Category Archives: The Greener Boat

Just Add Water – Microfibers!!

  

The new “specific purpose” microfibers are a no-brainer for non toxic boat cleaning. These are amazing products – and as green as you can get. They are either “naked” or permanently impregnated with non-toxic substances that do the specific job for which they were intended. And for a little more oompf – just add water.

West Marine carries a line of generic microfiber towels – and even Wal-Mart sells them. But we really like the line put out by Casabella. The products are color coded so it is easy to recognize the one for the head, or for the electronics screens, or the table, or the galley counters, etc. and the colors are bright and fun – which makes the whole process much more pleasant.

Casabella also makes specialized mops and window cleaners that are just perfect for boats. There are also a couple of non-microfiber products that we really love because they are so well designed and boat perfect. The toilet bowl brush and holder is so slim that it fits in almost any head. the flexible dust pan and broom conform easily to the vagaries of the sole and tucks in to any available cranny. And the bright pink rubber gloves have a permanent place in the galley (the old yellow ones have been relegated to pump-out duty. Check out their line at http://www.casabella.com

Another useful resource for similar products is StarFiber http://www.starfibers.com/

What is microfiber? According to Starfiber, the term “microfiber” is based on the size of a fiber measuring below 1.0 denier (the diameter or fineness of a continuous or filament fiber—the lower the number, the finer the fiber, which in turn is more effective for cleaning surfaces). Each strand of microfiber is comprised of two components–wedge-shaped polyester filaments and a core of nylon. Made of both oil-attracting and water-attracting polymers, these strands are woven into masses of tiny “hooks & loops”. The sharp edges of millions of these fibers cut through dried-in stains, attracting and absorbing dirt and micro-particles, eliminating the need for additional chemical cleansers. Most microfiber products are not treated with any chemicals. The capillary effect between the filaments and nylon core creates a high absorbency, which in turn, enables the fiber to clean and polish at the same time. Therefore, only water is needed as a detergent to clean any type of surface.

The Green Galley – Managing the Provisions

 

  • Post a list of the possible meals and snacks for the cruise – that way all the crew members know what the snack situation is and can pitch in and help with meals without a lot of instruction. That may be the best advice for improving the onboard environment.
  • Store the drinks in a separate cooler on deck or below. This keeps the refrigerator from being opened twenty times a day as people rummage for that special can of whatever. Reload daily and keep it iced down. In very hot weather, a wet towel over the top keeps the ice frozen longer.
  • Use fuel-friendly cookware. Woks were designed to cook quickly and spread the heat source over the surface. Small ones are galley-friendly and work wonderfully with propane and CNG units. On that same note, add a space-friendly four-quart stainless steel pressure cooker. For those who remember the temperamental, exploding pressure cookers of yore, rest assured that these new foolproof designs are safe. And they still cook fast, have tight seals that make them perfect for cooking underway, and double as a saucepan.
  • If the boat is moored locally, purchase a few identical stainless baking pans, so entrees can be frozen in them — this eliminates the issues of weak disposable aluminum pans, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, etc. Imagine removing a bubbling lasagna that was frozen in an unstable disposable aluminum pan from a gimbaled oven in a rough sea. And look at the new silicone bakeware which neither rattles nor rusts – and the Silpat liners that make everything nonstick and clean-up a breeze.