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Old 06-11-2013, 10:00   #1
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FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Hello! Boyfriend and I are moving from Ohio onto our sailboat (older 38’ Hughes with not many amenities or space) currently moored in St. John, USVI. We plan to spend the first year or so cruising the Caribbean area and the following year plan to cross the Panama Canal and head to the South Pacific. We have spent the last year getting the boat prepped with all the gadgets and gizmos we need to be able to sail but now I am starting to think about the more stereotypical things us ladies usually think of as far as acutally LIVING aboard J
I have searched threads and end up spinning so any direct links to blogs or threads or a direct answer would be appreciated beyond words!!! Looking for help understanding the following…

1. What clothing essentials do we need to pack? We have minimal space obviously so packing as light as we can but still cover our basics…just can’t find any good info on what liveabaord clothing ‘basics’ are.

2. Along the lines of clothing – girly question – what fabrics do you tend toward or stay away from like the plague? J Particularly bras and such..do you wear them? use swimsuit usually? sport bra perhaps?

3. Kitchenware – We got a lot of hand me downs from our previous boat owner and that is what we have been using when we visit but it is all junk and rusted. Cookware, utensils, plates, cups and gear that will hold up, won’t rust, etc.…recommendations?

4. Personal Hygiene items – seems like for the first year we will have access to various stores and such for toiletry needs and such that arise but likely at a high price. Realistically, should we stock up on deodorant, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, tampons, etc. in Ohio and bring with us? If so, any gauge on how much to bring...3 mos, 6 mos, etc.?

Sorry if these questions seem silly…we have really only met other boaters that stay in the marinas and moorings and don’t move much so we haven’t gotten straight answers as for them it is pretty much like living in an apartment on water. We would appreciate any help you are willing to share. Definitely willing to do reading and such on my own if you have helpful links and blogs you can offer. Thank you so so much in advance!
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:17   #2
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

I am not a female but I can tell you my wife stocks cotton clothing and synthetic fabric items like techwick. The synthetic fabrics offer quick drying and SPF. Cotton offer comfort and cooling. You do not need much. Jeans, lots of bathing suits and some good weather gear">foul weather gear. Some light gear also like a wind breaker and pants.

For question 3, check out The Boat Galley A great website run by a super nice woman.
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:37   #3
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

well i am not a female but grew up in ohio (just south of col) -- but people eat everywhere, they take baths and wash and shave ect everywhere --
when we were in the carib we wore bathing suits and shorts and tee shirts --
get your cooking stuff before you leave the states -- plastic will not rust but the rest will -- we have a principle that we want no glass on board - a lot of others disagree with us on that one but everyone has an opinion on what they will and won't have on board --
in the eastern carib you can get almost anything you need -- but once you head to the western carib things become pretty thin --
so i would load up on boat part spares -- you boat will break and break a lot and spares are really handy -- (it is not just your boat that breaks - all boats break)
if you have not been cruising before, and it sounds like you have not, the first year out is a real steep learning curve and you will figure out what works for you and what does not
but if were to fill the suit cases with anything it would be boat spare parts -- we are headed back to the usa in late feb and will be there for 2-3 weeks - we will carry back 2 large backpacks that will be empty and will come back with them full of boat parts -

and the admiral agrees with what i wrote --

just our opinion and thoughts
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia for the winter
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:48   #4
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Hello Simplerlife -

I AM a female but we will not be cruising until another year or so, so thought your questions were great -- sometimes it's the basics that you really need to ask. I will look forward to the FEMALES answering this thread -- and hopefully they will stay on topic and not give ridiculous answers like, just pack boat parts
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:49   #5
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Thank you, gentlemen. You have proved I should ahve just left the post open rather than appeal to females.

As far as spare parts...excellent point and we have focused on that already. In fact, we have focused so much on getting everything up to speed and having back ups for our backups for all things mechanical that is why I think I feel so panicked about these open items.

The point on the first year being a steep learnign curve...agree 100%. We have no clue what we don't know...but we will learn...potentially the hard way on mant things. But that is just fine with us...beats sitting in this cubicle all day LOL
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Old 06-11-2013, 10:55   #6
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

If you are leaving clothing, etc. behind, either in storage or with family, consider putting a big simple number or label on each box (or the big ziplock spacesaver bags) and taking a copy of the inventory (!) with you, as well as leaving one. Then if you decide you really need something, you can always say "The white sweater in box SIX please" and have things sent ahead for you.

You can have parcels sent to "Poste Restante" at almost any post office worldwide, this is the same thing as "General Delivery" in the US. A post office will usually hold things for several weeks and you can just show ID to pick them up.

It may also be worth looking at American Express cards (a number are free for the first year, $95/year after, but can be cancelled if you find them not worth it) since a "full" AmEx card holder still gets some perqs. They also hold mail and parcels all over, and usually don't charge foreign currency conversion fees. I think Discover and Capital One also charge no currency fees, that's something to check out as well.

