A one-minute, almost free simple solution to stop glasses from clanking on a boat.

Stop Clanking Glasses!

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?

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

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  • Mid-Life Cruising!
    Posted at 30 March 2011 Reply

    Bless you! What an easy and inexpensive tip!

  • Candy Ann Williams on Facebook
    Posted at 26 February 2012 Reply

    OMG! What a cool idea!!

  • The Boat Galley on Facebook
    Posted at 19 April 2012 Reply

    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!

  • Bob Kellett
    Posted at 21 June 2013 Reply

    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.

  • Jenn Cole
    Posted at 22 June 2013 Reply

    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.

  • Angie Morales
    Posted at 11 April 2014 Reply

    Plastic … I’m kidding

  • Sailor Cherry
    Posted at 11 April 2014 Reply

    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.

  • Sheryl Shard
    Posted at 16 April 2015 Reply

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

  • Akira Crysler
    Posted at 01 September 2015 Reply

    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.

  • Jan Morris
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

    This is fantastic

  • Nikki Dowden
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

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

  • Paul Smith
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

    Buy plastic or t towels.

  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

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

  • Diane Mann
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

    Love this hint!

  • Keith Davie
    Posted at 17 January 2016 Reply

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

  • Keitha Irene Goward-LaChance
    Posted at 18 January 2016 Reply

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

  • Verena Kellner
    Posted at 20 January 2016 Reply

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

  • Rosalind Franks
    Posted at 17 March 2017 Reply


  • Lupari Sue
    Posted at 18 March 2017 Reply

    Stubby holders work on the right size glasses.

  • Bob Sweet
    Posted at 10 June 2017 Reply

    Great odea❤️⛵️

  • Frances Liz Fernandez
    Posted at 10 June 2017 Reply

    Great story and simple solution

  • SV Giggling Dolphins
    Posted at 11 June 2017 Reply

    Wow, off to get a box of hair ties

  • Alison Turpin
    Posted at 11 June 2017 Reply

    We use these on our wine glasses… bought a few pears just for the wrappers.

  • Darlene Luxton
    Posted at 13 June 2017 Reply

    I made ‘socks’ for mine out of the plastic used for shower trays!! You can buy it buy the yard it make a lot! Wine bottles too!!

  • Christopher J. Melo
    Posted at 17 January 2018 Reply

    I use old socks. Tends to reduce the hospitality booze budget.

  • Terry Bogart
    Posted at 17 January 2018 Reply

    Who says scrunchies are out of style!

  • Patricia Jackson
    Posted at 17 January 2018 Reply

    Another reason to keep Scrunchies on board…love multiuse items.

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