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  #1  
Old 06-17-2013
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Cockpit Organizer Bag?

After dumping everything out of the bottomless pit of a deck bag in a fit of pissedness at not being able to find something, I have vowed to come up with a design for or buy some sort of cockpit storage "bag" that will hold everything needed on deck for a long stint at the wheel. Some things it must contain: water bottles, sandwiches, binocs, charts and guidebooks, h/h VHF, tether, sail ties, winch handles, rain gear, windbreaker, sun lotion, sunglasses, reading glasses, Leatherman type multi-tool, cap key, small camera, and handheld horn, flashlight(s), and probably other things I didn't think of offhand.

Attributes: 1. Non-collapsible. Everything must be easily available without digging. 2. Must be secured to bulkhead so it can't slide around. 3. Must be packable below and then moved up just before departure with everything needed.

I've seen what's out there commercially but none of them are big enough to fit a lot of stuff so you can lay your hand on what you need immediately. I would say the minimum size would be able to accommodate a large book like an Explorer chartbook and a couple of cruising guides, etc.

What do you use? Has anyone seen something that works?
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

That's a lot to put in one organizer. You might need a proper steamer trunk !

Louis Vuitton Steamer Trunk open



I wonder if car organizers could be what you are looking for. They fit at the back of the front seat or alongst the boot. I've thought using something like this as an organizer to hang on the inside of the door to my heads. You won't fit your foul weather gear into them, though.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

That is an awful lot of stuff you want to keep in a bag! That makes for a pretty huge bag! Considering the bag you've got is already too cluttered to find what you need, perhaps you need to rethink the whole idea.

VHF can be rail or bulkhead mounted, or better yet, on your person if you are single handing. The Leatherman is also more useful on your belt than at the bottom of a jumbo grab bag. Sail ties, tethers deck pipe keys go in the lazarette locker along with the spare mooring lines and bilge pump handles on my boat. We have a small sheet bag hanging on the pulpit that holds binocs, sunscreen, water etc.

If you can't leave the helm long enough to grab a sandwich from the galley, or a jacket from the locker then i would suggest you set up your boat so you CAN!
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

Sounds like you need a canvas boat tool bag hybrid with a cooler insert. Someone needs to make it.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

Thanks for the feedback. I realize it IS a lot of stuff but aside from the clutter, the athletic tote bag I use works. Before getting underway, I can make sandwiches, fill water bottles, and get everything up on deck on my checklist without leaving some essential item(s) below. Sometimes it is simply impossible under certain conditions, to get below to retrieve things once underway, especially if in a close channel, in traffic, or in a sea condition which requires undivided attention. It's one of the unpleasant realities of singlehanding. The windvane is great but it's only on long open passages that it is useful.
What I'm looking for is something with separators to hold multiple items and keep them from getting scrambled, a central location for essential items. The closest thing I can think of is one of those sheetrock bucket tool holders with lots of pockets for different tools.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

Two ideas come to mind:
trunk organizer-
Amazon.com: 2 in 1 Trunk Organizer & Cooler, Fully Collapsible and Portable Ez Storage - 2 Piece Set: Automotive Amazon.com: 2 in 1 Trunk Organizer & Cooler, Fully Collapsible and Portable Ez Storage - 2 Piece Set: Automotive




bucket bag: Husky | Husky Bucket Jockey | Home Depot Canada
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

That trunk organizer may be just the thing. Thanks for that!
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Old 06-17-2013
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We use a bag like this at work for EMS equipment. Very compartmentalized.

http://www.meretusa.com/product.php?product_id=794

Very durable as well. Lots of different sizes.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smurphny View Post
The windvane is great but it's only on long open passages that it is useful
Score one for autopilot - I just dot the button and the course stays while I dart below for a toilet stop or whatever..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schockt View Post
That is an awful lot of stuff you want to keep in a bag! That makes for a pretty huge bag! Considering the bag you've got is already too cluttered to find what you need, perhaps you need to rethink the whole idea.
I agree on the re-think - I have little compartments build into the bottom of my cockpit table frame that hold a lot of stuff like small electronics, knives, etc, a locker under the bunk for ties, short lengths of cord etc, and so on. Everything has a place and when I'm on watch everything I need is on deck in it's place.
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Old 06-17-2013
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Re: Cockpit Organizer Bag?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omatako View Post
Score one for autopilot - I just dot the button and the course stays while I dart below for a toilet stop or whatever..



I agree on the re-think - I have little compartments build into the bottom of my cockpit table frame that hold a lot of stuff like small electronics, knives, etc, a locker under the bunk for ties, short lengths of cord etc, and so on. Everything has a place and when I'm on watch everything I need is on deck in it's place.
There is no storage place in my cockpit area except the lazarettes but they're chock full of stuff. I wouldn't want to have to open them up every time to get stuff anyway. Wish there was space to put a couple of drawers but just about every square inch of space has a function already.

The trunk organizers look like they'll work. They have a cooler section to keep water cool as well.

Autopilots are nice but use way too much juice. OK if the motor/alternator are running but not when sails are providing the propulsion.
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Last edited by smurphny; 06-17-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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