... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Saturday 18 September 2010

Boater's friends

Unlike Diamond Geezer, my blog isn't read by sufficient numbers of people to justify publicists trying to get me to namecheck their products. What follows, therefore, is a genuine and personal view of four products that are a real boon to the boater. I have Mike of Zulu Warrior to thank for introducing me to two of them!

1. Bounty Roll (now called 'Plenty', but that's just silly, isn't it). Cloths, even 'disposable' ones, aren't much iuse in the absence of running water. Ordinary kitchen paper disintegrates as soon as you get it wet and actually try to wipe anything with it. Bounty roll is effectively a genuine single use cloth. Just don't let it anywhere near a macerator (not a problem for me, natch).

2. Ecover washing up liquid Use it to wash your dishes, your socks, your body and your hair. Gentle, nicely fragranced and nearly guilt free - and saves storage with one bottle instead of four.

3. Filtered milk (e.g. Cravendale, though Tesco at least now also sell it under their own name). I thought this was a gimmick until Mike bought us a pint, but it isn't; it really keeps miles better than ordinary fresh milk, even once opened, and tastes no different. Bought some in Wolverhampton on Thursday and it was still fine on Monday - without a fridge.

4. Antibacterial surface wipes (Parazone etc; a.k.a. toilet wipes). Primarily for use off the boat (although a useful and reassuring emergency handwipe) for prior preparation when you need to use a pub/shop/BW toilet. Some might think this a little neurotic, but I find it reassuring. At least I no longer carry rubber gloves too.

So that's my four top products for enhancing the basic boating experience. Any others would care to add?


  1. We've been Cravendale evangelists ever since I bought some by mistake when we were camping one summer years ago. We couldn't work out why it didn't go off until we read the label. Now we bore people with it at every opportunity. I think it tastes a lot better than milk ordinaire.

    What a sad old git I must be, getting excited about milk!

  2. Afterthought. You forgot to mention the indispensable microwave, the surround sound TV and the electric washer/dryer. Well all the boats reviewed in the mags seem to have them so they must be essential.

  3. We don't even have any of those at home.

  4. We have got a washing machine!

  5. Pedant alert!!! but not a washer/dryer :)

  6. Re Ecover washing up liquid.I have been testing this out since 24/7/10 and it's only gone down the bottle by 1 inch,that's using it in half a bowl of water 5 times a day.It might cost more but it's very economical.Well worth the money.

  7. An insulated mug with lid (Poundland). Indispensible for cold early starts.

    A small (say 150W) inverter (Maplin, about £30). Useful for charging mobile phone/laptop computer.

    Leather hat to keep the rain off. (Festivals/boat gatherings etc., £20 to £30)