Duct tape is hugely overrated! I haven't bought a roll in probably more than 15 years. It doesn't adhere well to a lot of substrates, leaves a nasty residue when it does, doesn't like any level of heat, and is prone to disintegration. Name any problem that can be fixed with tape and there's probably a better (and sometimes cheaper) alternative. I am, however, open to having my mind changed on this.
I have a roll of duct tape aboard, but can't say it's used very often. Can't recall the last time. I'll point out there are highly variable qualities of the stuff. Some are total junk. Others, we used to call 100mph tape, back in the day, would hold anything down. I don't disagree with the criticisms. It's temporary or emergency use at best.
I use blue painters tape all the time aboard. Temporary labeling, covering a breaker I don't want touched, cover a receptacle I don't want used or switch I don't want activated, holding something in place, etc. Comes off easily.
I remember reading an article about tape & adhesives back when I worked in the theatre... iirc, duct tape has glue that is designed to get stickier as it warms and gaffer tape has adhesive that is designed to stick to itself so it leaves no residue when you peel it off. The central point being that it's not the tape that matters, it's the glue.
Makes you wonder how someone gets into glue design...
Both Gorilla and 3M are making high end tapes that work much better than anything from 15 years ago. We had a problem with birds nesting in our boom. They entered in through the aft end which was wide open. We stuck some Gorilla tape on it 6 years ago and it is still pretty god.
I keep a roll around for general purpose use. May need to hold stuff together for a bit. When I store the boat I put the lines in plastic bags on the mast. This closes those bags well. Lots of little things.
Now those grey stuff, thats just nasty.
Electrical tape is 3M 33 or 88, no cheap ****.
While we are at it discovered a new (to me) general purpose adhesive. E6000 whichnis a kind of ip market shoe goo. Good adhesion and ERY flexible. I needed something to stick to electrical wire insulation and this was pretty good. Dries relatively fast. Today i used it in place of contact cenent on a piece of trim. Seems to work better.
Working in The Industry it always amazed me how much (real) Gaffer Tape Gaffers used. Then I produced a film and had to pay out for the real gaffer tape (3M) and couldn't believe the high price. Crikey!
After that I always winced at the whole boxes of tape in the gaffers trucks.
The $100 million cost of Batman Returns (Part 25) is just tape!! (and the catering truck.)