Let’s talk storage – perhaps the most precious thing on a boat, wouldn’t you agree? I mean, safety factors aside, a well-designed boat with ample storage is like the Holy Grail. It means you don’t have to live like a caveman when you’re on your boat. You can actually keep various changes of clothes, shoes, games, tools, spare parts and other necessities tucked nicely and neatly away, out of sight, but within easy reach.
We get more emails regarding storage than almost any other topic. People who are either moving onto a boat, or taking a long trip on a boat, or about to buy a boat always ask where we store everything.
Forums and Facebook threads are filled with ideas surrounding boat storage, and a quick search on Pinterest for “Boat Storage” will turn up tons and tons of cool storage solutions.
When I go on other boats, I always look around to see if there are any clever storage solutions they’ve discovered that I haven’t. I constantly look for ways to keep a boat tidy without sacrificing some of the things I need or love.
The reality is that some boats just simply don’t have the kind of storage you may want, although the boat may be perfect in every other way. The good news is that you can easily create more storage with some creativity and good storage options.
Clever and Practical Storage Solutions
If you have a hanging locker (otherwise known as a closet… usually a very small one), you can increase the amount of useable space by either building simple shelves, or an even simpler way to allow you to store more clothes is a hanging closet organizer. You can find these at most any department store and they are an inexpensive solution to add to your closet space.
Another option for creating more storage is to utilize spaces that aren’t being used, but are still out of sight. For instance, check out this clever way to store curling irons behind a cabinet in the head using 1½” PVC pipe. If you don’t use curling irons, you could still use PVC pipe for organizing or storing cords away in a similar fashion.
Another option for making the most out of space is to use all the space available in a cabinet or drawer. Most of the time, we fill cabinets with books or other stuff, but we almost never fill them up to the top. You can maximize the space with square plastic organizers, like the Modular Mates we sell here at Sailboat Interiors. I suggest sticking with square or rectangular organizers because round containers leave gaps and unused space, and they don’t fit as nicely in square spaces.
You can get them in all sizes, and it can be like a game of Tetris when you go to put stuff in or take it out. The key with these is to plan accordingly, and put the rarely used items in containers on the bottom, and the commonly used items in the top containers. That way you don’t have to do the “sailboat shuffle” where you pull 15 things out just to get the 1 thing you want. It’s also very helpful to pack like items together, and you can even label the fronts of the containers with a stick-on label so you know what’s inside before you start pulling everything out.
So if you’re in a small boat, or if your boat isn’t set up with ideal storage solutions, ask other boaters to see what they are doing, check out Pinterest, or browse our online shop for clever, design-friendly storage options, and you should find some useful suggestions.
Got any tips or storage solutions that would help other boat owners? Share them in the comments!