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Spare Parts To Keep On Your Boat

Going out on your boat, whether fishing with friends or cruising with your family, is a great feeling. Nothing compares to the freedom that fresh air and open space provides. There is also nothing more stressful than having engine troubles when you are miles from shore. Boats are a lot of work and can be finicky, which is why regular maintenance is so important. But sometimes, despite all preparations, accidents happen. That is why every boater should keep these spare boat parts handy. 

Hoses and Clamps

Keep varied sizes of hoses and hose clamps on your boat. Rubber hoses are the most versatile. They can be used for fuel lines, hydraulic repairs, and even as a tie-down if you are in a pinch. Clamps are also useful to have when making creative repairs. They can be helpful when dealing with leaks by holding hoses in a particular position or really holding anything in place. 

Fuel Filters

It is helpful to have extra fuel filters and fuel water separators on your boat. Fuel filters can give you problems for a variety of reasons. If water or debris gets into your tank, or if you got some bad gas, a new fuel filter is a quick easy fix that will protect your motor. 


Most boaters have experienced a dead battery on the water. It’s too easy to forget all the draws on your battery when you are out having a good time. That is why it’s a good idea to have a spare. Also, check the charge on your spare periodically. Solar chargers may be a good investment to keep batteries charged for longer trips. 


Impellers tend to break easily, so have at least one spare impeller for each water pump. If your engine overheats, the impeller will go fast. They are cheaper than a trip to a mechanic and fairly easy to replace, depending on the type of motor. 


Always have spare oil on your boat, even if you just filled it up. This way if you spring a leak that can not be contained, you can keep enough oil in the engine to get back to the dock and save your engine. Other fluids, such as transmission fluid and hydraulic fluid, should be kept on your boat.  

These items are not expensive and can save you money if something unexpected happens. Keep them stocked and keep them fresh so you can enjoy a day out on the water with some peace of mind. You may even come to another boater’s rescue. 

Exploring Options for Debt Consolidation

Are you struggling to pay off your debts, such as student loans? Are your credit cards maxed out and can you no longer qualify for a 0% credit card balance transfer offer? In general, you want to choose a debt consolidation loan plan that simplifies your financial life or reduces the cost of your debt, or, ideally, both. There are some debt consolidation loans Canada offers and these are available from lenders that can simplify your payment but do not significantly reduce the cost of your debt. You don’t want to choose those.

Explore Your Options

You need to explore your options. This is why it is so important to research your debt consolidation loan providers before making the decision. One of the biggest obstacles to debt consolidation is the risk you run in incurring new debt before paying off the consolidated debt. Therefore, close all old accounts or cut them off. You may have heard that closing multiple accounts can hurt your credit. Initially, your score may take a small hit, but this is nothing compared to the hit your credit score will take when you keep adding more debt to your bad debt.

Learn how debt consolidation affects your credit

If you got into debt due to unexpected circumstances, such as a medical bill or job loss, rather than a recurring cycle of making poor purchasing decisions, it is probably better to keep your accounts open and just cut up your cards so your credit score remains intact. How debt consolidation affects your credit will depend on the options you choose. Every time you apply for a loan, this is considered new credit, which means that a thorough investigation of your credit will be done. As a result, your score will drop. Some lenders allow you to apply for a debt consolidation loan without affecting your credit score, giving you an interest rate without having to do rigorous research.

The Lenders

With some lenders, those with the best credit will get the lowest rates. Many lenders also don’t charge fees for paying off your loan early; however, they could charge upfront fees of up to five percent on your loan. Some may send money directly to your creditors to increase your chances of successful debt consolidation. Your credit score will depend in part on your credit utilization, how much debt you have compared to the total amount of available debt. When all your credit cards are maxed out and you open a new one, this increases your available debt and lowers your utilization rate, which can actually help your score. However, your score will suffer whenever you have a high balance on any card. Transferring multiple balances to one card will cause your score to suffer, even if you have paid off all of your other cards.


Using debt consolidation loans Canada offers to pay off credit cards lowers your utilization rate and increases your score. Many debt consolidation companies will negotiate with your creditors on your behalf for lower balances and lower interest rates. Look for those who will get a written agreement from each of your creditors that outlines the terms of the agreement.

3 Tips for Setting up a Commercial Kitchen

Opening up a restaurant or revamping an existing one will take a lot of work. There are many things to consider, such as the size and shape of the dining room, kitchen and office areas. The theme and atmosphere, target market and menu also play an important role when deciding what to do. While it may be tempting to focus on the areas seen by the public, if the kitchen is neglected, then the quality of the food and productivity of staff members may suffer.

1. Consider Health Codes

Following all federal, state and local laws and regulations is incredibly important. Violating health codes can result in expensive fines or the temporary closure of the business. Make sure that all the sinks, drains and food preparation areas are placed in correct proximity to each other and that everything is clean and disinfected. Use materials in the kitchen that are easy to clean, and have a plan in place for contacting people about things like restaurant vent hood duct cleaning Manhattan NY. Do not forget to consider fire codes and other safety protocols to prevent any other violations from occurring.

2. Design the Ideal Layout

Depending on the building and the budget, knocking out walls may not be an option. If the size and shape of the kitchen are not able to be altered, then the layout should be carefully considered during the planning process to ensure maximum efficiency. Make sure there is enough space for everyone to work as efficiently as possible to get food out to customers quickly. There should be no tight spaces that may result in accidents or cause employees to slow down operations.

3. Purchase the Right Equipment

While most equipment is standard, the menu will often dictate whether any additional equipment is needed. Cutting corners to save money may sound like a good idea at first but purchasing low-quality equipment can result in premature breakdowns and high maintenance costs. Purchase refrigeration equipment that can comfortably store everything that will be needed during daily operations, and do not skimp on storage spaces for other items either. The ovens, stovetops and countertops should all be large enough to handle food preparation needs during peak hours.

