“Do you have glass on board"?”
It’s a frequent question, one I’ve heard in one guise or another over the years. When our response is an unequivocal “YES” there is often a sharp audible gasp.
How could we possibly have glass on board? Don’t we know it’ll break, and shatter, and make an impossible-to-clean mess? People share (rarely first-hand) horror stories of shards in corners and exploding jars.
Sure, there are some precautions we take with glass on board. We’re careful to store it where it’s well wedged in. Our wine glasses are wrapped in cloth napkins before they’re tucked into the cubby in the table, and when it’s rough out they don’t get used. And we are mindful when pulling out glass; if it is reluctant to move, we shift something else to loosen the space.
Glass, though, is incredibly useful on board. Here are 5 reasons we choose to cruise with glass - and I’m not talking about the fiberglass of the hull!
Glass is much nicer to drink out of. Beer in bottles tastes better, wine feels festive in a real glass. Our wine glasses are the stemless kind that can be used for just about anything, and they don’t tip over when we put them down. We cruise on a small boat and like to keep as much festive as we can.
If we’re talking about tonic or beer, glass is far LESS prone to corrosion than thin aluminum. A lot of our storage, at least for drinks like this, is in the bilge, and although we have a dry bilge for the most part there’s occasionally a drip of water that finds its way down there. Aluminum corrodes very easily. It’s not fun to reach into the bilge to pull out the next fridge supply and find the cans empty, especially in the Bahamas where that stuff is EXPENSIVE! We’ve not lost a bottle to bilge corrosion yet (touch wood.)
Glass is inert. This means it won’t react to whatever you store in it. We just did an epoxy chemistry experiment, testing resin and hardener that we’ve had in some cases for 15 years or more. We’ve stored a lot of it in Mason jars with tight sealing caps - those versions were just fine. No rust (other than the tops) to deal with.
Glass is easier to recycle/ dispose of than any plastic. In many countries, glass bottles are so prized (and hard to find) that people leaving the country sell their empties to a newcomer. Any glass jar can be washed out and used again.
Want to can your own meats or veggies or sauces? Glass jars are the way to go. They can be cleaned, sterilized, and heated to safe temperatures.
There are times when we don’t use glass, but we are DEFINITELY in the “glass is good on board” camp.
What about you?