Those big "space bags", now owned by Ziplock, can be a great way to pack things. If packed and sealed carefully they do tend to compress things down and protect them very well.

Personal hygiene is not unknown all over the world. Despite toxic toothpaste (literally) and other problems...most of that is available all over although if you have a special flavor or such, it can be worth stockpiling if you have the space for it. Surprisingly, soap is soap, something that works is available all over.

A lot of boats used to carry melamine, the unbreakable plastic dinnerware. it lasts forever, but Corelle is a bit nicer and almost as unbreakable. Tends to literally explode when it breaks, but I'd rather eat on that, than scratched up plastic. There are also all sorts of fiendishly clever silicone "stores flat" strainers, bowls, kitchen stuff that is worth the time spent wandering the aisles in BBBeyond or WalMart if you need to do some replacing. OXO's hand tools are just so much nicer than some of the old metal stuff that lasts forever, so if you're restocking...It all depends on what you use and need. A good knife sharpener, a manual one of course, also makes life in the galley more pleasant. And probably a couple of thin bamboo or poly cutting boards, chosen so they can fit in your sink and get washed in it.

And if you haven't tried one, look at the "green" skillets. They really do work. If I had to start over and just take one or two skillets, that's probably how I'd go.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:24   #7
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liunatic View Post
Hello Simplerlife -

I AM a female but we will not be cruising until another year or so, so thought your questions were great -- sometimes it's the basics that you really need to ask. I will look forward to the FEMALES answering this thread -- and hopefully they will stay on topic and not give ridiculous answers like, just pack boat parts

if you will note and read it all -- you will see that the admiral read and made her comments and they were included -- as someone who has been out 6 years and on the boat 6 years we both kinda think we know a bit about works for us --
as for "ridiculous" -- we are not reading about it but living it


just our thoughts and opinions
chuck patty and svsoulmates
in port yasmine hammamet tunisia
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:29   #8
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

We been a live aboard for 17+ years in the Puget Sound, and itís the cold windy winter months when the water and/or power is out for weeks that we have learned to conserve, but with only 50 amps AC and limited water we also have to conserve during the summer months also. We can get by year around with 30 amps AC and 100 gallons of water per week.

In the summer my wife and I, I am a transgender, wear light cotton support or swim suits with a light short sleeve cotton shirt and cut offs. Make sure it breaths and dries quickly. My wife is bear foot or running shoes with good support as she her ankle is fused, and I am mostly bear foot, sandals and high heels. Loooove heel! Being we are a full time live aboard and getting on in age we also wear cow girl hats to keep the sun off our face, neck and chest. We already have some sun spots, which many live a boards develop over time as even on a cloudy with the waters reflection we get a lot of rays.

Neither of us cook, have not lit the stove/oven for years, mostly micro wave and BBQ/grill. We have NO metal pots or pans and use paper/plastic plates/utensils, so there is ONE sink of dishes per week. We try to get by using less than 100 gallon of water per week. Prefer to heat and eat using the same package/container which is thrown away. I shop once a week, usually Saturday morning, while my wife sleeps in. We eat a lot of deli meet cheeses salads, pre cook or prepared can or package food. If it can not be prepared, eaten and clean up in under 5 minutes in the same contrainer it's to complicated and long.

We both apply sun block and foundation even in winter. So we use sunless tanning lotion and bronzer year around as we tend not to be in and guard against the sun. Our skin is actually lily white under the tan glow. Besides sun block we use a lot of body lotion and baby oil for keep the skin moist with a glow to it. Of course we have personal stuff, tooth brush, shaving. We have prescriptions that need to be refilled ever 30 day so a month supply. In the winter the water is shut off for weeks at a time so we have learned to conserve. We only shower once or twice a week, but quick rinse off or sponge baths as needed to get the dust/sand/salt off. Baby wipes are great! The water pump we have is 30 psi if that and we try not to run the water long. Use only what is needed and turn the water off. Our domestic water pump makes a lot of noise which I prefer as we can hear if the water is running.

Being AC and DC power is limited, limit all the electrical items to a minimum, hair driers, curlers and even hot/warm water. The limited electric and water were the two biggest items we had to get use to as we get lowing the breaker and running out of water. Our boat is fairly big so we have a lot of shoes, cloths, and more shoes.
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Old 06-11-2013, 11:54   #9
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Great information! Keep it coming
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:20   #10
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

I have alot of small to medium sized plastic containers with lids....the semi disposable kind sold in the supermarket. They are useful all over the boat. Store dry food, refrigerated stuff, plastic bags, makeup or toiletries, detergent, etc. Even nuts, clamps, electrical parts etc. Easy to stack, semi transparent.
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Old 06-11-2013, 12:21   #11
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Welcome aboard.

