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Old 05-05-2017, 21:52   #1
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Location of wet weather gear storage

Hi Cruisers,

I am currently rebuilding the bathroom (head for you pedants) and one item up for consideration is the wet weather gear locker.

The boat is a very dry boat to sail, high freeboard, center cockpit with extremely good protection from the elements. When under way in just about any conditions it is possible to stay dry in the cockpit, though of course you still get wet if you have to step out of the cockpit to do anything particularly salty with sails and stuff.

The plan is to sail the boat around Australia, and up to New Caledonia and Noumea, choosing the sailing schedule based on seasonal weather suitability.

So, with all that in mind, we are asking ourselves if the location of the wet weather gear locker is going to be a PITA or not. The bathroom (head) of the boat is forward of the main living space, so if you want to use the locker you'd have to carry the gear down the companionway, through the settee and into the bathroom (head/boudoir/out-house/crapper/dunny/shitshack/loo...etc). The path through the boat is reasonably uncluttered, straight and easy to navigate.

From those that have sailed in the proposed climates, do you think this location will be a problem or not? Your advice will tell me how much effort I should put into finding an alternative location (not easy) or if you are happy with the location it will give me a better sense of the final layout of the bathroom (head/etc.. ect...)

Matt
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Old 06-05-2017, 00:09   #2
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

My thoughts garnered over the years...

Wet weather gear (WWG) is always going to get wet, regardless where you sail.
WWG never dries quickly.
Stowing wet stuff is always problematic - especially on a boat (of any size).

Taking wet stuff though the "dry" living quarters of the boat results in wet living quarters.
Wet living areas suck.

Being warm and wet is only marginally better than cold and wet especially as warm and wet results in mould.

When I first lived aboard and sailed in the tropics on a 30 footer, then wasn't much room to stow WWG but we had a rule. Remove it if possible in the cockpit before going below but this wasn't possible, remove it at the bottom of the companionway and toss it up again under the dodger where it stayed until either worn again of it dried.

So my opinion is to go to whatever trouble it takes to make a dedicated vented locker for WWG as close as you can to the cockpit or companionway unless you have an exceptionally dry boat and never go topsides or ashore in the rain.
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Old 06-05-2017, 01:38   #3
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

I am going through the same process as our new boat takes shape - but at least the settee is behind the companionway so no problem there.

I second the point about a vented hanging locker and, where possible, leaving wet gear under the dodger until it is possible to do something else with it that does not trail water through the boat.

Our solution is to have a heated cupboard with a vent (planning to sail in cold areas so Espar heater is necessity) opposite the shower. Once WWG no longer drips, then hang in heated closet.

Does anyone have suggestions for wet footwear in the cold and wet? All my sailing to date has been warm climates and so the absolute rule that shoes stay up top (under the dodger) has been easy to enforce along with a "sham-wow" on the top step to dry feet before coming below. Is this practical when leaving the tropics?
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Old 06-05-2017, 02:01   #4
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

Wotname has offered up some excellent insights, which I heartily second. And once things belowdecks get wet, it can be ages before they're really dry again. Sometimes not until you make port, & even then it can take a while on occasion. So plan for both keeping things dry down below, or trying, as well as for how to dry out the critical bits.

Even including easy to use waterproof bunk covers, such as ones made of canvas with adjustable bungies in the hem to cinch them overtop of a bunk, & it's linens, or similar, might be worth incorporating. Since once your bunk's wet, ALL of your kit soon follows too.

A dedicated drying locker for it is Nice to have, & is more than a luxury anywhere that it's cold & wet much. Be sure to incorporate a setup in if for your boots too, so that they can dry while inverted. And a seperate rack or three above everything else in the locker for hats, gloves, & neck gaiters etc. is about as good as it gets. And the racks can be just that, so that water falls down while hot air rises through them.

Also, put as much/many grates or grated floorboards in the vicinity of the companionway & nav desk. They help with water drainage, & also with sand in warmer climates.
Plus, adding a fold down or collapsible seat to the companionway ladder, or very near it can be a good idea. As few of us put on our foulies standing up. So this "dedicated" dressing area helps to contain the wet.

