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The quest to find easy-to-access storage for the huge amount of live-aboard paraphernalia is never-ending. When you find a way to do it that is both good AND CHEAP it is like stumbling across the holy grail. And so it is with our dollar-store shoe racks. Last October I wrote about how we had used a cut down shoe rack in our galley to store produce.

We used the other parts of that particular shoe rack in our berth.

The other day we purchased another shoe rack, for the grand total of 2 bucks (the Dollar Store rocks!). Half of it now lives in the head and the other resides just inside our main salon door. Cheap, easy to set up and effective.

Little L-brackets from Rona are what we used to fasten the racks to the walls.

Thanks to Drew for the inspiration for that last location and also to Terry for doing that bit of sewing for us. We ordered our own sewing machine yesterday so we won’t have to borrow his anymore!

By the way, if you look really hard outside the window in the photo of our berth, perhaps you could see the SNOW FLAKES!!! Yes, it’s snowing this morning and we are not too impressed.


  1. My secret:

    Not your typical junk stores, but much larger and cleaner. At least the one in VA, which is huge. I’ve scored a lot of Goretex rainwear, a dry suit ($6), a port-a-band saw, a wonderful pair of year-old parabolic skis ($5), and tons of other new stuff. They get a lot of store donations. It just takes patience, to find the pearls and leave the junk.

  2. What a great idea! We’re not living on our sailboat yet, but we’re quickly learning that every bit of space on a sailboat is precious.

  3. ooooo, I like that idea! I just may have to steal it! I have one for ya that I shared with another liveboard/ cruiser recently.
    Get some empty 2 liter soda bottles somewhere (we don’t drink any softdrinks, so this was the hardest part!) Empty, peel label, wash and dry well, and keep the cap. You can store bulk book here with a funnel like flour, suagr, whatever you keep around the galley. Once they’re in there, they are TIGHTLY sealed to keep out bugs and moisture, they are shatter proof, and you can toss them anywhere on the boat (just label with a permanent marker). Our friends who circumnavigated on a cat threw them in the bilges, under the settee, wherever. When you need to fill the smaller containers you have at hand in the galley, easy to pour in, then seal and toss back in the bowels of the boat. Cheap and easy!

    I hope your snow goes away — eeek!

  4. Very cool. We bought the same thing (still not installed) for…shoes. We aren’t that creative 😉

    Actually, we just don’t have that much wall space!

    I’ve never sailed on a cat but I have a vivid mental picture of the bottom of those swinging out and back into the wall (clunk, clunk, CLUNK) in a swell or chop (not just while sailing but at anchor). What goes thump in the night = impressive “boat moments” for us. Are the bottoms connected to anything?

    • No, and I haven’t experienced that issue yet, but then again, we are not as well travelled as you two. 🙂

      I guess we’ll see. Not all of our ideas turn out to be winners. For an example of one which worked better in theory than in practice, check out the spice rack here:

      • Well travelled…*snort*

        More like “prone to accidentally choosing rolly anchorages and having mistakenly taken one trip into the ocean with no wind and a nice swell” 🙂

        It will be a super easy fix if they do start making noise.

        We are trying to figure out a spice rack – what didn’t work for yours?

        • The metal strips were fastened to the wall with sticky tape. It didn’t hold. Our alternative location for the metal containers ( ) was better, but they started to rust. If they rust here they will die down south. We just bought some little plastic shaker spice jars from… you guessed it, the dollar store! 🙂

    • I won’t speak for mono-hulls – I would bet heel would change everything – but on a cat swinging has simply not been an issue, and I used them on my prior cat (27′ and 1200 pounds) which was very lively! I’m not saying they don’t in really nasty conditions, but we have never noticed it. In those conditions… perhaps there’s just too much going on to notice.

      The one in the head is further forward and the motion will be greater there, so maybe (but I bet some self-stic velcro or hook would keep it calm). We have a different sort of bag on the fore deck and sometimes it will get to jumping if we are banging into a steep 4-foot chop. Then we take it off and stow it.

  5. For the shoe rack on the bulkhead wall,to avoid the clunking,just put a small tab of Velcro on the bottom.
    Gotta love that velcro-we use it for all kinds of boat stuff.
    We have a small portable travel alarm clock,that shows date-temp-time etc and backlights auto at night. Liked it so much we just stuck it to the bulkhead wall with velcro-been there 3 years now.

  6. On his tv show, Alton Brown has tins like yours for his spices but he uses velcro instead of magnets. Take a roll of velcro with the adhesive on back and put strips on your (whatever the nautical term for wall is), then take the other side of the velcro and cut squares and stick on the bottom of your tins. Don’t kn0w if it would be strong enough for a boat but maybe it’s something you could try.

  7. I was on yachtworld looking at the boat porn. 😉

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