Reader ideas: how to organize those big open storage areas so things don't go flying when underway. Add your thoughts and check out what others have done!

How to Organize Open Storage Areas

Cindy Hopkins, aboard their new-to-them sailboat, Denouement, asked me for some ideas on ways to organize her galley and the surrounding areas. I thought that some other readers might have similar questions as well as some good solutions, so (with her permission) turned her question and photos into a post, so that the ideas would be available for others to refer back to.

Cindy’s question:

There are a number of open cuddies in the galley that provide much of the storage. Do you have ideas on how to secure the contents? I envision netting with hooks hidden on the inside, but that could be a hassle to connect each time. Do you or your readers have other ideas?

Her photos:


Nav station lo res


I’m always a fan of bins and using bungee cords and hooks to keep things in place, but I’m sure there are other great ways to organize these areas so things don’t fly about when underway.

Our previous boat, Que Tal, had a couple of open storage areas with a teak batten that went across the open area about halfway up and fit into hidden “U” fittings inside the cuddy. They held books and bins securely yet were easy to remove when I needed access to the items behind it. Of course, I have no photos showing these!

Please add your ideas below or on the comments area of Facebook (if you have photos, please use Facebook – they’ll be automatically imported).

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  • Colin Mombourquette
    Posted at 03 December 2015 Reply

    I’ve seen some boats where battens were placed horizontally inside the cubby and held in place by brackets on either side. Easy to place and remove and good for keeping larger items in place.

  • Kathy Orr
    Posted at 04 December 2015 Reply

    I use cube baskets in our salon with a rail or straps to hold them in. I put snacks in 2 of them – cookies, popcorn, etc. On the opposite side of the salon we’ve got all of our manuals, etc. in 2 more cube baskets. This has worked REALLY well. Before we just had straps holding them in place, and when the weather got rough they landed on the floor. Now the baskets, held by straps, keep them right in place. Then in our guest berth there are a couple more that I put the cereal and crackers in, which I can put elsewhere when we have guests. Then those two become storage space for their folding clothes, etc. These are strapped in place.

  • Christopher Nunnery
    Posted at 04 December 2015 Reply

    I just want that Taswell 43, but looking at those!!

  • Sandra Renwick
    Posted at 04 December 2015 Reply

    I have used spring loaded drapery rods to hold stuff in, just put it to the right size and give it a squeeze and the pressure holds it in place, I even found wood grain ones at the rv store!

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 05 December 2015 Reply

      That’s a great idea and easy to do with bungees!

  • Cindy Hopkins
    Posted at 07 December 2015 Reply

    Thank you, everyone, for your great ideas!! Very helpful! And, thank you, Carolyn, for posting my question!

  • Wendy Nichols
    Posted at 10 December 2015 Reply

    We have the same problem both in the salon above the berths and in the galley. Beloved has put in battens in the salon to hold back the baskets from ikea which fit (amazingly). In the galley we have open storage behind our lockers, I have tried wedging everything in but more thought is required. It still lools like its been through the spin cycle everytime.

  • Robin Davidov
    Posted at 13 December 2015 Reply

    I use small expandable curtain rods (9″-13″) as bookends; to wedge items on a shelf and in cabinets to keep contents from spilling out when the boat is heeled. You can buy them on Amazon. The ones that twist lock seem to work the best.

  • Jackie Bartz
    Posted at 29 October 2016 Reply

    We have combo dish shelf /wine glass holder/ cup and utensil rack over the sink. Some Scottish friends gave us the tip to jam pillows in to hold stuff in place. So I’d jam a pillow over the dishes to hold them in place. The rest of the items stayed by themselves on the hooks. The wine glass rack had a wood trim piece that held them in place. (The glasses were not glass, of course!) The friends used pillows in their cupboards to keep things secure there. We also had bungee across the spice bottles in their rack and “battens” on the book shelves.

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