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.

Simple Fuel and Water Transfer

January 21, 2013

We are not gadget-minded people. Gadgets rarely work as designed, are prone to breakage, cost money, and take up valuable space on a little boat. But occasionally a gizmo comes along that lives up to its purpose and is worth the money and space it requires.

A few months ago a reader of Simply Sailing Online recognized Eurisko in the harbor and came by to chat. He mentioned that he was being hauled out soon and was unable to store diesel in jugs while he was on the hard. We accepted his generous gift of several gallons of fuel but what he gave us that day was worth more than the price of the diesel. Good ideas are, after all, rare and priceless.

When he dinghied over with his jerry jug, he also brought a Safety Siphon: several feet of hose with an end that contains a marble. Shake the end inside a container of liquid and the marble creates a siphon, allowing you to transfer fuel without spilling any at all. We had purchased fuel jugs in Mexico before our long motor back to the States, and they came with a "safety" spout that must be pulled back for the fuel to flow. Rather than preventing fuel spills, all this "safety" spout does is mean that three hands are now required to transfer our diesel from the jug to the tank. Though frequently needed, sailors have not yet evolved to include this third appendage, so the end result is a diesely mess every time we have to put fuel in the tank. With the Safety Siphon, however, not only did we not spill any fuel, we also didn't have to stand stooped over the jug to keep it tilted to the correct degree so that just the right amount fuel ran out. Instead, you start the siphon and go about your business. If the hose is in the correct spot (at the bottom of the jug) then less than a cup of liquid is left in the jug when the siphon quits transferring.

A gadget that is worth is

We were so thrilled with this little gizmo that when we saw they were also sold in a two pack, we decided to buy one for water, as well. We had read the reviews, one of which said that the hose was too short (put the jug closer to the tank fill) and that too much liquid was left in the original container (place the hose at the bottom of the container). Reviews and their writers being what they often are, we bought the Safety Siphon anyway. We use one to transfer fuel and one for water. Simplicity in the form of a gadget seems counterintuitive, but in this case, it's true.

Anyone else have any products that make your life simpler? There aren't many out there, but feel free to share if you have found one.

As we continue our Walküre cruise, we try to stop at new places. But one repeat held a lot of memories for us, dating back to New Year's 1999, so we tried this "old" place in the "new" boat. MONDAY we'll share our latest information about this cruiser stop in the Keys.

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