SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
624 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We received a new vacuum sealer (FoodSaver) for Christmas and while its primary duties are for our home kitchen (sealing food for freezing or long-term dry storage), I've already vac sealed a set of flares, batteries, and some dry food for the boat. It's admittedly addictive and satisfying to see the air suck out of these items in a water-tight brick.

Has anyone else used a vac sealer for their supplies? I'd like to hear some uses.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
Don't get me started...

I own three, one at home, one on the boat, and one at the office.

Some of my favorite uses
1) the jar adapter lets you vaccume seal anything that fits in jars
2) sealing documents and papers. Like wills, passports, titles, ect... They are still readable, but immune from water damage.
3) spare parts (though not rubber or anything with volatile compounds that can evaporate). It keeps parts together, visible, and sealed.
4) one serving meals that can be frozen and reheated easily
5) clothes. Keeps them dry and tightly packed.
6) medicines
7) money
8) I seal things like packs of common nuts bolts and washerstogether. I may have a few of the same size, but this way I can grab a bag and have everything there.

Basically anything that needs to be kept dry no matter what is a good canidate, or as a way to keep a group of things together.

Protecting stuff from salt air is also a favorite, like replacement electronic parts, spare radio, batteries, ect..
 

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
624 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Why not rubber? Does it react with the plastic?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
I have no evidence, but I am concerned that the vacuume may accelerate the speed that the VOC's evaporate and accelerate dry rot.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,111 Posts
Don't get me started...

I own three, one at home, one on the boat, and one at the office.

...

Basically anything that needs to be kept dry no matter what is a good canidate, or as a way to keep a group of things together.
Me, too - although I only own one... :)

Definitely, one of the most useful 'household' appliances you can have on a boat...

One of their best applications, especially on a small boat like mine, is for the maximization of stowage of otherwise bulky paper products... Rolls of paper towels, toilet paper, can be compacted into flat little 'bricks' that can be stowed anywhere... Seems like every cruise I take, I unearth another roll of paper towels I sealed and tucked away somewhere years ago :)

Another great home gadget is a paper laminator... I don't carry one aboard, but virtually anything printed on paper of any value on my boat, has been laminated...

Because, well... You never know... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
OK, this "seals" it, I'm getting one.

I've always wanted one for cooking. I've played around with using ziploc bags for easy clean-up cooking. I've put the vegetarian egg scramble in one bag, the meat-and-goodness filled egg scramble in another, and some black beans in a third. They all go in a pot of boiling water. You haven't dirtied any dishes cooking, and you have a pot of clean, hot water to use to wash up the plates and forks and such. Sort of low-rent sous vide cooking.

A vacuum sealer would make that a lot easier, and would eliminate the occasional blow-out of a failed ziploc. Combined with the idea of vacuum sealing toilet paper and such? Brilliant!
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
OK, this "seals" it, I'm getting one.

I've always wanted one for cooking. I've played around with using ziploc bags for easy clean-up cooking. I've put the vegetarian egg scramble in one bag, the meat-and-goodness filled egg scramble in another, and some black beans in a third. They all go in a pot of boiling water. You haven't dirtied any dishes cooking, and you have a pot of clean, hot water to use to wash up the plates and forks and such. Sort of low-rent sous vide cooking.

A vacuum sealer would make that a lot easier, and would eliminate the occasional blow-out of a failed Ziploc. Combined with the idea of vacuum sealing toilet paper and such? Brilliant!
Yea, I don't think zip locks are really meant to take the heat. The vacuum bags have a very different material, stiffer and stronger. The bags are quite expensive but can be reused for dry goods, just keep making the bag smaller each time. I hate going into Wall-Mart but they seem to have the cheapest supplies. And for some reason wholesale clubs have good deals on the machines with large collections of bags. The wide mouth jar adapter is good if you happen to have canning jars around.

They show people using it to compress sweaters and what not, but the bags are quite expensive for that. I recently saw a collection of plastic containers that had a manual vacuum pump to pull out the air from that and looked reasonably low cost may have to try them(Zevro brand). I have also used the wine corks for years, but rarely don't finish a bottle I open, so don't even know where that system is!
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
Good stuff.

If you reheat vacuum sealed food in the bag putting a trivit or folded dish towel in the bottom of the pot avoids melting the plastic. You can even reheat in sea water.

If you buy Foodsaver brand you can register it with the company online and get electronic coupons for bags and rolls several times each year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,951 Posts
I have also used the wine corks for years, but rarely don't finish a bottle I open, so don't even know where that system is!
Yeah, I rarely have a problem with leftover wine!



If you reheat vacuum sealed food in the bag putting a trivit or folded dish towel in the bottom of the pot avoids melting the plastic.
Thank you, good advice. In my ziploc experiments there's always some air left in the bag, so they tend to float to the top. I can see how with the vacuum sealer you'd get food packs that are heavier than water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
Another great home gadget is a paper laminator... I don't carry one aboard, but virtually anything printed on paper of any value on my boat, has been laminated...

Because, well... You never know... :)
The problem with laminators is they can destroy the legal value of a document even if they are completely readable. SSN cards are notorious for being laminated, which makes them worthless. Self authenticating documents (wills, deeds, anything notarized) also have this problem. Which is why in my legal practice I actually vacuume seal original documents like this. Easily identified, and if you need them for some reason you just cut them out of the bag. Of course living in New Orleans we have some major concerns for water damaged documents...


