Join Date: Oct 2007
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Smal sailboat cruisers and utilizing space...
I've been trying to utilize every little space on my 22 footer and I'd like to share some of my ideas...
-For low and long storage compartments, such as beneath cockpit seating, that opens to the cabin; use under bed plastic storage boxes. They have wheels and can slide in and out easyly...
-Under seating compartments; use plastic storage boxes. Those are cheap and water cannot enter unless you are sinking, minimizes movement of your stuff.
-Vacuum bags; they are cheap, water proof and saves you a ot of space. Clothing storge is ideal with those bags and you don't really need a vacuum.
-Food on board: I keep cured meat (beef jerky), salted or cured fish, crackers, couple of canned food, and pasta on board. Just in case. Those foods are not really subject to go bad and high in protein.
-Keeping anchor lines: I took a rope roller (the plastic roller provided from manufacturer to the sellers) from a local marine store. They are free. Roll up your anchor line and store it. Saves time and space for anchoring. NAd no tangled up lines!
-Installing electronics: Smaller boats don't really have space to install good electronics. For a depth finder, I bought a simple fish finder. The sounder is attached to the bottom of my rudder. Thus, I didn't have to drill any holes through the hull. And works fine when you move the rudder around to see any bottom structures around you. The unit is attached with a marine velcro, which allows me to store it in cabin when im not using it or when Im docking...
Buy a handheld GPS, they are cheap and work well. Handheld VHFs are handy. Even as a back up. Try to buy one with a battery casing to use with AA batteries. You may not have the charger around all the time.
-Powering: I bought a DC power unit for charging/starting batteries. About 100$ from homedepot. Has a 110V outlet for small things like a stereo or laptop, can charge the battery, and after using you can charge it at the house. Really handy.
-Making camping stuff useful aboard: Camping has the same idea with boating; you want to be light and sturdy. Buy camping pans, they are light and sturdy. Camping heaters can be utilized in cabin. Camping stoves safe to have on board and they can handle the rocking on a boat. Keep a sleeping bag that's rated for low temperatures, can save your life one day.
-Using batteries on board: Not the battery that powers the whole boat, but battery operated lights and electronics. Buy ones meant for camping. I have a couple of battery operated lanterns on board, all season used the same batteries and still have juice. This way you don't use much needed main power for illuminating the cabin. Use battery operated boomboxes. Sound is loud enough and can be carried around the boat or your anchorage for entertaintment. And when they eventually go bad, you didn't just wasted 100s of dollars... Keep batteries in a air tight box. They will be ready for you.
-Safety back-ups: Radar reflectors, keep a foldable radar reflector on board. In an emergcy those aliminum folios become really handy. Strecth around life lines and they can see you. Keep a back up navigational lights. Battery operated and easyly installed. Beats the struggling with light bulb changes out there.
-Flashlights: Get a floating flash light from homedepot they are cheap and handy. Keep a flashlight on your belt.
-You'll find some cabinet lights with LEDs, buy them. Really handy to use in storage compartments.
-Don't use your built in icebox for everyday food storage. Buy a small cooler. Beats the smell in cabin.
-Keep your Cds in a air tight place. CDs will start peeling off the data strips with vapor and harsh conditions.
- Buy the chart books, not the roll-up charts. Easier to store and carry around on a small boat.
-If you buy a pet-safe bug net from hompedot you can make a companion way cover for bugs and it will last longer because they are plastic, not metal...
-Laminate the paper. If you print out something that you want to carry on board laminate it. That'll work with copies of registrations, print out charts, lists and etc... Keep a simple explanation of how to mayday, securite, and procedure of emergency printed out and laminated. That'll help if something goes wrong and you are not able to do those, someone else on-board can follow the directions.
- Get some stainless steel industrial hooks from homedepot, they'll make it a lot easier to moor or anchor. I clip them in and tie the line later. They will keep you secure until you finalize the tying the lines.
That's pretty much it.
Let me know if you guys have invented something new on your boat. After all, not everything comes in a package...
And have fun out there...
" I refuse to engage in an intellectual battle with an unarmed man!"
Materialism: Buying the things we don't need, with money we don't have, to impress people who don't matter.
Last edited by merttan; 11-08-2007 at 07:39 PM.