Originally Posted by smurphny
Since I sail single-handed almost all the time, having things in the cockpit is the only option. Often there is no way to get below to retrieve anything until/if I can get the windvane set. You can imagine why the bucket is on deck:-) The anchor would only be stowed below if doing a major crossing. I think getting it out of the way is a good idea so that there is no possibility of it breaking loose and to clear the foredeck to use the sea anchor if necessary. Great idea about the bungee cords on hatches! Think I will do that instead of using the screws. You're absolutely right about it not being the best idea to cut off quick access to the bilge. It has always bothered me to screw them down but I have so much stuff down there that keeping it from getting out and flying around in a knockdown has been the priority. Items on the list can surely be adjusted depending on how far "offshore." I guess my idea of offshore is anywhere out of sight of land where you will be out over night(s). Killarney_sailor, if you use a SSB/Pactor/Sailmail, would be interested to know how your reception and transmission has been way out in the Pacific.
Smurphny, please do not take my comments as disparagement, Single handers tend to do thing a little different to others. My main comments were directed to your apparent need to surround yourself with unneeded items, just in case. Where I would take the opposite tack and clear the decks of just about everything, except the bucket and fishing gear. My longest single handed non stop trip was 23 days and some hours, this would have been impossible without a good wind vane auto pilot. In fact I do very little hand steering, setting the wind vane as soon as I am out of the leads and sometimes sooner. I work on the theory that everything has its place and it should not be moved to a new location, as when the excrement hits the proverbial and you need get that item right now you will automatically go for said item where it was normally stored.