Into the Rabbit Hole

by Tanya 26. June 2014 09:31

Oh, how I look forward to long, boring passages. Really. Time seems to telescope as the instruments count the tenths of nautical miles to the destination. And what shall we do with all this time? Eat very slowly? Talk? Read aloud by the hour? Fish? Watch the fabric of the ocean for the interruption of flying fish or the dolphins of Happiness—or, maybe, if we’re lucky, a whale? Stare lovingly into the deep-blue water and wonder, "what are those specks floating all over the place?" This morning, as we glided over the glassy surface of the Gulf Stream, for lack of anything better to do, I grabbed a bucketful of water, dug the microscope out of the science bin, found some slides, a petri dish, and an eyedropper and opened the Ocean Lab.

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This morning’s victim was what I might call a “Floating Puffball from Inner Space.” I suspected it to be algae of some sort. It was a globe of greenish-brown with fine hair sticking out in all directions, about the size of a poppy seed. I sucked it up into the eyedropper and deposited it on a slide in a drop of water. At 40X, it looked like a mass of very fine tangled hair. At 100X, I began to see other, smaller things moving in and out among the hairs, and at 400X, the thing looked like a forest with small animals running in and out of the trees, changing direction mid-stream, diving and flying between the foliage. Each tree trunk was a hair—it was only a few cells thick, and it was clear from the cellular structure that it was plant-kind, but there was movement within each stalk and each moved like a tree waving slowly in a breeze. The tiny one-celled creatures within the forest of algal stems moved with incredible speed and energy. I felt like I was looking at Horton’s Whos down in Whoville. It was mesmerizing.

Once, at a local farmer’s market, I bought a head of heirloom broccoli, not because I wanted to eat it, but because I wanted to look at it up close: its stalk was a perfect spiral staircase of florets, with each floret a perfect spiral of buds, and each bud, in turn, a spiral. It was a perfect fractal repeating to the microscopic level. We have, for school and for fun, looked at inner cheek skin cells (animal), onion skin (vegetable), salt crystals (mineral), a honey bee’s stinger (barbs on barbs!), tiny brine shrimp (with compound eyes), the statue of Lincoln inside his Washington D.C. Memorial (on a penny), no-see-ums (look at those jaws!), hairy spider legs, fleas, and anything else we could capture and study. The C & A Scientific “My First Lab” Duo-Scope portable microscope with battery-operated LED bulbs (allowing you to look at both opaque and translucent objects) is probably the best science purchase we have ever made. It is so easy to use that even the youngest of our children has been able to view the tiny things on the slide—with the instant reward of discovering something strange and new.

The more I stare at that bright circle at the bottom of the dark tube into the magical world of the unseen things, the more I wonder how deep the rabbit hole goes. If a tiny alga can be home to animals as numerous as squirrels in the woods, what else can be possible? I read that we are, by genetic material, only one percent human. That makes me a planet-home to microbes more numerous than the population of humans on earth. Is everything a microcosm—a world inside a world? I feel like a peeping Tom peering in at a Creation too great for my limited intellect. This is usually the point at which I have to put the microscope away and look at the horizon because I suddenly feel a bit dizzy.

 

The Best Ice Cube Trays

by Tanya 2. June 2013 08:22

This may seem like a frivolous thing to write about, but when freezer space is so limited and ice cube trays prove to be just one more piece of plastic here today and on a trash heap tomorrow—and for the next hundred years—it becomes meaningful. After doing some research at Amazon and reading lots of reviews, finding people who did even more ridiculous amounts of research, we concluded that OXO makes the best ice cube trays around. I’m not surprised, as we have several “best” kitchen gadgets from OXO.  We’ve used the trays for a couple of months and I would have to agree that they are the best I have ever had. I bought five stacking trays, which provide enough ice for cold drinks and a daily smoothie.

Perhaps at this point you are wondering, what could be so special about an ice cube tray? (Or, even, who knew you could make ice on a sailboat?) Well, let me tell you! The OXO Good Grips No Spill Ice Cube Tray has a revolutionary shape which makes getting the cubes out of the tray very easy. My old Rubbermaid trays were very sturdy and lasted a long time, but eventually the bending and flexing necessary to get the square cubes out caused the plastic to crack and break. Not so with the Oxo—simply twist lightly and the half-moon shaped ice cubes pop right out.

