Stop Clanking Glasses!

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

A one-minute, almost free simple solution to stop glasses from clanking on a boat underway or in a rolly anchorage.

Here’s a problem you probably never had when living ashore:  glasses clanking in the cupboard.  But when we moved aboard Que Tal and left the marina, we sure noticed it.

No, we didn’t have ghosts.  With any sort of wave action, the glasses in our overhead wine glass rack as well as those in one of the cupboards would make this click-click-click noise.  Annoying any time, but enough to drive me nuts on passage when I was trying to sleep when off watch (as Dave would tell you, it’s a short drive).

I tried putting non-skid in the cupboard, but that did nothing to stop the tops of the glasses from rocking into one another.  Then I stuffed rags and can cozies in all the spaces.  That worked, but made it a bit of a pain every time I actually wanted to use a glass.  And I hadn’t found a solution to the wine glass rack, which was the bigger problem.  Plus, the plastic glasses were getting really scratched up where they were hitting each other.

When we had bought the boat, I noticed that the previous owners of our boat had left a bunch of terry cloth hair ties hanging on a hook in the galley.  I had no clue why they were there and made a mental note to stick them in with some others I had.  But with everything else involved in moving aboard and learning a new way of life, I never got around to it.

About 3 months later, we made our first overnight passage.  As I lay down to get some sleep after my watch, I heard the distinctive click-click-click.  I swear, it got louder by the minute.  I finally couldn’t take it any longer and got up to find some way to stop the clicking, muttering all the while.  Just as I was reaching up to take the glasses out of the rack and dump them in the sink with some towels for padding, my eyes fell on those hair ties.

A one-minute, almost free simple solution to stop glasses from clanking on a boat underway or in a rolly anchorage.Suddenly it dawned on me.  Eight hair ties, eight wine glasses hanging and clanking.

I put one of the hair ties around the widest part of each of the glasses and had instant silence. They were the perfect size.

And when I looked at them at the end of the trip, intending to take them off, I realized that the hair ties didn’t look bad.  I had my solution, and the ties stayed on glasses all the time except when I was washing them.  I left them on, but around the stem, when we were using them to tell our glasses apart, as simple wine charms!

A one-minute, almost free simple solution to stop glasses from clanking on a boat underway or in a rolly anchorage.There are all sorts of suitable hair ties available at any Wal-mart, Target, discount store or pharmacy.  The best types are ones made of velour (like those in the picture), waffle weave or microfiber, all of which won’t scratch plastic (Lexan) glasses either.  The ones that are just an elastic band don’t work as well, because you have to be careful to place them very exactly at the widest part of the glass.

In larger multi-packs at discount stores, these generally cost only about 50 cents each, although I’ve seen the same ones priced much higher when sold individually.

And now, let the boat rock you to sleep in silence . . . you did get that halyard tied off, didn’t you?

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  1. Bless you! What an easy and inexpensive tip!

  2. Candy Ann Williams on Facebook says:

    OMG! What a cool idea!!

  3. And the winner is . . . (drumroll) . . . @Linda Laux Hale! Linda — look for a Facebook message or just send me a message with your address. You can use the message button on The Boat Galley.

    Thanks to everyone who replied!

  4. Bob Kellett says:

    You are my favorite blog of all!! I love the galley cookbook and the many daily tips for everyday issues on the boat. I mostly sail on days off/weeks/off but dream of your type of cruising in the not too distant future. Thank you for all of your inspirations.

  5. Jenn Cole says:

    Another great way I keep my glasses from clinking together in overhead racks is to use what we call in Australia -‘ stubby holders’ (can coolers). They are made of neoprene or similar (like wet suit material) and fit snugly over the top of most glasses without effecting the ability to store them upside down in the rack. So, not only do you beat the clink, clink you have somewhere to store your stubby holders and keep them out of a cupboard and handy.

  6. Plastic … I’m kidding

  7. Just two nights ago while entertaining a sailor gal pal who knows I am a big wine drinker gave me a great tip. She met a couple that used hair scrunchies around the widest part of the bulb to prevent cracking and noising.

  8. Brilliant idea! Thanks for another easy but great tip, Carolyn.

  9. Akira Crysler says:

    I love your website and am using many of your suggestions. I have found that the silicone bracelets, ie. Yellow Livestrong, also work well to stop clinking glasses and stay in place very well. I have found similar bracelets for children in the jewelry section of Target and Walmart or at the Dollar Stores.

  10. This is fantastic

  11. We’re in a cracking one in Turkey, too!

  12. Buy plastic or t towels.

  13. I use stubby holders, foam sleeves for cans of soft drink and make sure my wine glasses fit. Fortunately tasting glasses fit perfectly.

  14. Love this hint!

  15. Say, garters would work too, and very pretty! 😉

  16. I use those wraps that come on Asian Pears, they expand to most size cups or glasses.

  17. Thank you for this brilliant idea! I ended up using rubber bands. Sorry. Hard to see.

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