Storage Organization On A Boat

A checklist to help boaters to better protect and organize their clothes, towels, sheets. Here are eight storage organization options and seven tips for using vacuum storage bags.




Grab yourself a variety pack of Ziploc Space Bags or similar vacuum suction bags (click on the image to view on Amazon). These bags are fantastic. They will allow you to:

  • Reduce space used.
  • Provide a waterproof, mold-proof container that can be stored in places that wouldn’t otherwise be acceptable (Putting items in a storage locker or the bilge without vacuuming packing them increases the chances for damp, mold and permanent damaged).
  • Help to organize seasonal or infrequently used items.

Read below to gain an insight as to how we use vacuum bags for our storage organization…

7 Vacuum Storage Bags Uses on a Boat

  1. Winter versus summer clothes. One set is out and the other set is in a vacuum bag in a storage locker, the bilge, etc. Consider one bag for tops and another another for bottoms or, if you want a bag that covers the time between summer and winter, create an autumn bag for cold nights.
  2. Winter bedding versus summer bedding. Comforters, duvet covers and duvets get swapped can be swapped out for vacuumed bags of sheets and light blankets.
  3. Bedding and towels for guests. If space permits, separate each bed section into one vacuum bag housing the sheets, pillowcases, comforter and bed protector. Vacuum pack the towels for guests and store near the guest bedding.
  4. Spare clothes. If you know you’ll need particular clothes in the future and know you won’t be able to find them, buy now and store in a vacuum pack. For example, bathing suits can be very expensive in touristy locations. Buy a few for the future and keep them clean, waterproofed and mold-proof in a vacuum bag.
  5. Fancy/nice clothes for weddings, posh parties. If you have a hanging wardrobe on your boat, consider getting the Ziploc hanging vacuum bag. This will keep your nice clothes in good condition although they might need an iron before wearing 😉
  6. Unneeded Clothes. If you have clothes that you want to keep safe to give for charity or to hand over to others put them in a vacuum bag. Remember to create a reminder in your calendar so that you dig them out to hand them over when the time is right!
  7. Clothes you want to keep but no longer need. When visitors from home visit you can give them the bag to take back for you – perhaps a winter coat no longer needed or an unused blanket that’s just taking up space. You can also use vacuum bags yourself when traveling to and from the boat.

10 Vacuum Storage Bag Tips

  1. If you don’t have a vacuum there are roll-up bags or bags that you can squeeze the air out of. Vacuum bags, however, are much better to use.
  2. If you can’t find vacuum bags, you can use a quality bag and vacuum the air out. Simply fill the bag, create a tight grip around the vacuum suction unit and then twist the bag before pulling the vacuum out. Secure with any means that keeps the bag suctioned.
  3. Clean items before putting them in the bag and ensure they’re completely dry.
  4. Don’t overfill the vacuum bags as they are more likely to fail (e.g. vacuum seal comes undone and air gets in).
  5. Put a dryer sheet in with the clothes to ensure a good smell when you are ready to use the clothes/sheets again. A natural alternative is a cotton pad with a couple drops of an essential oil.
  6. Consider inserting a Silica-Gel moisture pack to ward off any moisture that might be present or gets in due to a hole/leak.
  7. Keep a list; perhaps in excel, on where you store the vacuum bags in the bilge or storage cupboards. By using excel you can use the search function to lookup where you stored items in storage lockers and under floorboards.
  8. Get a variety of sizes of bags to help fill large and small storage and bilge areas.
  9. Never, ever, ever block the passage of water that needs to run through the bilge.
  10. List the items of what’s inside the vacuum bag. Even if you can see everything you’ll need to know if it’s the starboard forward sheets versus the port forward sheets or how many items of one kind are in a bag (e.g. three white sheets). Use a post-it note or a piece of paper and insert it where it’s easy to see.

Links to products used for storage on Britican

Storage Organization Video by Sailing Britican

If you’re interested in more sailing checklists, take a look at…

Can you add any more organization tips?

If yes, please leave a comment below. We’re always looking for ways to better organize Britican 🙂

Storage & Organization

Storage & Organization