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The trays have a silicone cover, which is a unique and never-before-seen feature. You fill the tray, lay the cover over the top and lightly press while tilting to pour off any excess water and seal the tray. A vacuum effect results, and the covered cubes can now be placed inside the freezer, and will not leak or spill, even if they are tilted or placed on an uneven surface. This proves to be especially helpful on a boat. When we are on a passage, we tend to use a lot of ice in drinks, and I usually can’t make more because of the motion of the boat. With these trays, the rocking and rolling doesn’t affect the outcome.

Granted, this whole discussion of the best ice cube trays becomes moot if you live on the average small cruising boat. We’ve met lots of people out cruising who live without refrigeration at all and for whom a cold drink is a special treat, and a frozen beverage something you pay $8 for in a restaurant. For us this question of refrigeration highlights a difference between living comfortably and camping. When we make decisions about our boat, they are decisions about our home and our lives for the foreseeable future, so although we like the idea of traveling light and living simply, we balance that with long-term comfort. And a daily smoothie is part of our healthy lifestyle, so big inverters for the fancy blender and plenty of ice cubes are a must. We had lots of fun opportunities in the Bahamas to invite friends from other boats over and serve them icy drinks and frozen concoctions, much to their amazement and delight. That’s what it’s all about! Now if only I could get one of my crafty kids to make some tiny paper umbrellas…

Still Thriving

by Tanya 20. April 2013 12:36

A quick update on our experiment with freeze dried Thrive foods: they’re even better than I had hoped. We’ve been gone one month now; the freezer is almost empty, the fresh food we bought in Marathon is long gone, we have some canned beans and tomatoes, but we are still eating like kings! Between the freeze dried food and the whole grains we carry, we have an incredible variety of menu options. We are now nearer to civilization, so we have access to island markets (supplies limited between mail boats), but normally at this point in a trip we’d be stuck with simpler options like oatmeal with raisins for breakfast, PBJs for lunch, and rice and beans or spaghetti for dinner. I feel an unspeakable joy to serve a dish with all the colors and aromas of fresh fruits and veggies when I’m hundreds of miles from the closest farmer’s market.

Some of the dishes in which I have used Thrive foods (in parentheses) include: BBQ chicken pizza (chicken), spaghetti with meat sauce (beef crumbles), pepperoni pizza appetizers  (mozzarella), baked potato soup (potatoes, celery, broccoli, onions and cheddar cheese, milk and sour cream), baked oatmeal (green apples, eggs, milk), minestrone soup (corn, peas, spinach, green beans, carrots, onions, bell peppers), pancakes with berry compote (eggs, milk, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries), sausage and cheese griddle bread (sausage crumbles, cheddar), frittata (sausage crumbles, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, bell peppers, onions, cheddar), chili (bell peppers, onions, beef crumbles) and chicken and dumplings (celery, onions, carrots, peas, green beans). 

Where they excel is in one-dish dinners—simply throw in a handful of this and a handful of that and voilá! Gourmet meals in minutes. Limitations might be that I didn’t carry enough fruit (we could have been drinking smoothies this whole time!), and that the vegetables and meats are best used as ingredients and not served as a side dish (for example, it would be better to put the green beans in a casserole than to cook and eat them alone). One reason may be that when you rehydrate veggies or meats in some kind of broth, they take on the flavor of the dish and taste that much better. The only exception is butter powder: I wouldn’t sauté anything in it, but reconstituted with a little bit of water and expeller-pressed coconut oil, it becomes the most wonderful spread for fresh-baked bread or pancakes. A quick survey of the crew of Take Two would find them very satisfied with dishes coming out of our galley, with my Thrive substitutions virtually indistinguishable from fresh ingredients in favorite recipes.

Pots and Pans

by Tanya 10. November 2012 16:32

Very few pieces of gear on our boat get as much use as the pots and pans in the galley. In addition to my treasured cast iron skillet set, I have nesting stainless steel pots by Galleyware. I’ve had them for several years now, and aside from a few dings (from kids using them as drums), they are in good shape. The detachable handles aren’t doing so well, though, and when I looked at the replacement parts at www.galleyware.com , I saw that they had improved the design of the set and the way the handles attach/detach, so I decided to replace the pots and pans entirely. And boy, am I glad I did!

