Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 59 Old 04-18-2012 Thread Starter
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Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

A big impediment I have right now to living aboard is the fact that both me and my girlfriend are professionals, and we need more than the usual hanging locker. I wear a suit every day, and I can't reduce the amount of shirts/suits that I have, at least not by enough to fit in a standard little hanging locker.

Does anyone have any creative ideas for hanging up dress clothes in a boat? And for how to secure them underway, so they don't all get wrinkled after a daysail?

I am currently looking at boats in the 30-37' range to liveaboard. I don't mind doing some minor interior carpentry. I am hoping to get a boat with an aft cabin but I'm not certain about that yet...
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post #2 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

We are also two professionals living aboard. We have a forty foot boat with 2 cabins. each cabin has a hanging locker. My wife gets the bigger locker. My locker in the aft cabin was actually a shelved locker. I removed the shelving and installed a hanger rod. We keep this cabin cool to prevent condensation in the winter. We run a 110v dehumidifier at the forward head which keeps the boat fairly dry. You will not have a problem with smelly clothes if the boat is not smelly and you keep your lockers well ventilated. We shower on shore year round. Me at the marina and my wife at her gym across the street.

My locker is about 2' wide. I can fit 7 pairs of dress pants and 10 shirts in it. The dress pants stay wrinkle free but the shirts do not. I iron a shirt each morning before work. Jackets I leave at the office. I use a standard iron with a tabletop ironing board in the salon.

My wife only stores clothes for the particular season in her locker. Others stay in our storage unit and get swapped out each season. She is not a shoe person so she has minimized the number of shoes she owns. Although she could keep her shoes at work because she does not walk the cobble and brick sidewalks here in her dress shoes anyhow.

Our boat is slipped about 4 blocks from either of our offices so it is easy to pick up a jacket if I have to travel.

Do you have the ability to store clothes at work?

Get creative. You will find a solution. This is what living aboard is all about. Adapting and minimizing.

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Last edited by Tim R.; 04-18-2012 at 10:52 AM.
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post #3 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

It's not only wrinkle free you need to be worried about... it's also moisture, smells, possibly mildew etc. I think this is a problem generally for office types that choose to liveaboard.

We keep things in large zip loc bags if we want them fresh and dry, but this is mainly guest/spare bedding and linens and such, we don't liveaboard full time and when we do it's mostly summer conditions and in any event suits are not in my repertoire anyway... I don't imagine the ziploc bag idea would do for you. There are also vacuum bagging options to reduce bulk, but again same issue. It would work to minimize space taken for undergarments and such, perhaps.

I suspect for the space you're talking about you'll need to focus on the upper range of your hunt.. few 30 footers will be able to provide what you need.

We've also noticed that most full time liveaboards (in the PNW, anyhow) will use shore facilities for showering to avoid the humidity in the boat. Inconvenient but overall the better choice long term.

One boat that does come to mind with the space you'll need, often priced in the 37 foot range with a spacious aft cabin is the mid 80s Hunter 40.. it has a double walkthrough to the aft cabin, one of which might be sacrificed for extra storage/closet space. Big boat, though, when it comes to all the other stuff (moorage, rigging, paint, etc...)

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post #4 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

It souns like you are in a marina and don't move around.

If you go sailing you need to ditch that hanging storage, unless you can fill it up to the point where nothing moves.

Why CHAFE!

A 24 hour sail can wear holes in your suit / shirts / pants / or in my case my kilt. Ask me how I know this.
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

TQA, we do live at a marina but are very active. We sail just about every weekend from May to Thanksgiving with a 2 week cruise in late August. Neither of us has experienced any chafe. I have pants in my locker that are going on two years and still strong.

Both of our lockers are fairly snug although I usually have 5 shirts in the laundry when we sail weekends.

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post #6 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

I must wear a suit to work. I always figure if I move aboard I will have to buy a mini-van, SUV or something similar to hang the suits/shirts/ties.

As it stands now, I spend weekends in season on a mooring. I leave a set of work clothes hanging in the truck for Monday morning.

I could probably go the sports jacket route, but, at this point it might not be so good for my career.
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post #7 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

I discovered a few neat tricks while storing hanging clothing on my previous boat, a Catalina 27. Obviously, space is always quite limited, which is something I can never seem to get through to my loving wife. If she were making a long voyage, the entire boat would become a hanging closet/locker. Guys don't usually need much more than a two-foot-wide hanging locker and a drawer or two--that's it!

Boats, unfortunately, have their own, unique odors--usually somewhat musty. Much of this is due to a lack of air circulation. I overcame this problem by installing a couple vents in the hanging locker, one near the bottom, and another near the top. The one at the top will chimney the air through the locker, but the volume of air was not sufficient to keep things as odorless as I would have liked. Therefore, I added a small, 12-volt, computer fan to the top vent. The fan draws very little electricity, the volume of air it moves is incredible and when the boat is open you can switch it off.

Vacuum bags specifically designed for hanging clothing are wonderful to reduce the amount of space required for clothing, but they do have their drawbacks--the clothes are always wrinkled. When I'm working, which is sometimes 7 days a week, I wear black trousers, a satin shirt, matching tie and a silk vest. I'm an entertainer. I sing and play an arranger keyboard and in this business every day is dress-up day. (Gotta' look good for the ladies!) Therefore, my biggest challenge for the upcoming winter will be to find a steam-iron that runs on 12 volts so I can press my shirts and slacks. There must be one out there somewhere.

Good luck,

Gary
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post #8 of 59 Old 04-18-2012
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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
I must wear a suit to work. I always figure if I move aboard I will have to buy a mini-van, SUV or something similar to hang the suits/shirts/ties.
Yes, this is what I did during my time as a Washington bureaucrat, and it worked very well. Make sure you put something in the windows to prevent sun fading the shoulders of the clothing you hang. Even my liveaboard neighbor, a judge, kept his workday clothes in a van (robes in his office).

Another thing I did was pick all my clothes for one season in one set of colors - say, black, white, gray, red, pink for winter; blue, tan, white for summer - so that I only needed one set of accessories & shoes to go with everything. Not having to keep navy, brown, AND black socks, shoes, purses, etc really helped save space.


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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

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Originally Posted by travlineasy View Post
Therefore, my biggest challenge for the upcoming winter will be to find a steam-iron that runs on 12 volts so I can press my shirts and slacks. There must be one out there somewhere.

Good luck,

Gary
Maybe an antique store? Have you investigated the old-fashioned irons that you heat on the stove? No electricity at all?


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Re: Hanging "dress clothes", suits and such, in the boat

Perhaps you could turn an armoire into a dock box?
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