Whether you play it a bit loose or you run a tight ship, there are plenty of good reasons to be intentional about your onboard boat storage. For starters, what you keep on your boat and where you put it can drastically affect your safety and that of your passengers. Then there’s the fact that better storage practices can increase how productive your time is on the water, helping you have much more fun. Everyone needs more of that!
Your ‘Tidy Boat Nation’ Invite: 5 Signs You Need Better Onboard Boat Storage
When Do You Need Better Boat Organization Techniques?
For anyone whose introspection brought them here, or for anyone who can openly admit that they’d like to improve the systems they use on their boat, feel free to skip on ahead to the next section. But, if you’re not sure and you really want to know how well you do with onboard boat storage, ask your friends and family — the ones who aren’t afraid to roast you a little as they jokingly deliver some honesty.
If they enjoy going on the boat but they have some reservations about the loose gear, baits, hooks, clutter, and other challenges therein, it might be time to consider tools, tips, and techniques that can help.
5 Signs That It’s Time for Better Onboard Boat Storage
Don’t worry: we’re not going to go all Marie Kondo on you here, especially because almost none of us are ready to get rid of gear that could come in handy during certain situations. As far as we’re concerned, it’s just like the hardware or scrap wood you might have saved; it feels great to have some of that ready when you need it. However, we’ve gathered a few tips from our team and our pros so everything is in its right place and your boat can be at its best every time you head out on the water.
Sign #1: Docking, mooring, and anchoring gear isn’t kept neatly
It takes time away from your boating experience when you’re struggling to get fenders in place, or dealing with tangles in your anchor line, or dealing with the consequences of an anchor tumbling around in your boat. The good news, however, is that you can easily solve these issues with fender clips, cleats, velcro straps, and other solutions.
It’s important to keep this gear ready, of course, but keep it ready while keeping it secure and within designated spaces.
Sign #2: Boat hooks, emergency paddles, and throwables end up in walkways
These may not be as frequently used as the first group mentioned here, but they can also get in the way or get launched around when you’re driving fast and making stops. Consider installing clips, hooks, and other hardware that can keep them near to you and also out of the way.
Sign #3: Fun gear doesn’t rotate off the boat or doesn’t have a home
Many of us have a rotation of gear that travels to and from the boat for swimming, towing, and sandbar fun. It may include floaty noodles, tubes, ski ropes, wakeboards, beach toys, or any number of other items. For these, the key is not only keeping them out of the way, but finding creative methods to hold items of odd shapes and sizes, then making sure to rotate them off the boat.
For smaller items that can spread around your boat where you don’t want them, consider mesh beach bags (or even mesh laundry bags). For ski ropes, try velcro straps and ski rope coiling techniques. For larger items, keep some 10’ to 15’ rope on board that can help you bundle noodles, or hold tubes in place and out of the way — you may even use your rails and fender clips for this. Skis are a little easier than wakeboards to slide out of the way, but few tips are better than investing in a good quality rack for them. Your time and safety is worth it.
Sign #4: Spent plastic baits, lures, hooks, and fishing line end up in cup holders (and in other random places)
Spent plastic baits, broken down by wear and tear and sun, might seem like only a minor nuisance, but that perspective might depend on whether it’s your spouse talking or a fellow angler. They easily go in small pouches or containers though, so you can keep it neat and discard them before they turn into microplastics that harm fisheries over time.
On the other hand, hooks are an imminent problem for everyone, especially kids and pets. Luckily, they can easily be kept out of the way with tackle trays, tackle boxes, and tackle storage racks like Tackle Titan. After all, setting a hook is a great feeling, unless that hook gets set in a passenger.
In both cases, when you make it part of your routine to keep those hooks and baits picked up and off the surfaces of the boat, your guests will appreciate it. Even better, make it a routine that you model for the next generation.
Sign #5: You haven’t quite found a system
Top pros all have their systems. They're successful because they improvise when needed and stick with the techniques and tools that work. This includes everyone from wakesurfers to guides and tournament anglers.
Once those habits and systems become second nature to you, you can capitalize on that saved time so you can take a longer ride. Or get a few more casts in. Or tow your tyke for one more lap. It’s then that you can truly realize the investment for what it gains you.
Whatever it may be, find your system and stick with it.
Need a Little Help with Creating Your System?
From light clips to tackle racks, rod holders, storage boxes, and more, we have a variety of onboard boat storage options that can help!