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I love these pots and pans. There are 12 pieces in the $138 set: a stock pot, a skillet (which can also serve as a cover for the stock pot), a 3-qt. pot, a 2 1/2-qt. pot, a 2 quart pot, 2 detachable handles, a large universal lid, and 4 plastic covers for storing leftovers. I also bought a small universal lid which fits the three smaller pots. They are made of heavy, marine-grade stainless steel, with an aluminum core for good heat distribution. The whole set nests neatly in the stock pot and fits in a drawer. One of my favorite features of this particular brand is the plastic storage lids; you can detach the handle, cover the pot and stick it in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch, making leftovers easy to warm up.

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This product is tried and tested—one I can recommend wholeheartedly to those who own boats or RVs or who simply want to reduce clutter and save space. For what it’s worth, these pots and pans get the Take Two seal of approval.

These Shoes Were Made For Walking

by Tanya 23. August 2012 22:26

…And hiking, and sailing, and biking, and spelunking, and playing ball. I have found the best shoes for our traveling lifestyle. Two-and-a-half years ago, I bought two pairs of ECCO Yucatan sandals, in black and brown. At a hundred dollars a pair, they were pricey for sandals, but since we sold the house and gave away all my other shoes, I needed something  to wear that would be versatile, attractive and durable. Those shoes saw a lot of diverse mileage, I can tell you. And they survived a pregnancy, which is a feat. I recently replaced them…with two new pairs of ECCO Yucatan sandals, in black and brown.

They are extremely comfortable, have great traction and support, and are cute to boot. I know lots of people swear by TEVAs (Jay has a pair of flip-flops, complete with scuppers), but I’ve never heard of a TEVA lasting for 2 ½ years of daily use! Jay replaces his about once a year, and they spend the last couple of months outside because the foot bed eventually takes on a distinctive aroma.

Because children are so hard on shoes, grow so fast and spend so much time barefoot, it doesn’t make sense to spend a lot of money on their footwear. The best option for them is the Croc. Waterproof, relatively inexpensive, comfortable, quick and easy, the Crocs live in a basket outside the door, and the kids can grab them and go and be ready in an instant. They usually grow through about two pairs each year, and ordering online and shipping them wherever we are means we can avoid going on the dreaded shoe-shopping trip.

One thing we love about our lifestyle is its simplicity. Less stuff means less clutter, less to keep track of, and less to take care of. That goes for everything from head to toe—or I should say, buzz cuts to Crocs.

The Mercedes-Benz of Pressure Cookers

by Tanya 26. December 2011 14:20

Having the right tools in the galley is essential to making great meals on a boat. I have written elsewhere about how much I love my Vitamix blender/grinder and my Foodsaver vacuum-sealer, but the newest addition, a Kuhn-Rikon Duromatic pressure cooker, may end up being my favorite.

The Swiss engineers at Kuhn-Rikon are obviously very proud of their product, congratulating the purchaser for buying “the Mercedes-Benz of pressure cookers.” Of course, that implies that it was expensive, but it was also the only pressure cooker that met my requirements: it is a 12-quart, stainless steel, 2-pressure-setting beast of a pot. It has won a prominent spot in the corner of the galley, more because I have nowhere else to put something so large than because I am particularly proud of it. Also, unless an appliance is easy to come by, it will get neglected due to the “out-of-sight-out-of-mind” syndrome.

I was always a slow-cooker kind of girl, but the crock-pot and the boat’s electric system used to have the occasional disagreement that led to ruining dinner. I knew many boaters had pressure cookers instead of crock pots, and now I know why. So far, I am very pleased with it. I am incredulous how quickly it cooks things that used to take forever—a chicken, for example—which takes almost two hours in the oven, took only 20 minutes to pressure-cook! And with the carcass, I made a bone broth in about an hour, something that I used to simmer overnight when we lived in a house and didn’t worry about conserving fuel. I have also made a pot roast, a rice pudding, Boston “baked” beans, a 20-minute meatloaf, butternut squash, potatoes, and a few soups. Though I have not (yet) noticed fuel savings, I have noticed that the galley doesn’t get as hot as when I use the oven, especially if I take the pot to the cockpit to de-pressurize.

Other uses for the pressure cooker about which I am excited are canning and sterilizing. I have up until now only done boiling-water canning with jams and other acidic items. Pressure canning allows me to can soups, meats, and vegetables. Not that I am planning a big canning spree, but you never know. When we did our emergency medical training, we learned that surgical instruments can be easily sterilized using pressurized steam. Hopefully I won’t need to do that, but now I can.

