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Old 24-06-2024, 10:49   #1
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Packing for families

This is an incredibly boring topic, but I figure you guys have come up with a great solution for this and I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

What's the best method for packing for a family of four on a small (26') sailing boat with limited storage?

My wife had originally purchased a bunch of plastic totes, but I find the hard sides and rectangular shape difficult to maneuver and store/secure around the boat. What I'm considering is some matching duffels. One for each person with their personal effects, towels, water bottles etcetera. Then one soft sided tote bag for sundries, and a cooler. The duffels would be easy for each individual to carry on their own, prevents overpacking (if it doesn't fit you can't bring it), and easy to store and move around the boat. For context, we are primarily weekend cruisers on a large inland lake, never out more than three days in a row.

Are there any systems that are proven to be more effective? I appreciate getting to tap into the collective experience here!
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Old 24-06-2024, 10:52   #2
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Re: Packing for families

Totes dont work well unless you are storing stuff in like the quarter berth, or cockpit locker etc.
Bags/duffels work and conform to the shape of the storage area.
One of those 'back of door' canvas shoe storing devices works well on a cabinet/hanging locker door for all kinds of things.
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard

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Old 24-06-2024, 13:27   #3
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Re: Packing for families

Trswem we have 5 of these and the fifth one is full of snorkel equipment. They seem to keep the contents dry and stow away fairly easily. They're well built and don't seem to leak when full of wet flippers and masks.
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Old 24-06-2024, 13:51   #4
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Re: Packing for families

I agree, duffle bags, one per person. 50 l. capacity may be more than you need for the kids, but depends on their sizes. Having them different colors might help at a glance, unless you prefer for them to all be the same, then colored velcro wire tags will provide a clue.

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