Monday, April 07, 2014

A Place For Everything. Everything In Its Place.

Boot Key Harbor, Marathon, Florida

In addition to refinishing the top deck surfaces, we've done quite a bit of rearranging.

  • We stopped carrying our 6 person life raft.  The placard on the raft says that it needs to be certified every year (maybe every 2nd year, I forget).  But the certification costs $850.  We are not about to spend that kind of money unless we are making an ocean crossing.  Therefore, we left the raft in Dave's garage.
  • Without the raft, we found that we miss a key function -- being able to use the raft as a step platform for viewing, and to make it easier to climb the mast.
We also have wanted more on-deck storage.   I thought of a fiberglass dock box.  We see those everywhere, including on boats.  But those boxes are too large for the space and far too expensive -- $400-$1200.
  • I got a quote form a local company to make a custom box from starboard.  It would be on the order of $500.  Too much.
  • Finally, it dawned on me that the dimensions of a box that would fit are almost identical to a common ice chest cooler.   I checked online.  Bingo!  I found a Coleman Marine Cooler almost exactly the specified size.   I bought it for $35 delivered.  Outstanding
Here you see the cooler in its new permanent position, just in front of Tarwathie's mast.  It is strong enough to sit on or stand on.  We can store broom heads, mop heads, gloves, a hammock, a kettle bell, and a tarp in there.  It is securely bolted to the life raft chocks.  By the way, you see two circular ventilation ducts on either side of the cooler.  The one on the left has a winch handle sticking out of it.  We find that to be a very handy place to store the handle for use on the mast winches.

 Behind the cooler and in front of the mast is a secure place to store our canvas sun shade tarps.  Those used to be stored on top of the Turtle and under the dinghy when under sail.

Here you see the turtle.  It is the big square white box between the dinghy chocks.  The turtle covers the companionway hatch and prevents water incursion in case a breaking wave swamps the boat.  We used to store the  tarps there, but now that space on top of the turtle is used to store solar panels when we are under way.

When in use in Marathon, we hang the solar panels on the starboard side, and prop them up at an angle of about 60 degrees. (You can see one of the panels on the left side of the top two pictures. When in use elsewhere, we put the solar panels on top of the flaked mailsail on the boom. They are too big to store below decks, and there is no suitable place on Tarwthie to mount them permanently. This dual in-use and in-storage arrangement for the panels seems to work well.

So, a place for everything and everything in its place.   Life is good.


  1. The only problem with the Coleman use is sunlight. You would be shocked at how fast the plastic will degrade. A simple cloth cover will extend its life. Looking forward to your trip north. Ken

  2. I'm another anon, follower, you'll find the chest will fill with water when it rains! ..leave the drain open or cover it. a lesson learned. ...


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