Jim, I appreciate your point about oil absorbent pad not being as cheap
in Aus as they are in the U.S. I also agree knowing alternative back ups can come in very handy.
However, when it comes to frugality, trust me I'm about as frugal as it gets. My first cruising boat had a 30-year old diesel
in it. I had no oil absorbent pads at first and often ended up with fuel
or oil mixing with water in the bilge
. I learned the hard way that using cheaper items which must soak up both bilge
water and oil is very cost ineffective, causes all sorts of disposal issues and still leaves a residue. Add the bilge pump
going off and all of a sudden you may be discharging oil or fuel overboard
which can be a very difficult or expensive clean up or at the very least not very environmentally friendly. All because you were too frugal to spend a few bucks on a pad.
A pack of 100 oil only aborbant pads costs less than US$100. Shipping
from the U.S. and splitting the cost with 5-10 other cruisers is probably much more frugal than most of the options mentioned here. I imagine the same is true if buying
locally. How would even a $15 absorber to soak the oil out of 2 gallons of water compare to the cost of enough maxi
pads required to soak up 2 gallons of water and oil? - not to mention you then have gallons worth of soaking, oil filled maxi
pads to dispose of. (And how will you female crew feel not having any more maxi-pads?)
I'm frugal, but compared to most any maintenance
item on a boat, this is cheap
. Even at 20 times the prices I pay, an oil absorber would still be cheaper than a dingy repair kit, cheaper than a sail sewing kit, cheaper than a roll of sail tape, about as cheap as a tube of 5200, and about the same as the oil for a single oil change
. It seems to me there are better ways to keep the costs down than trying to eliminate the need to buy an oil absorbing bilge pad.
Is it good to know some alternatives? - yes, absolutely, but I think the comparatively inexpensive price
of a oil/fuel absorbing pad for the bilge is money
well frugally spent. it's a responsible thing to do to protect the environment
and could save you a world of headache and mess.