We carry brands or products that Janet feels strongly about for 6 or 8 months. That includes--for us--shampoo, lotions, panty shields, and vitamins. We've found everything we need everywhere in the world but when the brand is important to you carry enough so if you can't find it you have enough to wait for something to be shipped in.

Janet carries a lot of undergarments. Search for ammonia laundry threads - that works for us.

With regard to pots and pans and such, we like Galleyware for plates - the non-skid on the bottom is great. We use classic US Navy ceramic mugs for coffee, glass cups for drinks, and Reidel stemless crystal for cocktails.

For cooking we use the Farberware I bought after college a long time ago. The concept of removable handles and nesting cookware doesn't work for us. The handles aren't stable enough and the space savings doesn't seem significant to us. We use a big Swiss Diamond pan for saute and a Kuhn-Rikon pressure cooker.

We're using the stainless steel flatware my grandmother bought back in the 40s. No problem.

The key seems to be wash up quickly and get things dry.
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Old 06-11-2013, 14:19   #12
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

i have lived aboard since 1990 ,many different boats of d°ffering sizes.
i even did work for a living while living on board..had to look professional while working in hospitals.
now cruising....
bring only what you need. figger out other stuff later.
most everywhere is civilized..may have to change favorite brands of some items while not in usa. most everything is available.
EXCEPT:
bisquik
degree antipersperants
bisquik
root beer
ginger ale
pumpkin pie spice
canned pumpkin
ben and jerrys , south of mazatlan.....
dark chocolate candy..dove ..they do have hersheys amargo chocolate chispas....choc chips...
if you use a sudafed containing allergy pill... get over it..is not for sale in mexico.
did i say bisquik
take what you are comfortable using. it is your home. make it work for you.

btw, i am in mexico wishing i had a root beer float right now.....
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:39   #13
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

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Originally Posted by Liunatic View Post
Hello Simplerlife -

I AM a female but we will not be cruising until another year or so, so thought your questions were great -- sometimes it's the basics that you really need to ask. I will look forward to the FEMALES answering this thread -- and hopefully they will stay on topic and not give ridiculous answers like, just pack boat parts
Well I am not female but I DID grow up in Southern Ohio, just outside of Cincinnati. We've been living aboard for a year and a half, the last year in the Caribbean. In the next few days we are leaving Trinidad to get to Panama...similar itinerary to the original poster.

OK, as far as ridiculous goes...it is true that everywhere people eat, wash, and commit various acts of personal hygiene. The Caribbean is a pretty civilized place, while you might not find a hair conditioner or other hygiene you like on a smaller island like Dominica when you are in places like St. Martin, Martinique, Trinidad, and even islands like St. Lucia and Grenada you have a pretty decent selection. Even of American products you are used to, though you also have a broad range of European products on the French islands. You do need to learn some new brands and experiment with things like soaps, shampoos and toilet paper to see what works for you because you will not always have every brand you saw in the states. But you will not lack for options at reasonable prices.

On the other hand, if you lose the raw water pump on your diesel it will probably cost you twice as much for a new one as in the states. Some places are very good on duties and import fees, but the shipping is STILL outrageous. We spent something like $45 to get a $7 plastic fitting for our water maker shipped to Grenada. Oil filters, fuel filters and consumables all cost a little more to a lot more. Specialty parts, they add up fast.

Basically anything that is a limited vertical market imported product (e.g. ...wait for it...BOAT PARTS) will be more expensive and difficult to come by in the Caribbean. Not unavailable, but generally time consuming to get the replacements and more expensive when you do get them.

Everybody brushes their teeth, not everyone needs to replace their Balmar 24V charge controller.
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:42   #14
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Re: FEMALES: Live Aboard Essentials Help Please

Oh! I forgot! Senior moment! Make sure cloths/shoes/stuff you have can be coordinated/mixed with a number of other items for different occasions/events. Stick with a basic color and style to mix and match to get the most of out what you have. People think I have a lot of cloths/shoes. Its not that I have a lot of cloths, I have a lot of basic cloths/shoes that go with a lot of other things. Well, I don’t think I have a lot! Certainly not as much as I would LIKE to have!

Also make sure you set your male SO straight from the get go. Most long term male live a boards assist/help/do most of the pink duties as we know how blessed we are. Make sure he is willing to help/do most of the pink duties especially duties that require long walk to/from the parking lot, getting dirty/messy and/or heavy lifting. I do most of the laundry and grocery shopping especially when the tide is low. Ramps can be a bitch. Also he should share in preparing the meals. When it my turn its usually with my VISA but when it my wife’s turn many time its still with my VISA.

Lastly it nice to have your own personal space which is off limits to your SO. Remember your space is your space and his space is mostly your space also.
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Old 06-11-2013, 15:50   #15
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Lastly it nice to have your own personal space which is off limits to your SO. Remember your space is your space and his space is mostly your space also.
This had my wife in tears
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