. Despite midday temperatures nearing 80 degrees, we’ve had a few chilly nights this week requiring massive amounts of cuddling and every blanket we have on this boat. One morning I woke to find the thermometer hovering below 45! While that is certainly not the Caribbean temperatures we had in mind for Chance, it does make it feel more like the holidays.
Since Christmas is only 5 days away I wanted to share my top 10 list of last minute gifts perfect for cruisers. These are tried and true recommendations straight from our experiences.
- #10 – 12v Mac Charger. This sucker draws less power than and seems to charge my laptop faster than my regular 110v charger being plugged into the inverter. It even has an extra USB slot to charge your phone or ipod at the same time. You do need to order this guy online, but you can still get it by Christmas with Prime Shipping (we LOVE Amazon Prime).
- #9 – Dual USB 12 volt plugs. Our whole boat runs on 12v power and we’ve eliminated most of our need for 110v power. These plugs allow us to charge our phones, tablets, and ipod. The only things we have that still run on 110v power inverter are Jason’s computer and our drill battery charger. You can find these at the checkout counter of any TJ Maxx or Marshalls. Try to find one that is powerful enough to charge an iPad or tablet.
- #8 – Digital Volt Meters. These suckers were less $10 each and have been a blessing in helping us understand and dissect our power issues. Available through Amazon Prime.
- #7 – Wire crimper and strippers. These tools make wiring a breeze. Even I can do it (along with Jason’s tutelage). They work as well as much more expensive tools. Available through Amazon Prime.
- #6 – Digital Clamp Meter. This is honestly Jason’s territory but he says this deserves a spot on my list. It has helped us find the “ghost” in our power system.
- #5 – Kindle. This is the priciest gift on our list but worth every penny. It allows us to store thousands of books but takes up less space than a paperback. Spring for the back lit version for late night reading. Obviously an Amazon Prime purchase.
- #4 – Folding Dolly. Ever try to carry a 5 gallon jerry full of water back to your dinghy? With each gallon of water weighing in over 8lbs these things can get quite challenging to manage when full. Don’t forget the 1/2 mile walk to the gas station to fill up that jerry.
- #3 – Baby wipes. Sometimes it isn’t always possible to shower. These are a lifesaver. Don’t judge.
- #2 – Velcro Strips. These things are little strips straight from heaven. They come in handy more than you would ever think. From keeping your electronics cords in order to attaching your shore power cable to your hard rails to even keeping all the wires in your chase these things are amazing. I find new uses for these each and every day. Get these bad boys at Walmart.
- #1 – And finally, boxed wine. We’ve professed our new love of boxed wine before and the holidays are no exception to the party. Since it is the holidays, spring for the good stuff – Bota Box Shiraz or Big House Zinfandel. If you’ve never bought boxed wine before don’t be scared about the seemingly higher price tag, each box is four bottles of wine! Any ABC Liquor or Total Wine should stock both of these.
- Bonus: Honestly our subscription to Amazon Prime has been one of the best things we bought, well renewed, once we moved aboard. Without a car ordering our supplies online has made life so much easier. We’ve bought everything from flea & tick medicine for the dogs to many of our stainless nuts & bolts through Amazon. If only they would venture more into the grocery store angle they would truly be a one stop shop [Ed Note 12/18/2015 – they now have Amazon Fresh!]. Sadly, Amazon Prime is only available in the US. Now, if we could only get the drones to deliver right to our lat and long.