It’s no surprise that, compared to the squares and rectangles of houses, boats come in odd shapes, meaning there are few square spaces to be found. Everything is much more condensed, and storing items in these odd and small areas can tend to be a difficult task. With a few tips though, working around these unusual areas can be a breeze.
Utilizing the given storage space on a boat is not as simple as running up to your nearest home improvement store and loading up on their standard-sized storage containers. It may be a good idea to invest in containers of various sizes, from five gallons all the way down to five ounces. Organization can be key in small spaces and once all your items are put away in the right container, you can stack them in any area to help make the most of your usable space.
Normally, galley (kitchen) space on a boat is at a premium, and if you want a space that functions well during extended periods of time out on the water, you’ll probably need to fit a lot of items into a small space. In my experience, collapsible containers are the best way to get a lot from a little package. From serving bowls, to food storage, or even measuring cups; collapsible items can give you the full function of the piece when you need it, and shrink down to a fraction of its size when not in use. Nesting pots and pans can also be great space savers, too.
In my experience, gear hammocks can be one of the easiest ways to add extra storage to a boat cabin. Stretch the two ends between your galley, your saloon (the living area, also pronounced “salon”), or anywhere you have a little bit of overhead space. Once it’s in place, you can fill it with anything from fresh fruit or your boating gadgets, to hats and jackets.
If there is one thing I have learned about boaters, it’s that they have some of the best ingenuity I’ve seen. That definitely applies to getting the most from their limited space. Tackle boxes become a place to store spare screws, nuts and bolts, and they also work on the opposite end of the spectrum — storing small personal items like jewelry. Magazine racks on the inside of cabinet doors can make great storage for little extras. Or, take a note from The Boat Galley and get more from your hanging locker (a small closet for hanging clothes) space by switching to sliding bins.
In homes it’s conventional wisdom that the only things going on walls should be artwork or televisions. But, on a boat, every inch of space is fair game. Small racks in the galley can hold spices or a few bottles. A hanging closet organizer can neatly stow away toiletries in your head (bathroom), or be used in your cabin to store extra clothing or gear.
You may have seen the infomercials on how great vacuum sealers are for refrigerators and freezers at home, but did you know they can do wonders on a boat? Think about them in terms of anything. Yes, they’re still great for keeping food fresh in your refrigerator or freezer, but they’re also a great way to store off-season clothes or blankets, and even spare parts. Without all the extra air inside these bags, they’re also much easier to squeeze into small locations.
Take a look at all your items, and if you don’t need it, donate it! Purging and cleaning can do wonders in freeing up extra space.
Maximizing the efficiency of a small space doesn’t have to be difficult. Hopefully, these storage ideas can help keep your boat organized and in shipshape.