I am not only looking forward to modifying my favorite recipes for the pressure cooker, but also trying some new things, like pork shoulder for BBQ, black beans and rice, corned beef and cabbage, and the world’s-best creamy coconut flan for which my friend Chachi gave me a flan pan and recipe at Christmas (thank you)! While I wish I had known about the pressure cooker before now, I’m not sure I would have used it when I lived in the house. An oven with a timer and a slow-cooker may have made the pressure-cooker overkill. And, unless someone is cooking for a crowd, a cooker as large as mine is unnecessary. Lots of fellow boaters swear by these pots, and it has certainly earned a place in our galley. Initially we were resistant to buying one, but now that we have it we can’t figure out what we would do without it.

PFD Review

by Tanya 25. September 2011 21:52

For those of you outside of boating, PFD stands for Personal Flotation Device, or, in plain English, life jacket. Everyone in our family has one, though they are all slightly different. We’ve had several types, and since we spend a good bit of the time underway wearing them, we’ve searched and researched until we’ve found ones that place safety and comfort at the top of the list. Jay has a Mustang Survival Type V Inflatable jacket with a hydrostatic gauge and D-rings for a harness. Mine is similar, a West Marine Brand inflatable vest, which I find only slightly uncomfortable, and which does not have D-rings for a harness. It is a lovely shade of lavender, though. We only wear ours when sailing at night or when on watch by ourselves, or during rough weather.

The kids, on the other hand, wear their life jackets any time they step out of the door and into the cockpit when we’re underway. Their life jackets, with the exception of the infant jacket, are Mustang Survival Type II Children’s life vests. The 30-50 pound jacket zips and fastens through the legs with webbing, and also has a flotation “pillow” behind the head with a webbing strap, designed to help a small person stay face up in the water, and be easy to grab. The other jackets are 50-90 pound vests and have zip closures without the crotch strap or pillow. They are nylon with mesh sides for ventilation and we rarely hear complaints about their being uncomfortable. Of course, it wouldn’t do any good to complain, anyway, but the four older kids are able to go about their business without impediment while wearing them. Jay customized them with reflective tape last year and a kid would light up like Christmas if we had to find one in the dark with a flashlight.

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Rachel poses a bit of a problem when it comes to life jackets. She’s too little to understand why she must wear one, and the most vocal when uncomfortable. The nylon one we had for infants to 30 pounds simply swallowed her up and was so bulky it was hard to hold onto her when she was in it. Plus she screamed the whole time she wore it. The neoprene life jacket (HO Sports), on the other hand, was much smaller and seemed a lot more comfortable. The one disadvantage we noticed is that it doesn’t breathe and she got really sweaty wearing it. But until she gets bigger and grows into the yellow Mustang, we’re happy with the softer neoprene one and recommend it for the smallest sailors.

Splendide Indeed

by Tanya 15. June 2011 00:10

After having used the Italian-made Splendide marine washer/dryer for about a month now, I feel comfortable offering praise for it and have only a few reservations. First, some recommendations—if you’re in the market for a washer/dryer unit on your boat, the Splendide does live up to its name, presuming you get the vented model (the un-vented one leaves clothing feeling damp), and have budgeted for power and water usage, and have it plumbed to dump the gray water directly overboard. Jay had initially hooked it up so it drained into the bilge (for convenient installation), but that didn’t work and he had to come up with a better solution.

The Splendide appears to be very energy efficient and uses water conservatively. It takes very little soap. It gets clothing cleaner than I could ever do by hand and does a great job on Rachel’s diapers, provided I run a rinse/spin cycle before washing. It is easy to use once you figure out their system (I have a cycle description cheat sheet), and it is extremely quiet.  The load size is significantly smaller than a normal household machine, but then so were the loads I would stuff into the Wonder Wash. This thing makes life on Take Two so much easier. At the dock, I’m no longer tied to the laundry room all day and on the hook I will not have to wash clothes by hand, though we will probably use the lifelines instead of the machine to dry them.

The small reservations I have revolve around my not knowing how it will behave once we are “off the grid.” Will we have to run the generator while it’s washing? Will the water pumps supply the water it wants? How much more water will we be using than before (or how much less)? My one tiny complaint is that it’s hard to do sheets and towels because they are inherently larger loads. Also, it takes a really long time to do its job, so running more than one or two loads a day isn’t really feasible. Aside from these concerns, I am completely satisfied and regularly thank Jay for installing it—I know I’m not supposed to love an inanimate object, but this thing really is my new best friend.