Designing an effective commercial kitchen takes a lot of time and careful consideration. It is a good idea to consult with professional chefs and other people in the industry who can examine the plans and give constructive feedback to improve the design to optimize productivity.

This is a sponsored post from Valued Voice.

How Knowing Your Plants Can Save You Money

For way too many years, I took for granted the “weeds” that were growing in my yard. I thought they were good for nothing but making my yard look bad. Then after learning a common weed in my garden was actually edible (and not half bad) I wondered else I didn’t know about the weeds in my yard and garden. Turns out, it’s a lot.

It is important to note that you should NEVER consume plants/weeds that have been treated with weed killers or certain lawn products. If you’re not sure, it’s best not to consume it.

Just another weed in my yard?

A landscaping company posted a picture of a weed I commonly see in yard.

Crushed or chewed then placed over a bug bite, mosquito bite, bee sting, rash, or acne as a poultice and bandaged these plant is said to be able to help draw out toxins. Do a quick search and you’ll find several recipes for salves and balms using the broadleaf plantain. It’s said to be a digestive aid as well. B&D Landscaping’s facebook post has a wealth of information about this plant and uses.

Broadleaf plantain is also edible in salads or added to recipes.

That Sticky Plant

On another occasion, while harvesting raspberries from the wild raspberry bushes we have growing in our yard, I came across this invasive weed. It was so long and sticky. It was starting to wrap around the raspberries. I wondered what it was since it was touching some of the raspberries we were going to consume. Turns out this weed has many names: Clevers, sticky willy, coachweed, goosegrass, and a few other names.

Probably my favorite thing to learn about these was that you can make “coffee” with them. Cleaver is actually part of the coffee family. Yes, those little sticky, fuzzy berry looking things. You can pick them off, dry out, then roast them in the oven, then grind them up and make coffee. Be warned the process is time consuming. Picking all those stickly little berries off takes a while and you need a lot to brew a pot of coffee. I tried it though. It wasn’t half bad. The leaves and stems are edible as well and can be added to stir fries, salads, and soups.

Cleaver is said to have diuretic properties and has been used for kidney and urinary tract ailments.

People actually plant this one on purpose!

Purslane. This is the one I often saw growing in my gardens. Almost looks like a succulent to me. I found out that not only is Purslane edible but quite nutrient dense for a little plant containing antioxidants, calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Iron, Potassium, and Manganese. Phew! Now that’s a hard working plant.

You can eat it raw by itself, mix it into your salad, or add it to your dish. You can easily find Purslane seeds and plants online. In fact, Purslane is commonly grown, on purpose, in many other countries.

The multitasker of the weed world

Dandelions, we all know them. Dandelion greens can be eaten. The petals can be turned into teas, wine, jams, or jellies. You can use the root for dandelion root coffee.

Dandelions are also said to have medicinal properties. A quick search will have you finding tinctures, tonics, and many other medicine cabinet ideas for dandelions.

The more I learn the more I realize the culinary adventures and medicine cabinet stocking I can do. And that saves me money! I’m also interested in learning more.

I love seeing companies like T1 payments that care. Donating to the South Florida Fairchild Botanic Gardens. I truly believe that there are so much more we need to learn about plants. There could be one out there that could be the cure for an illness, or an affordable option to help stop hunger.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links.

American’s Finances Are Changing During The Pandemic

If you have read just about any financial report even pre-COVID-19 then you know there were already a good chunk of Americans living paycheck to paycheck. But this pandemic has cause increased financial stress for many areas of business and many households.

In a survey completed by Clever Real Estate on April 28, they surveyed 1000 homeowners and 1000 renters. Here are some highlight and noteworthy statistics from their April COVID-19 Financial Report

  • 64% of renters are concerned about being able to pay rent in the coming months
  • Home buyers were 5.5x more likely to put their buying plans on hold for the foreseeable future in April compared to March
  • 33% of homeowners are concerned about their ability to pay their mortgage in the coming months
  • 40% of respondents said they were receiving unemployment benefits because of job loss or other reason. More than half of those said it’s not enough to cover their expenses.
  • More than 25% of people that were planning to sell their homes have put off that decision due to the pandemic. This is a sharp increase from only 3.5% in March.
  • More than 50% of Americans are concerned about feeding their families

The report is worth checking out to get a better idea of American’s financial situation. If you’re planning on buying or selling a home soon these statistis could be some valuable resources for bargaining.

Yet another issue is those who are self-employed. Those that are self employed aren’t able to get unemployment benefits. I talked to one small business owner who did get access to some of the resources our state was offering for small businesses but it’s not enough. He actually said “I’ll put myself in a lot of debt before I let my business fail” This has led him to try new avenues for his business that could be new services for the future. In a way, I think the businesses that do find new ways to offer their services legally are the ones that will survey and perhaps even prosper.

Yet another small business owner I talked to owns food stands and makes their living by traveling to fairs, community events, etc With so many being canceled their income is gone. This has led many to get more creative with setting up locally, taking orders locally, and more.

Sadly, with many businesses having to close all together during the pandemic and others working at a small capacity, job availability is not always there. Even as many states and counties enter re-opening phases, business are expected to follow social distancing guidelines and run at a reduced capacity. With businesses running at only 50% capacity some small business owners are saying it’s hard to make a profit.

There are small business loans available and self employed loans for those determined to keep their business going during the pandemic. Be sure to shop around though to get the best rates.

Check your state resources for self employed and small business assistance as well. Pennsylvania did have an option for each category.

This post is sponsored by Diamond Links. Any opinions expressed are my own.