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Old 23-10-2016, 09:20   #1
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storage tips and ideas

Hi everyone,
I need help as I am getting a little fed up having to always dig out lots of "stuff" to access that one spare or bit of kit that happens to be buried at the bottom of the locker. Whilst I appreciate this is part of life on board a yacht, I wondered if anyone had come up with some bright ideas on making their storage wars less of a hassle. What we have done recently was to fit a tailor made tool holder on the inside of the engine room door for common use tools. So that has helped, but I am still looking for a better set up. My main storage area is under the chart seat, and measures 90cm x 80cm x 60cm.

Many thanks in advance
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Old 23-10-2016, 10:07   #2
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Color coded bags help. Especially in lockers that have to have mixed use items. We just made up a few of rip stop nylon with draw strings. That way you can see where the items you need are by color alone.

Another idea I have had is to use lumber stock for a clamp system to.divide lockers. I havent tried it yet though. The idea is to epoxy two strips close together so you can slide a board between.
Of course some things can be stored in lift out baskets and bins.

In my boat we have very deep lockers along the hull. We have placed little used stuff in the bottom and cover it with a lift out board. Along the top there is a lot of wasted space that runs at the top of the lockers to under the deck. Its a shallow space about 3 inches deep. We have used this space for extra bedding in vacuum bags.
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Old 23-10-2016, 10:43   #3
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Re: storage tips and ideas

I've started keeping stuff in net duffles in my cockpit lockers as it allows me to group stuff and pull it out fairly quickly and easily to get to something at the bottom. Anchoring tackle goes in one bag, cleaning stuff in another, extra lines in a few more, and so on. The net allows me to see what's inside and allows air to circulate. Dive gear duffles are perfect and you can find them fairly cheaply. More frequently used stuff goes in canvas buckets at the top.

In my experience, the more you can "group" things and find storage "containers", be they anything from a canvas bucket to a Plano storage tray that fit for those items, the easier it is to keep track of stuff but also to dig things out from well packed storage areas.
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Old 23-10-2016, 12:22   #4
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Re: storage tips and ideas

A couple things I have done is make a spare parts list and ID their location on the boat, which I keep in a maintenance log next to the cursing log.

Also, I made a drawing of the boats outline, which shows all the compartments. Each compartment has a #. Even # for port, odd for stbd. My inventory list shows what is in which # compartment. And when stuff is put away I refer to the list.

This stops the searching, especially for items that one doesn't use often or is buried. Also, prioritize your items putting the most used items on top or in one compartment. All my tools are in two separate compartments in relation to their size.

Lists are very important for organization. I also have lists for winterizing, checks for underway, exiting the boat for the day, supplies/food, and spare parts along with a small-charts book indicating fuel levels, radio safety calls, rules of the road, flag insignias, rode depth via colored markers, conversion charts and other important items.

This may sound a overwhelming, but I run a tight ship, organize wise. One step at a time.
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Old 23-10-2016, 13:44   #5
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Re: storage tips and ideas

The area behind seat backs, & other spots where you can stow things in a more vertical orientation are the ones sometimes best used for commonly used items. And the space can be divided/sectioned off by using pieces of clear lexan or acrylic, especially after it's been pre-drilled for ventiilation. Or even better is to build shelves which have soft fronts made from cloth & mesh. So that it's easy to see the contents, plus they're less likely to mildew.

While at first glance the storage setups like these on racing boats don't seem "yachty", they're definitely handy. As well as easy to make. Ditto on gear hanger systems which have multiple pockets, both open & ones with tops & closures. That you can affix to the backsides of doors, to the bulkhead behind ladders, etc. Much like shoe racks on bedroom closet doors at home. "Soft closets" & "soft cabinets" rock!

Aside from that, stow what you can in clear tupperware type rectangular tubs. Keeping the tubs on shelves which have fiddles & restraining; bars, webbing, or netting. Including webbing secured with various types of Fastex buckles. This lets you optimize the use of space, while keeping most of the contents in view. And when you want a certain item, you simply take the whole tub to the location where part X is needed. And the tubs assist with preventing it's contents from wandering quite so much as compared to loose bits of gear, due to their high side walls.

Hope that makes sense.
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Old 23-10-2016, 13:52   #6
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Re: storage tips and ideas

My solution is to get rid of as much junk as I can. Fewer things to store, fewer problems finding stuff.