Best Baby Gear for a Boat, Part I

by Tanya 23. May 2011 22:12

I’ve been a mom for almost ten years now, and have familiarity with—and sometimes intimate knowledge of—a lot of baby gear. Much of it, I have come to realize, is extraneous and some borderline ridiculous.  As we have streamlined our lives I have had to reassess things I thought were “needs” and re-categorize them as “wants.” Need, I used to tell my kindergarten students, involves dying if you don’t get it. For a newborn, needs are relatively few: they need food, a safe place to sleep, a safe/easy way to travel, a clean diaper, and someone to cuddle with.

Our baby is lucky—she has six people to cuddle with, so we can check that one off the list. (I do, however, highly recommend getting a seven year old girl if you have a newborn around as they are very helpful. Sarah has some cuddle time every morning with Rachel while I am making breakfast.)¬ As we are firm believers that “breast is best,” we can check food off the list, too. I will note that my favorite nursing bras are the Bravado bras ($30) and that a Boppy pillow ($30), though not necessary, does come in handy. Where to put it on a boat is another question entirely.

As for a safe place to sleep, we have had a crib built into a single berth in one of the hulls, but for the first weeks aboard, Rachel has been sleeping in our berth, at the foot of our bed in a straw “Moses” basket that was woven for her in the Bahamas.  We love the basket, but it has limited usefulness because babies grow so fast—by the time she is five months old, she’ll be too big and also able to roll out of it. On the other hand, having a mobile bed is great—she has taken several naps in the shade up by the pool, and in the cockpit. It sure beats a large and unwieldy playpen/folding crib like the Pack n’ Play that we used for the other children. I can recommend a basket ($40-$80), but it will have to be stored somewhere after it has become obsolete. The crib, incidentally, is perfect and we are really happy—it will break down easily for access to the compartments underneath, and the end of the crib is removable to make the sleeping space available for a toddler or larger child.

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For safe and easy travel, I can recommend two things: the best stroller I have ever found, the Chicco Liteway Stroller ($140), and the best baby carrier, the Ergo ($115).  Having had four strollers at one point when we lived in the house (a travel system, an umbrella stroller, a double stroller, and a universal stroller for transferring a car seat without disturbing the baby) and having used virtually every kind of baby carrier, I feel pretty confident in using the word best. The Chicco Liteway can be lifted, folded and unfolded with one hand (and a foot), fits in our dock box or a lazarette on the boat, reclines for newborn or naptime use, has a five-point harness to keep a toddler in place, has a sunshade, cup holder and storage basket, and is constructed of aluminum, plastic and canvas to make it weather-resistant. What more could I ask? (Maybe a snack tray and rain cover…) The Ergo is, as the name suggests, ergonomic for mother and baby. Mom bears the weight on her legs (like a frame pack), and the baby’s spine is supported (as opposed to dangling a by the crotch). It works for newborns as well as toddlers up to forty pounds, is washable, compact enough to stuff in a bag, can be fastened by the wearer (without help), has a sunshade and zipper pocket, and can be worn on the front, back, and even hip. I love this thing—I actually walked around Publix last week with a two-week old baby and was able to discreetly nurse her while I shopped—the ultimate in multi-tasking!  I can even go to the bathroom without removing the carrier or baby. Because it is so comfortable, I can wear it for hours without a backache. Sam spent a good amount of his infancy in it, and I was able to handle lines and help with docking and anchoring with him on my back! It’s great for dinghy rides, hiking, and beach trips, too. As a bonus, when people make the annoying and repetitive comment, “Boy, you’ve got your hands full!” I just hold up my hands and say, “Actually, I’ve got both hands free!”

The last item, diapering, is near and dear to my heart, as I have spent eight of the last ten years taking care of small butts. We have always used cloth diapers, even when we lived in the house, because I couldn’t stand the idea that my children’s diapers would probably outlive them if they were made of plastic and buried in a landfill somewhere. Because we live on a boat and travel, buying and storing enough diapers would be difficult to impossible. Cloth is economical, better for the baby and the environment, and encourages earlier potty-training.

