Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best Boaters Accessory nominations

Back to the awards and our penultimate prize.  This is for the item which is most useful when you are out boating.  This is a good one for you to join in on.  All suggestions considered.

Note: There are some exclusions, viz:

A boat
All the fixtures within, otherwise it might have to be the toilet, and we wouldn't want that would we?
Essentials such a windlasses, mooring stakes, gangplanks etc.
Fancy fixtures like solar panels
Food and drink (otherwise Jim McBeam might win too easily)
Waterproof clothing - vital but not exciting enough

 No, it has to be something simple that you are glad to have and /or something you would regret not having if you forgot to bring it.

and my suggestions (in no particular order) are:

1 A canalometer, beautifully modelled here by a scarily semi naked Simon  with the mighty Tortoise in the background

This amazing device must have been invented by a genious  (modesty forbids me to say who), and it tells me how long it will take to reach the pub.  Clearly a vital piece of kit.  Should you be unfamiliar with Canalometers (shame on you) there is a link on the right hand side of this blog.

2. A battery-less torch.  Canals don't tend to have street lights, so when you are out and about after dark you often need a torch unless you like having a midnight dip in the Grand Union.  However torches with batteries are a waste of time.  They always run out just when you need them.  We use this super little hand powered jobby which you can buy in lots of shops quite cheaply.

It works and except for high summer it gets used virtually every day.

3. A hot water bottle.  Its a cold night, and the bed on the boat is up the other end from the stove.  You know you'll be cosy once you have been in bed for a little while but a HWB put in the bed half an hour before bedtime makes getting into bed a real pleasure.  Bliss.

4. A camera.  How could I keep doing this blog without one.  My main record of our boating activities is photographic, and browsing through the pics brings back so many memories.  Even when you have one, you curse it not being to hand when something interesting passes or suddenly occurs.  And sorry all you DSLR lovers, it has to have some point and shoot capability otherwise you'll miss too many shots fiddling about.  You haven't got time to fiddle with white balance or ISO settings when your engine is on fire (believe me, I know!).
I use two cameras, a big Fuji one with knobs to twiddle and a  Lumix compact.  It's the compact which gets most of the work.

Any more ideas?


Vallypee said...

I love these awards, Neil. Always interesting, and quite often exciting too...the anticipation of your decision..great!

My own suggestion would be an on a barge with open steering, I well know the value of a kind sould holding an umbrella for me when the weather decides to challenge.

As for your suggestions, I'd vote for the camera..absolutely and always, and I can also vouch for those little Lumix compacts. Mine is an earlier version than yours, but I am very happy with its one handed capabilities!

Halfie said...

Haven't you already canvassed for ideas on this one? I'm sure someone suggested what would be in my list, namely a headlight.

But I have thought of something else, something which is always needed when boating (on BW waters). It is, of course, a BW key, but the thing is, it's on my key ring so I always have it with me.

I do like my leather hat for rainy weather, and I like a peaked cap for sunny days - but you might not think that exciting enough.

Neil Corbett said...

Halfie, that was best DIY gadget for which the head torch would be great. I have one on my christmas wish list. This award is more for day to day cruising use.

Halfie said...

It's good for day-to-day cruising as well (or should that be day-to-night?) Very handy (heady?) when banging a pin in if it's a bit gloomy, or putting the broadband dongle on the roof - sorry, cabin top -after dark.

All right, just the BW key-on-the-key-ring, then.

Andy Tidy said...

My Canon DSLR has a great auto point and shoot mode, plus a near instant turn on speed which works really well for those quick capture shots. However, it is a bit bulky so its OK whilst cruising but I use a small point and shoot on my belt as well.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'd have to nominate my electric handwarmers that plug into the battery, fit round the tiller and keep my hands warm on winter cruises...

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Anonymous said...

Although I'm inexplicably drawn to your first suggestion, Neil, I have to say the hot water bottle is the most useful object aboard my boat right now ;-)
I also nominate my new toaster (for camping, sits on the gas ring and toasts stuff in seconds) as a wonderful purchase.

Rick said...

I would nominate the natty fan that lives on top of Neil's stove. It wafts the air around, keeping the whole boat warm - except for the master bedroom of course. What is so good about it is that it doesn't need an electricity supply or batteries. It just works from the heat of the fire using the peristalsis effect (or some other word like that).