MiataPaul,

I don't vacuume seal my entire luggage, but there is always a t-shirt, pair of shorts, and some undies vaccume sealed in my sail bag. All three in one big bag (to keep them together), and then individually again. So no matter how much the deck hatch leaks I always know I have at least one clean dry change of clothes to put on. In fact I usually make this pack up in the beginning of the season and toss it in the bag, then forget about it until the end of the season... But when you need it it is great. Nothing like stepping off onto the deck looking presentable and clean while everyone else is wet, because you took a wave over the bow while the deck hatch was open and everyone's stuff is smoking wet.


Additional ideas

1) spare medication
2) tampons
3) the boats emergency tool kit
4) a few cigars


If you can't tell I really think these are one of the best tools out there for sailors. They also open up all new storage places. Think using the bilge to store spares. Normally you wouldn't dream of it because of the water issue, but with stuff in these bags who cares... And it help take up room so the bilge pump can extract more water from the boat.
 

·
██▓▓▒▒░&
Joined
·
13,645 Posts
The ziplock bags, even the thicker freezer bags, are not impermeable. I'd guess the vacuum bags are made from a different material for different purposes. And that the ziplock bags are either untested or unfit for boiling, maybe the plasticizers migrate out.

Plasticizers routinely migrate out of "rubbers" and plastics and perhaps that would be made worse in a vacuum bag. Or maybe not. If you just sealed them without a hard vacuum, and used Armorall (etc) or talc before putting them away....Is there still time to apply for federal grant money to study this?
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
I don't vacuume seal my entire luggage, but there is always a t-shirt, pair of shorts, and some undies vaccume sealed in my sail bag.
I hadn't thought of that, but I may well start vacuum-sealing my nice clothes for meeting with C&I.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I hadn't thought of that, but I may well start vacuum-sealing my nice clothes for meeting with C&I.
Not quite sure I would do that. I recall a story from a tactical aviator to the effect that, upon the advice he had received from a crew chief, he had ''emergency clothing'' consisting of a civilian shirt, slacks, sox and undies vacuum packed by the safety systems folks into a single bag that he carried in his flight bag where space was at a premium, just in case he might have to do an unforeseen and unforecasted overnight somewhere. Well, a year and a bit later, the crew chief advice did pay off, as he and his crew got stranded in a small village due to inclement weather. After checking in at the local hotel, he finally cut open the bag and extracted his clothes. Trying as hard as he could that evening, he was never able to get rid of the well encrusted wrinkles that developed through the process and time spent in the bag. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
I have never had a wrinkle problem, but I am careful to roll things up not fold them. That being said I also don't leave them in the bag for long, a few weeks at the longest.

I should also point out that the vacuume saver jars are terrible. I have had a few and they all fail in weeks. However the large mouth jar sealer is amazing, but it does raise the problem of having glass jars on board.
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,343 Posts
I have never had a wrinkle problem, but I am careful to roll things up not fold them. That being said I also don't leave them in the bag for long, a few weeks at the longest.

I should also point out that the vacuume saver jars are terrible. I have had a few and they all fail in weeks. However the large mouth jar sealer is amazing, but it does raise the problem of having glass jars on board.
Yes all the plastic containers they sell fail quickly. I like the idea of the jar sealer though. It is nice to have a stiff walled container for soft items I don't want to crush.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,264 Posts
Yes all the plastic containers they sell fail quickly. I like the idea of the jar sealer though. It is nice to have a stiff walled container for soft items I don't want to crush.
They are also almost infinitely reusable. At home I have most of my pantry in bell jars. The smaller jars are great, you can seal single use sizes like one cup of rice, or popcorn in each jar. It just takes a few minutes when you bring home a big bag of stuff, but then nothing goes stale.

Just off hand some of my favorites for this...

1) rice
2) peanuts (other snack food)
3) popcorn
4) chocolate covered nuts/raisin
5) granola
6) flour (in 2 and 4 cup sizes)
7) sugar (1 cup at a time)

Bah. Now I sound like a vacuume saver nut.... I really do think these things are amazingly useful once you start playing with them.
 

·
s/v Tiger Lily
Joined
·
624 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
I'm not a fan of heating plastics in food, but FoodSaver (Jarden) says that their bags are made from polyethylene glycol and nylon, and don’t contain BPA, phthalates, or other plasticizers with EA (estrogenic activity)-leaching additives. Still, I avoid it. I don't want to read a study about some plasticizer or other surprise down the road.

That being said, I am vac sealing all kinds of leftovers in small portions for the freezer. I'll just remove it before re-heating.

Another incredible new application for the FoodSaver ... it can reseal mylar potato-chip type bags (vac sealed or just sealed without vac).

Yesterday, I just stuck three pairs of vac sealed socks in my forward berth. My life is forever changed.
 

·
Mermaid Hunter
Joined
·
5,689 Posts
Another incredible new application for the FoodSaver ... it can reseal mylar potato-chip type bags (vac sealed or just sealed without vac).
You can also seal wine bladders. I've carried lemonade and various juices in repurposed wine bladders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
104 Posts
Kind of an aside, but at least the Zip-Lock brand freezer bags are microwave safe (and BPA free), so won't leach out anything if you boil them.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top