My favourite storage trick is called American Express. ;-)

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Old 23-10-2016, 15:31   #7
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Add these ideas "Boxes in a Box" and a labeling printer that works on batteries. I bought all of the above at Costco.
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Old 24-10-2016, 06:11   #8
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
A couple things I have done is make a spare parts list and ID their location on the boat, which I keep in a maintenance log next to the cursing log...
I thought the maintenance log was the cursing log.
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Old 24-10-2016, 09:12   #9
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I thought the maintenance log was the cursing log.
Well, it was, but the cruising log is full so it's a second book now. And I misspoke, the lists are actually in a third book, a three ring binder w/plastic covered pages. Not the maintenance log.
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Old 24-10-2016, 14:24   #10
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Re: storage tips and ideas

So far I have had best success with plastic boxes of different sizes. They are good especially in deep lockers because you can (if you have optimized the box sizes well) take out few boxes in few seconds and then access the lower boxes. You can also easily carry the box that contains the required stuff (from the difficult to access locker) to the closest table, and continue studying and using the contents comfortably there.
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Old 24-10-2016, 15:18   #11
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by GordMay
I thought the maintenance log was the cursing log.

Well, it was, but the cruising log is full so it's a second book now.
Whoosh, that one went right over his head
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Old 24-10-2016, 17:01   #12
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Re: storage tips and ideas

I hate boxes, but they are necessary some times. I like the plastic bags that you use a vacuum to shrink. great for clothing that you do not use very often and you want to keep moisture and mildew safe. These bags fit in tight spaces, are visible, reusable and cheat.
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:14   #13
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJFK View Post
Hi everyone,
I need help as I am getting a little fed up having to always dig out lots of "stuff" to access that one spare or bit of kit that happens to be buried at the bottom of the locker. Whilst I appreciate this is part of life on board a yacht, I wondered if anyone had come up with some bright ideas on making their storage wars less of a hassle. What we have done recently was to fit a tailor made tool holder on the inside of the engine room door for common use tools. So that has helped, but I am still looking for a better set up. My main storage area is under the chart seat, and measures 90cm x 80cm x 60cm.

Many thanks in advance
It is indeed easy to collect too much stuff - I have to watch myself, as many do. Having said that, our solution is:
Clear plastic bins with lids (ours come with bungee cord to hold the lids on).
These fit in many places, and being clear, you can see what is in them.
I keep things in logical order, so all the electrical bits in one, engine filters in another etc. The other point is that where possible, the bins with spares are kept where the spares will be needed - spare water filters in with the desalinator, spare oil filters under the sole next to the engine etc.

In areas with a decent amount of room, vertical storage is good - fixing shelving - sized to take the smaller bins, up the sides in the lazarettes etc works well.
Tools stow well in canvas tool bags, as does rope bits and pieces, spare cable etc.
Take a look at how much space is wasted by the manufacturer - there is usually plenty. Just one example from ours:
Under one of the saloon seats is the sub-woofer for the Bose sound system. It is mounted horizontal, and dead centre under there with wasted space either side. I needed somewhere to stow our documentation for all the equipment onboard, the boat handbook etc, etc. Moving the sub-woofer from a horizontal mount to vertical, then to one side, freed up just the right amount of space for all folders to just slip in down the side of the woofer.
There are lots of little places like that around where you can stow bits and pieces.
Next thing - kept an inventory record. Code all of the stowage areas in a book, and then list what is in there so that you can find it again !

There are a few suggestions anyway - hope that helps.

David
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Old 25-10-2016, 00:35   #14
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Re: storage tips and ideas

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juho View Post
So far I have had best success with plastic boxes of different sizes. They are good especially in deep lockers because you can (if you have optimized the box sizes well) take out few boxes in few seconds and then access the lower boxes. You can also easily carry the box that contains the required stuff (from the difficult to access locker) to the closest table, and continue studying and using the contents comfortably there.
We have also found these best for all the reasons listed above, plus if you choose boxes with well sealed lids it keeps salt air out (very useful if you have items that can potentially deteriorate with either salt or moisture).

As several other members have mentioned, a list is invaluable. I keep an alphabetical one on an excel spreadsheet with the locker and box number listed. You just need to remember to update it when things are added or shifted .
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Old 25-10-2016, 01:42   #15
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Re: storage tips and ideas

On a totally different level, keeping perishable without refrigeration is in a different category, but I thought I would mention this because it has been successful from Mexico through Australia: wrap each lime separately in aluminium foil (doesn't have to be BBQ weight, just regular is fine). If they are dirty, wash them first, in bleach water, 1:10, then air dry. Remove bits of stem first. Once dry, wrap each one. Sorta like wontons. And, though not forever, they last quite a lot longer. This treatment works best on limes, but okay on oranges, especially the green oranges you get in the Marquesas and want to take as gifts to the Tuamotus. Never tried it for pomplemousse, but their skins are thick. It works great for bush lemons, not so well for "normal" lemons. Ymmv.

For people from the US who use mayonnaise that they don't make themselves: we have never refrigerated mayo, ever. We are careful to use only clean utensils in it. One qt. jar per month for about 30 yrs. We're a little bit weird, maybe, but it's not from the Best Foods.

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