If all good things must come to an end, then it had to happen sooner or later. After 7 years and nearly 400 tips, DIY projects, yarns, and wordy expressions of opinion, we have decided to end our Monday posts and shut down the website. We will still be sharing tips and great information on our facebook page, and pictures of both the practical and eye candy variety on Instagram. So as we and technology move along, please move with us and like and follow us at either or both of those locations. And as always, feel free to swing by and say hi when you share an anchorage with Eurisko. Thanks for all the support. See you out there.

Quieting the Galley

May 16, 2016

We pride ourselves on having a quiet boat. Maybe it's because every little noise at night causes me to shake Dave awake and ask, "What's that?" We (possibly HE) find it easier to simply take care of all those noises during the day. Halyards are pulled away from the mast (but not secured to the lifelines or even in a place where they may touch the lifelines and cause that annoying high-pitched squeak they're so famous for) and secured to the toe rail. But not directly to the toe rail because then they creak. They are secured to a strap that goes through the toe rail. We don't pull them as taut as we can, though, because then they get a low, resonant hum in high winds.

We pull the lazy jacks away from the mast and tie them to the forward lower shrouds. The boarding step is pulled up on deck and secured in a place that doesn't cause the furling line to creak. The tiller is not only locked, it also has a bungee on it to keep it secured to one side so it doesn't emit that little tick tick as it shifts in the "lock." We quiet the boom by LOOSENING the topping lift (to avoid that same low hum that halyards will produce) and then pulling it off to the side of the cockpit with a line. The staysail bag is tied so it can't flap. And heaven help anyone who leaves a plastic trash bag on deck to crinkle in the wind! (Our neighbor in the anchorage had a bag of trash on deck the other day, and Dave asked if I wanted him to go ask the neighbor to quiet it. It took me a second to realize he wasn't serious.)


Our galley sock display

Our thermos has a slightly uneven bottom so we put a silicon "non-skid" ring on the bottom, similar to our plates. Our sliding locker enclosures in the boys' bunks never made noise before the kids moved out because they were jammed with stuff. Now that they are half empty, the rock back and forth and make the tiniest tock tock sound. Or at least they used to before Dave quieted them with the little felt feet meant for the bottom of furniture. Our head door used to almost but not quite close, so it rocked ever so slightly. Until we installed a rubber door stop to secure it against. The galley locker door had a little play in the latch, so Dave used another felt foot to eliminate that little noise maker. Are you starting to get the idea?

But regardless of how quiet our boat is at anchor, it seems every time we go offshore overnight we forget something. We put towels around the spice jars, take the cheese grater off the hook and lay it down, put non-skid under anything in the galley lockers that may slide and bang into something else. But not until we donated our socks to the cause did we finally make a permanent, noticeable difference in the noise coming from the galley.

I offered to write this tip for a magazine, and the editor told me, "It's as old as sailing itself. There isn't a seasoned sailor out there who doesn't know this trick." I'm not sure what that says about us, because we just tried it a month ago. We gathered all our socks (which I hope to never have to wear again. Not where we're going!) and put our glasses, tea mugs, peanut butter jar, coffee cups, anything that could potentially make noise in the galley locker in a sock. At first we thought we would do it for a passage and then remove them, but then we realized that it's easier to simply remove the socks as you need the item inside. (This serves the additional purpose of seeing how many items we haven't used since our last passage. Why do we have all these things we never use??) So our galley locker now resembles a bizarre sock display, but I'm OK with that. I have seen boaters put their wine bottles in socks, but I had never thought to put EVERY potential source of annoying noise in one. We discovered that we have more glass than we do socks, so the next time we're at a thrift store (or possibly a dollar store) we will pick us some more galley quieters. And in case there is still anyone else out there who doesn't know this "old as sailing itself" tip, I thought I'd share.

What's your favorite way to quiet your boat for offshore? Maybe there are other tips that everyone but we knows. Please feel free to share at the Contact Us tab above.

Is your boat a home or an investment? MONDAY we'll discuss the issue of resale value.

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Connie McBride's work has been published in Good Old Boat, Sail Magazine, Small Craft Advisor, Cruising World, All at Sea, and Blue Water Sailing. As a full-time liveaboard cruiser for over 15 years, she has written several books and in her spare time, well, who has spare time?

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