And if it's wet outside, then a good bit of that often gets dragged to the nav station. So have facilities for covering things with either hinged plexiglass covers, or dodger window material. And make everything in that area as non water sensitive as is possible.

You'll also want a rack for PFD's & Harnesses, that has facilities to prevent them from swinging & clanking, near the companionway. Which, the retention system also prevents harness & tether tangling too.
Also, try & design a rack that's easy to add labels with crew names above each peg, or slot. So that there's no confusion as to which gear is who's.

Ah, & to borrow a page from elsewhere. Make up some soft stowage for all of the key small bits. Mittens to flashlights. Something kind of multi-pocket setup, with bungee & cord locks at the top of each kangaroo pouch, to secure the item(s) into the pouch. And it helps if the pouches are see through. Such as mesh, or dodger window fabric, depending on whether or not the gear to be stowed in them needs air flow to facilitate it's drying.
These can be hung on both sides of doors, behind ladders, on bulkheads, & even from stout coathangers in closets & lockers. And again, labeling things helps.

It's a "small" thing, but a big morale & team boosting thing. But if you can, sew up a couple of velcro backed name tapes to be used with the various above stowage setups. That way everyone's a "proper" crewmember, & also, it's easy to differentiate who's gear is stowed where. Not just for it's owner, but in case someone else goes to fetch someone else's mittens for them, should they be helming, etc.

Soft stowage really, really is great. Weighs little, is easy to make, easy to clean. And when it wears, you don't mind either fixing or replacing it. So when you see good examples on other boats, racers especially, snap a few pics for ideas for later.


EDIT: Pouches for soft stowage, & the stowage itself can also be modular. Whether you use a MOLLE/PALS system, or screw short sections of boltrope groove to the inside of a door, & make various soft lockers to attach to said panels via boltrope sewn to the bags.
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Old 06-05-2017, 03:56   #5
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

GILow,

It is not optimal to have the hanging locker where it is--but it is there! We often leave damp/sodden foulies out in the cockpit under the dodger, beccause the only other reasonable place to put them is in the head to drain, but then if you need to use it, it's full of damp, dripping, salty foulies! Phooey!

I suggest you let them drain under the dodger, and when they're clammy, you can put them in the hanging locker, as long as they are the only occupants thereof. I don't remember if your boat has two heads, but in the head, where they can drain, and partly dry, is a good place, if you have it. ....and keep the rest of the boat from becoming saltified!

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Old 06-05-2017, 08:21   #6
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

It surprises me that so many boats don't have wet gear drying places built in. That was on my list of things for our boat to have when we looking to buy. Alas the boat we ended up buying has poor storage for wet weather gear, pfds, harnesses (& most things) and we put our wet stuff in one of the heads, turned another into a store room, and luckily we have a 3rd! Also surprised my husband gave our heater away the other day...perhaps he's forgotten what we use it for (not keeping warm).
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:26   #7
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

We made a place to hang it up under the dodger. It never dries below and only makes the cabin more damp.

My vote, if you have a dry counter cockpit boat (me too) is to take a closer look topsides.

If I were to build such a locker, it would have an exhaust fan. That would make all the difference.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:28   #8
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

I think it's going to be fine. First, you don't usually remove your wet gear outside anyway right? (Unless the weather has cleared and then you can remove and shake it off anyway) so you are already down below with the gear a bit wet. A few more feet to hang it is fine. It's a boat.
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Old 06-05-2017, 09:21   #9
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

We keep our foul weather stuff in the cockpit when we can. I do not like dragging water and salt down below.

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Old 06-05-2017, 10:41   #10
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

Matt,

We have a place to store foulies once they are dry...

Before that, we have two alternatives available:

-Under the bimini/dodger as they drip-off. [Even when underway since they can be hung so as to not impede vision from the outside helm...]

-Below decks hanging from a 1 inch SS tube [Heavy duty like that used for a dodger frame...] we ran beneath the headliner in a dedicated shower stall. It acts as a clothes hanger rod for damp clothes [foulies and laundry...]

Everything is removed from it before we take showers- when it becomes an overhead hand grip while showering.

We use these hanger spacers to keep things separated when sailing, and found hangers like these to be the best for use with heavy foulies- doubled-up for long term hanging.

