Trying to figure out how to keep all your "stuff" dry in the dinghy? Get a cruiser's purse (yeah, guys use them too)!

Cruiser’s Purse

When you’re going ashore by dinghy, what do you do with all the stuff you can’t afford to get wet?  Or even going down the loooooooong dock in the rain?

So many times I’ve laughed at a group of cruisers (even weekend cruisers) — almost everyone seems to be carrying a small dry bag with all their essentials stuffed inside.  Not just women!

Small dry bags are great for phones, car keys (those with the door unlock like mine will short out and die if they get wet . . . Dave can tell you all about it), wallets, cameras, papers and more.  A slightly larger one will work for tablets and laptops.

One thing to note, though:  the lightweight dry bags, made of nylon, are actually “water resistant” and not totally waterproof.  They’ll repel splashes, but not serious waves or rain.  If you have one of the lightweight ones — like I usually carry — put your items in a Ziploc first, or double-bag (they’re usually sold in sets of three, so this is easy).

The camping department in most big-box stores, as well as almost every outdoors or specialty camping store I’ve been in, sells these.  Or you can just get them on Amazon:

If you need a truly waterproof bag, these that are all vinyl do a great job — I have one with a shoulder strap and love it. Unfortunately, it’s been discontinued, but this one is very similar:

I use a lot of larger ones for laundry and Provisioning by Dinghy, too. When looking at sizes of the various bags, remember that the diameter is when the bag is laid flat, not when it’s upright and really a circle, and the height is the total height (but you have to fold the top down at least three times to make a waterproof seal).

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20 Comments
  • sharon
    Posted at 05 March 2014 Reply

    Small overboard pink dry bag… it does not look too bad, and is not bright yellow and is 100% waterproof!

  • Liz Brittain
    Posted at 05 March 2014 Reply

    I would especially like it with shoulder straps- hands free!

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 06 March 2014 Reply

    The ones we have all have shoulder straps.

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 06 March 2014 Reply

      Do you have a brand name? Or could you post a picture? I haven’t seen any small size ones with shoulder straps.

  • Verena
    Posted at 06 March 2014 Reply

    Check out these bags: http://tinyurl.com/lduep2j
    They are a little more like a purse with handles and you can add a shoulder strap. Also available is an inflate/purge valve so it can float in case it goes over the side. And it has a zip-lock type seal combined with the rolling top closure:http://tinyurl.com/mxebp7d Also available in tote style: http://tinyurl.com/l7pvvkl Looks like a pretty sweet product!

  • Diane
    Posted at 06 March 2014 Reply

    I purchased fanny bags from Seattle Sports back in 2003 for my family for hiking, going to amusement parks and boating. I am happy to say that they are still like brand new and keep everything dry.
    http://www.seattlesportsco.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=2458&idcategory=139

    http://www.seattlesportsco.com/productcart/pc/catalog/02-Beach-Tote-01-General.JPG
    Looks like you can buy them with shoulder straps.

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 07 March 2014 Reply

    Hi there, our 20 and 40 litre drysacks are from Whitworths Marine and Leisure in Australia http://www.whitworths.com.au . The 15 litre one was bought in Malaysia it is Hypergear brand. I cant remember what brand the 5 litre one is but it was bought in Thailand. All of them have shoulderstraps. Have a good weekend:-)

  • Nicola
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    I bought a very small purse that fits into a 2 liter seatosummit dry bag. I do not fear dinghy rides or pouring rain! If I accidentally drop it getting on/off boat, it should float with the air in the dry bag.

  • Mary E Dixon
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    After falling in the water I got this waterproof fanny pack for my iphone

  • Mary E Dixon
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    Also have the dry bags

  • sharon
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    I use a pink small overboard bag.. Waterproof, fits over shoulder or cross body.. and it floats.
    http://www.over-board.co.uk/waterproof-dry-tube-bag-5ltr-pink.html

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    Yep 1×5 litre, 1×15 litre, 1×20 litre and 1×40 litre ready for any occasion.

  • Janet Lettrich
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    I have one that is also a backpack, Skorch brand, in the smaller 20 liter size. Hands free is big for me. Also, my chiropractor told me that shoulder bags are bad for your back and neck, and back pack style purses are better.

  • S V Bella Nave
    Posted at 29 March 2015 Reply

    Funny! As SCUBA divers, we are used to packing things in our dry bags and carrying everywhere. Keep them on the boat too- especially if any time spent on another boat- never have to worry about dropping something as we step on to anothers. Never gave it a thought it could be “fashionable”! 😉

  • Ever After
    Posted at 30 March 2015 Reply

    IT’s NOT A PURSE! It’s a MURSE = Man Purse LOL and I have gone through three of them over two years LOL

  • Tina Gonsalves
    Posted at 21 February 2017 Reply

    I have one also. This year on a trip to The Baths in Virgin Gorda hubby thought he could swim in with it. I wasn’t going to bring my phone with me (we’d been there a couple times before) but he said it would be fine in the bag. Spent the rest of the vacation sans phone. No, these are not for dunking. 🙁

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 21 February 2017 Reply

      Painful.

    • Tina Gonsalves
      Posted at 21 February 2017 Reply

      Probably for the better. We all spent way too much time on our phones during our vacation anyway. 😉

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