How to Store and Use Glass on Board

Many boats come complete with a set of plastic dishes – as did ours. It seems that the general consensus is that because an item is on a boat it has a tendency to break and therefore should be plastic. Not so! Mike and I really don’t like to eat or drink from plastic as it seems to take on a taste after some time. We also try to use as little plastic in our lives as possible, so as not to further contribute to the plastic debris we find on every beach.

The first thing we gave away were the plastic plates and replaced them with our ceramic plates from when we lived on shore. No plastic taste and the plates keep food warm a lot longer than plastic plates do. Underway I toss a towel into the cupboard with the plates to stop things from shifting and rattling. When my parents and I sailed from Germany to California in the 80s we also used ceramic plates and my parents still use those same plates on their current boat to this day. Zero breakage.

Next we got rid of the plastic cups. We now use mason jars for drinking glasses which are very thick and sturdy. And used with these screw-top lids it’s like having a built-in storage container or drink-shaker.

We use real coffee mugs and for our wine we use real wine glasses. A glass of wine just isn’t the same drank out of a plastic cup. I have broken one wine glass out of sheer clumsiness – not due to living on a boat.

We did keep the plastic bowls to use when we are underway since they have non-skid bottoms and are nice and deep.

To store glass bottles and jars I use “6-pack wine bags”. They are about $2 from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s or if you buy enough wine they will sometimes toss one in. I have about a dozen of these bags and store everything from wine and liquor bottles to jam and sauerkraut jars in them. There is no rattling and if anything should break the spillage will be contained within the bag.

10 Responses

  1. We’ve got ceramic coffee mugs, but have stuck to plastic on everything else. Thankfully we realized that plastic tumblers were $1.50 each at Wal-Mart versus $12 each at West Marine.

  2. Ewww, plastic…. Pick up some Mexican blown glass wine glasses. That’s all I have here, they are so rugged and sturdy. You should be able to get some really cheaply down there. I love that idea of storing stuff in the 6pack bottle bags. Our daughter is about to buy a motorhome, this will be a great tip for her.

  3. We also use socks to muffle lots of glass condiment noises, washcloths for new noises that crop up underway and paper towels stacked between our short glass tumblers. Never thought about those six-pack bags for glass. Brilliant! Will phase them in. Also love the mason jar idea as it’s another great storage option for minimizing the buggers that find their way aboard thanks to less than pure food. Thanks Verna & Mike!

    s/v Journey aka

  4. What a helpful post! I completely agree with the use of ‘real’ dishes on board. We bought a roll of that spongy shelf liner you can find at any Target, etc, and I cut pieces to use between plates and to line the shelves with. Don’t know how it would hold up to extended ocean cruising, but it works great for around here. Love the idea of using socks and those cheap wine bags. I’ll be looking for those!

  5. Great ideas, thanks! We just bought our first boat, and my husband bought me a box of plastic dishware from West Marine as a treat. It included four place settings, and while the non-skid bottom is really nice, I have to admit I’m not a big fan of plastic. But, we’re new to this, and I fell into line with that idea that “we can’t have glass on the boat”. I love the idea of mason jars, as I use small mason jars at home for all our spices.

  6. I like stainless for some stuff but not for my wine, it’s like putting foil on a tooth filling for me…. that taste. But it’s great for other things like leftovers.

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