Cleaning & Storage

Cleaning:  The before launch clean is the only thorough cleaning (except for the Head) that I do on the boat until she is removed again from the water the end of the season. Dishes are washed if possible after every meal, I sweep or vacuum the floor regularly. I clean out and wash the fridge after each trip. We have a rechargeable hand held Black and Decker pivoting vacuum that we take on the boat.  I also have a small whisk broom and dust pan. I only use the vacuum if I really need to, and usually just before we leave the boat.  I use Melaleuca tea-tree products and with the exception of a bottle of Dawn dish detergent (for any emergency fuel spills), everything I use is a concentrated version.  On the boat I can use laundry, dish, and general detergent, as well as wood cleaner/polish.  I also use an assortment of scouring pads (mini sized steel scouring pads as well as plastic netting type), sponges and magic erasers, as well as a heavy duty boat scrub brush. I always like to leave the boat clean!

Boat odours exist.  Whether it is from a dirty bilge, mould build up or coming from the head, we all have our ways to deal with such. I found this very useful page from a boating site which has many great ideas of how to deal with odours.

Whiskey taking the boat for a ride!
Whiskey taking the boat for a ride!

Outside Storage:  Rainbow’s cockpit isn’t large.  It holds 4 adults comfortably, but more than that is a squeeze.  We have tried different ways to store stuff, some work, some don’t.

The black canvas container in the picture is our recycle bin. Cans and plastic bottle continue to be crushed as we add more. The lid is snapped down and expands to that full position after adding items.  It has a plastic liner, so when it gets stinky from beer, I just add some sea water to rinse and pour out.  In theory this worked fine. But moved out recyclables to plastic bags that we can easily squeeze into the larger locker.  Other times we store these bagged recyclables and bagged garbage bags in the dinghy which generally require to be taken to shore at some point for disposal. Early in 2019, I found a great article on dinghy management.

In the above picture, behind Skipper Whiskey is a Blue Performance Sheet Bag holding the main sheet. They are available from the Yacht Shop for $49.95 for the 16″x 12″ large size.  There are smaller sizes available for $44.95 and $41.95.  I tied it to the traveller with some of my knot work.

Outside in one of the lockers, we store more cleaners and polishers and any solvents in containers and all stowed together in a large canvas open tote bag. The propane BBQ is also stowed there. It has a unique bracket which sits into the wench. collapsible buckets and anything that Michael might need is in that locker.  It is large. I have squeezed myself (I am not what one would call petite), into the locker to do a water line repair and emergency electrical repairs. We keep a safety ladder in the dinghy.  Access to both batteries are from that locker.  A second locker contains several PFDs and a third contains a full size propane tank.  We also carry two smaller tanks and disposable propane tanks in the larger locker. We have a life ring in the cockpit and a lifesling attached to the mast.

Fenders stored on top of the cabin
Fenders stored on top of the cabin

Sails are kept on the boat and are rarely removed. Spare sails are stored in the pilot’s berth. Being a 25′ boat, it is amazing what can be store without feeling you are bursting from the seams!

Attach the boat hook to something:  We were out for a sail and the wind picked ours up. Thankfully it floated. I climbed into the dinghy, while Michael drove to it and after about 3 attempts I was finally able to grab it.  We now tie it to the boat.  The fenders are all tied on top of the cabin, as well as the boat hook shown in the picture tied on the starboard side tied with black ribbon like fabric.

Inside Storage: I placed a painted, rectangular, vinyl-covered wire basket in the pantry area below the seat/bed in the cabin. There I place most of my pantry goods.  I like to use a mesh, zippered tote bag to hold things in, so I can easily pull out the bag to see and remove what I want. In that bin I also keep boots, extra plastic wet gear and mixing bowls.  One bowl is Tupperware with a lid, and the other is stainless steel with a rubber non skid bottom. The latter is my preference to use.  The Tupperware is good for making things you are taking elsewhere.

Under the bed/table we keep a booster battery, (hopefully to replace this with a digital smart charge, portable hot water heater, container with children’s clothing, another container with snacks and the portable laundry washer.  I plan to put in a handing pocket flap for even more storage.

Our only wet locker is where I keep a small shelving unit for extra bedding and my clothing.  We hang up our jackets and pants there too.  I keep the ditty bags and flags on the top shelf, and I might also include on the bottom shelf, any extra shoes or sandals of mine that I might have on board. There is a small storage area under the locker, but the access is through the floor of the closet. Very inconvenient, so it never gets used.  From Lee Valley, I purchased several types of hooks to hang assorted stuff in the small locker!  Wooden hangers with swivel tops are a must for any boat and were another dollar store purchase.

Under the dog’s portion of the v-berth, we store all the extension cords, whisk broom and dust pan. I squeeze my duffel bag into that spot too. In that bag I store most of my clothing.  Cubbies hold any personal documents. Open shelves hold books, manuals and charts on the starboard and most easily reached side and Michael’s clothing and empty sail bags are stored on the other side of the v-berth.  I have a garment bag, which gets pulled out as soon as we start acquiring dirty clothing.  I just keep it on the floor beside our bed. It can be stepped on with no problems with getting in and out of bed and the dog likes it as an added choice of sleeping spots.

In back of what would be the other seat in the cabin, holds navigation stuff, manual rulers, calculators, etc as well as emergency flares.  An assortment of whistles and keys hang off a hand rail near the VHF radio.  On the other side of the hatch is a container with the binoculars, and a heavy duty knife in its sheath.  Near there is a cotton bag with bungee cords, ties and my sailing gloves.  Along the pilot’s berth shelves is an extra tiller, fishing gear, a kite and some handles for manual pumps, as well as the manual motor crank. I have the ditch bag hanging from a wooden handle.

In the pilot’s berth, we have a survival suit, my Mustang jacket, any heavy coats, large over board ladder, the fridge/cooler, soft tool bags and anything too large to store anywhere else!  I purchased solid which are not so rigid, plastic bins with handles to hold small stuff. I found a smaller plastic tool box, which fits nicely in front of the fridge/cooler.  It works much better than other options we had earlier for keeping tools.  I don’t store anything now in the storage locker underneath the pilots berth. Since we don’t use it for sleeping, it is all now storage on top.

As I only have one cupboard, and it is below the sink, it is stuffed, but organized. It contains a small plastic unit with two drawers: cutlery and a junk (more like a miscellaneous) drawer. As well, stored in the cupboard you will find a collapsible colander, cutting board, faux wooden tray, and cleaning supplies.


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