19 Mar Suction Grab Bar
How many uses do you know for this little gizmo?
Lots of cruisers use a suction grab bar when cleaning the bottom of the boat to keep them in one place. Otherwise, as you scrape one way, you push yourself away in the opposite direction . . .
Others use them when applying varnish, Cetol or Semco to the cap rail from the dinghy, to keep themselves in position . . . or when doing other chores on the “big boat” from the dinghy.
Okay, that’s two uses. And now for a third, from Belinda aboard Rickshaw. Admittedly, it’s mainly for the women . . .
Put it in the shower — in the boat, on deck if you use a cockpit shower or SunShower, or at the marina — and use it as a footrest when shaving your legs. Or just when trying to really scrub or feet and legs, say after a painting project.
I get so frustrated with marina showers not having a footrest of any sort. I’m not a contortionist who can easily put my foot up on the handrail! I’d much rather have a little bar at a convenient height.
Be aware that these suction bars have to be attached to a smooth surface — if any air can get under them, they’ll fall off. Smooth fiberglass is best. And never put your full weight on one, just in case it does fall off.Contrary to the older style bars with simple suction cups, newer ones have a little lever on each side of the handle to firmly make and lock in the suction. You release the bar by releasing the levers — instructions come on the package.
Many of the grab bars sold are 17″ or more long. These are too big to be of practical use on a boat and tough to stick in a shower bag to take to the marina shower. I much prefer the 12″ one I’ve linked to below.
You can buy the suction grab bars in most home improvement stores, general retailers (Walmart, Target, etc.), and many pharmacies. They’re also available on Amazon (I’ve never found that the ones marketed for cleaning the bottom of the boat worked any better, but they generally cost considerably more):