For the other four children, we used a brand called Indisposables and I really liked them. They are pre-formed cotton flannel diapers, with thick padding in the middle, elastic legs and waist, and Velcro fasteners. They are used in conjunction with vinyl covers (either waterproof pants or Velcro-closure wraps) and flannel wipes. They cost about $300 and last on average 2 ½ children, assuming two years of use per kid. They were falling apart by the time Sam arrived, so we bought new ones. They can be washed and hung to dry, and don’t require folding. For Rachel, I was looking for similar diapers, but wanted something that would dry faster and look more innocuous on the lifelines. I found a great deal on a starter kit: the Bummis Organic Cotton Diaper Kit ($170), which came with two dozen tri-fold flat diapers, six waterproof Velcro-fastener covers, a waterproof hanging bag (to use as a washable diaper pail), polyester liners for nap/night time use, and other assorted accessories. I love them, and they do dry faster, spending less time on the lifelines. I have to do a load every day or two, but as we now have a washer/dryer on the boat, it’s no big deal. There is a third kind of diaper which I have not tried, an all-in-one where the waterproof cover has a cotton liner, and is fully adjustable for newborn-through-toddler size—but my sister-in-law is sending me some, so I’ll have write later about those. For now, the Bummis are working great and seem to be ideal for a boating family with a baby.

Needless to say, we are enjoying our new crew member immensely. She is a joy to be around and sleeps like, well, a baby. I’m also loving the new baby stuff—it seems like I have finally figured out after five kids how to identify gear that makes sense and gives me a lot of bang for my buck. If I’m not an expert by now, I guess I never will be.

A Perfect Kitchen Faucet

by Jay 7. March 2011 14:10

The summer project schedule is in full swing.  We’re in the process of commissioning the big ones requiring wood and fabric work beyond our time and skill, and there are also a bunch of little ones that we are equally excited about.  

One of the little ones that we are unduly excited about is the new galley faucet I put in yesterday.  It may seem mundane, but it is a huge improvement and we can’t believe we didn’t do it before.  

The old one was a standard household “pull-out spray” faucet.  We had several complaints about it, all of which center on water and energy conservation.  First, the faucet was a “single lever” type.  It probably doesn’t bear explanation, but the lever is raised and lowered to control flow, and articulated left and right to control temperature.  It was a challenge for us to keep the lever pointed all the way over to the cold side to avoid unnecessarily mixing in our hot water.  It was also natural to simply flip the lever up to full height to turn on the water, especially for the kids, who often wash their hands in the kitchen sink.  You really had to consciously think about using less water, and as a result the faucet was often on full flow unnecessarily.  

The primary purpose of the galley sink is washing dishes and this is where most of the water goes.  No matter how careful she was, Tanya was constantly using too much water or hot water.  The reason is because it was a three-handed job:  one to hold the article being washed, one to hold the spray handle, and one to turn the water on and off.  The result is that the water wasn’t turned off as often or as quickly as it should have been, and then it was turned back on with too much force or the wrong temperature.  

In a house these problems probably wouldn’t be noticeable, but every gallon counts on a boat, even one as lavish with power and water as ours.  So we started looking for a new faucet with three basic requirements: separate hot & cold valves, a way to regulate the flow unrelated to turning it on or off, and a pause button on the handle.  

You can go to Lowe’s or Home Depot and see a whole wall of faucets.  Our old one is there.  If you remove the cosmetic factors, there are very few differences between them.  That alone says something about all of us as consumers.  Of the features that we had determined were essential to water and energy conservation on our boat, the only one offered by this wall of faucets displayed to millions and millions of homeowners was the separate hot & cold valves.  And most probably view that as a cosmetic choice.  I think that says something else.

We did find a new faucet that satisfied our requirements.  It was in our bathroom.  It is made by ShurFlo, a company that markets products for marine and RV use.  They make many faucets, but only one that has the crucial pause button.  They call it a “trickle valve”, but it can be used to effectively stop the flow (not entirely, hence the “trickle” name) with one hand while using the spray handle.  It can also be partially engaged to restrict the flow, and the setting persists between uses.  Perfect for kids and hand washing.  We bought this great faucet (model #135-0204-CW) by accident.  It happens to be their least stupid-looking.  

One quirky thing about it is that the knobs aren't quite intuitive.  In our opinion the knobs turn the wrong direction or the hot is on the wrong side, depending on what direction the faucet body faces.  So we face the faucet the way we want the knobs to turn and swap the little red and blue markers to put hot on the side we want.

We’re expecting this new faucet to yield big benefits on our next cruise.  Less water use means less time running the water maker (and less noise), means more net power from the solar panels, means less generator run-time (and less noise), means more time between trips to the fuel dock.  Conserving the hot water is important if we’ll be reducing generator run-time since that is how we heat it.

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About Us

Jay and Tanya bought Take Two, a 48' catamaran, to slowly go broke while teaching their children about the world and having a great time.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

-- Mark Twain

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