The fishing boats in southeast Alaska hang their foulies on hooks outside in the rain- often with a horizontal bungee about half way down to keep them from blowing away... They get a good rinse in the rain that way, and are ready to dawn as one goes on deck [wearing dry layers.] They rarely take them inside the boat when they are wet.

A prior boat had a wet locker - with a drain to the bilge- adjacent to the engine room. That worked fairly well after a day of motoring...

We have heat ducting running through the lockers where we store clothing, so they are usually dry and warm- depending upon the season... [We run the heater 12 months of the year, but not constantly except during the cool periods...]

Best wishes sorting out what is best for your circumstances.

Cheers! Bill
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Old 06-05-2017, 12:22   #11
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

My wet locker is immediately down the companionway ladder, which itself is right above an open teak grate that drains into the bilge. Works fairly well.

Wet stuff going forward in the living quarters, if it's salt, is my idea of hell. Once you get salt in the living quarters, you're in for a moist ride the rest of the way.
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Old 06-05-2017, 14:28   #12
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

Lots of great suggestions from everyone. You've got that massive dodger, wet gear can be hung up in it a lot of the time? Or stashed in nets overhead. If not for some reason I definitely think a space to hang jackets near the companionway is well worthwhile. It needn't be huge. Enough room for 3 or 4 jackets to hang and lifejackets/harnesses. A bungy strap to stop them chafing each other. And a drip tray below. Behind the companionway steps is a favorite.

Boots and pants I prefer to stow fireman style with boots attached and the pants rolled down so the inside can dry and live on the floor away from the drips from the jackets. I hate it when people insist I separate them into neat little racks. So fiddly to find and put them back together.

The ultimate luxury is a setup that uses engine heat to dry them somehow. Many of the smaller boats wet weather gear lives on the floor.

I'd try to configure that lovely big dodger as a drying and stowage space on your boat. And also an underway chartroom so as to minimise the need to go below.
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Old 06-05-2017, 15:12   #13
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
My wet locker is immediately down the companionway ladder, which itself is right above an open teak grate that drains into the bilge. Works fairly well.

Wet stuff going forward in the living quarters, if it's salt, is my idea of hell. Once you get salt in the living quarters, you're in for a moist ride the rest of the way.
My old design idea (not implemented, but who knows): 1. near companionway, 2. separate from the usual hanging locker, 3. hanging + boot posts + a very vented shelf, 3. the usual vents and drainage to the bilge, 4. a high volume fan (maybe two) moving air from above shelf toward bottom, 5. (newly added based on post above and successful home storage of Christmas stuff) a zippered vinyl wardrobe bag with a vent for a direct fan inserted on top and the slightly veed bottom with many drain and air holes.

Actually the bag may may alter the entire idea and location, but I will think the whole thing through, perhaps for far too long.
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Old 06-05-2017, 15:48   #14
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post
Lots of great suggestions from everyone. You've got that massive dodger, wet gear can be hung up in it a lot of the time? Or stashed in nets overhead. If not for some reason I definitely think a space to hang jackets near the companionway is well worthwhile. It needn't be huge. Enough room for 3 or 4 jackets to hang and lifejackets/harnesses. A bungy strap to stop them chafing each other. And a drip tray below. Behind the companionway steps is a favorite.

Boots and pants I prefer to stow fireman style with boots attached and the pants rolled down so the inside can dry and live on the floor away from the drips from the jackets. I hate it when people insist I separate them into neat little racks. So fiddly to find and put them back together.

The ultimate luxury is a setup that uses engine heat to dry them somehow. Many of the smaller boats wet weather gear lives on the floor.

I'd try to configure that lovely big dodger as a drying and stowage space on your boat. And also an underway chartroom so as to minimise the need to go below.
Wouldn't that be a lovely custom feature. A coolant-heated cabin heater + fan that could pull warm air through the looker. Perhaps and attachment for boots as well. So who has a clever design?

I use shoe driers at home all the time, particularly in the winter.

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Old 06-05-2017, 16:52   #15
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Re: Location of wet weather gear storage

We dont have a dedicated area, but use suction cup mounted hooks to hang wet gear in the well protected cockpit (high bulkhead on a cat helps with this). Once dry it is transfered to permanent hooks in the main salon (opposite side of the same bulkhead) for easy access.
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