shows by example how easily you can eliminate stress, become more independent, raise your children in a safer environment (while spending more time with them, instilling values not based on the mighty dollar) and avoid the traps of commercialism. Because we live and sail simply, we have been wandering for 11 years with no intention of stopping. This is not a trip for us; it is our life, and I hope to share our success with stories of laughter and tears, as well as how-to tips and DIY projects for preparing, sailing and making a boat a home, so that others can join us.

Junk Step

November 30, 2015

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The hardest thing for me to find to buy for the men in my life is stocking stuffers. They are all quick with suggestions for large items for their wish list, but it's the little things that I know they'll have forever that I have a hard time finding each year. Last year I had an epiphany and simply changed how I looked at these little gifts. Instead of trying to find a "special" gift that they would treasure, I aimed for practical gifts that they would use. My first consideration for the boys was to think about what they used every day when they lived at home. Then, I picked one of those items that I knew they didn't have that would still be useful. They all still have their stocking stuffers from last year and use them often, so it must have been a good choice. So this year, once again, I will consult the "junk step" for gift ideas.

Junk step contents

What is unusual about our junk drawer isn't that we have one on a boat, it's that it lives in our step. The engine box was too far off the salon floor for the comfort of one of Eurisko's previous owner, so somewhere along the line she got a roughly-built but eminently-practical step. This thoughtful owner also made the step a storage space which we have filled over the past decade and a half with those items that when you need them, you need them NOW. The things you don't want to have to look for in a hurry live in the step. As you peruse the contents of this storage area, you may just find a gift idea or two of your own.

Closed it's hard to tell it holds such treasures.

Some of the various tools in the step have specific purposes, others are just too handy to hide elsewhere.
Lutz 15-in-1 ratcheting screwdriver (last year's stocking stuffer for our boys)

needle nose pliers
a pair of dikes
a few adjustable wrenches (one of which is perfect for changing the propane tank hose)
Robo grip pliers
4-in-1 hardware store (disposable) screwdriver that we don’t feel bad for beating on when necessary
frearson screwdriver (just because)
a small screwdriver with various bits for disassembling toys and electronics

Sea Foam Deep Creep
P. B. Blaster
battery terminal spray

Easy access

Mouse Milk
Combat roach killer
various epoxy sticks
Penn reel lube
white lithium-based grease
PTFE pipe thread sealant
PVC cement
lanonlin in a Burt's Bees lip goo container

carpet sweeper
3M pad
seizing wire
wire (for some forgotten reason)
electrical tape
F4 self-fusing silicone tape
a wooden stick with two machine screws that Dave made to open our bronze inspection port-- when plastic just won't do

Even if you're not looking for stocking stuffer ideas, it's sort of interesting to see what other people keep handy. What's in your junk drawer/step?

MONDAY we'll share Dave's latest nearly-free DIY project.

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