Engine Room Storage Secrets

how to organize storage in boat engine room

Keeping a boat's engine room organised and tidy can be challenging, given the limited space available. It's important to understand what should and shouldn't be on the boat, and to set realistic expectations. Must-have items include spare parts, tool kits, food, water, first aid supplies, and safety equipment. These essentials can quickly fill up the available space, so it's crucial to be selective about what else is brought on board. Grouping similar items together and considering the weight and moisture levels of storage areas can help optimise space. Creative solutions, such as utilising suction cups, Velcro, and custom-built storage units, can also maximise storage capacity.


Utilise silicone tools and kitchenware to save space

Utilising silicone tools and kitchenware is a great way to save space on a boat. Silicone is highly durable, heat-resistant, stain-resistant, flexible, and easy to clean. It's also gentle on pots and pans, so you don't have to worry about scratching your cookware.

Silicone kitchenware is also collapsible, so it can easily be tucked into small spaces on your boat. Cups, bowls, and even bakeware can be packed away without taking up much room. A collapsible bucket is another handy item that can fit into tight spaces.

There are many silicone kitchen tools available, such as spatulas, whisks, pastry brushes, egg separators, and more. These come in various colours and designs, so you can choose what suits your boat's aesthetic.

You can also find silicone dish-drying mats that fold up for compact storage and can double as a trivet. Collapsible colanders and funnels are also great for saving space in the kitchen.

Silicone ice cube trays, baking mats, and baking cups are other useful items that are lightweight, flexible, and non-stick, making them easy to use and clean.

So, if you're looking to save space on your boat, silicone tools and kitchenware are a great option. They are durable, versatile, and can be tucked away in small spaces when not in use.


Use suction cups and Velcro to hang items

Suction cups and Velcro can be used to hang a variety of items in your boat's engine room. They can be used to attach hooks for hanging wet towels, cup and rod holders, and even iPad holders. When the surface isn't smooth, Velcro can be used instead, which now comes in various widths, colours, and strengths. Velcro tabs that hold up to 10 pounds can be attached in the cabin or on the deck to organise tools, life jackets, and PFDs.

Suction cups are a great way to hang items without having to drill holes or use screws. They are also easy to remove and reposition if needed. However, it's important to note that suction cups may not work well on all surfaces, especially if the surface is not smooth or is textured. In such cases, Velcro or other alternatives may be a better option.

If you're looking for a strong and reliable option, consider the Boatmates Cockpit Organizer, which can be mounted with suction cups or screws. The Seachoice Cockpit Organizer is another option that comes with three suction cups to mount on any flat surface on your boat. For drink holders, the Camco Cup Holder with a mechanical suction cup is a good choice, as it provides a secure location for your beverage.

To restore the shape of suction cups that are no longer gripping, you can try heating them gently with a heat gun and then placing them on a glass of appropriate size, suction side up, until they cool. Cleaning them with rubbing alcohol can also help improve their adhesion.

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Store knives and metal tools with a magnetic strip

Keeping knives and metal tools safely stored in a boat engine room is essential, and a magnetic strip is an excellent solution. Here are some tips and instructions for installing and using a magnetic strip for this purpose:

Selecting a Magnetic Strip

When choosing a magnetic strip, opt for one made from strong magnets and covered in a sleek, elegant material such as stainless steel or wood. The strip should have a fully magnetic surface to ensure your knives and tools stay securely in place. The length of the strip will depend on the number of knives and tools you need to store. You can find magnetic strips in various lengths, from 10 to 18 inches, or even opt for two strips placed side-by-side or stacked vertically for maximum storage.

Installation Process

Most magnetic strips require a power drill for installation. Choose a suitable location for your magnetic strip, preferably on a wall, workbench, or any flat surface in your boat engine room. Ensure the surface is clean and dry before beginning the installation. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for drilling holes and mounting the strip. Some strips may come with screws or other mounting hardware, while others may require you to purchase these separately. Be cautious when handling the strip as the magnetic force can be strong, and you don't want to pinch your fingers.

Using the Magnetic Strip

Once installed, your magnetic strip will provide instant organization for your knives and metal tools. Simply attach your knives and tools to the strip, ensuring they are completely dry before placing them on the magnet. The magnetic force will keep them securely in place. To remove an item, simply grab the handle and pull gently. Magnetic strips are a great way to save space and keep your boat engine room tidy and safe.

Important Considerations

When using a magnetic strip, it is crucial to keep it away from your boat's compass as the magnets can interfere with the compass's function. Additionally, ensure that you do not install the strip near electronic devices or items that may be damaged by magnets, such as TVs, computer monitors, or credit cards. Always handle the magnetic strip with care and be cautious of your fingers when attaching or removing items.

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Use plastic accordion files to organise sandpaper

When it comes to organising storage in a boat engine room, one idea is to use plastic accordion files to keep your sandpaper in order. This is a simple, effective, and affordable solution for your sandpaper storage needs.

Plastic accordion files are an ideal way to keep your sandpaper organised and easily accessible. Available at office supply stores, these files offer multiple pockets, usually around 13, with a cover that has an elastic or zipper closure. This makes them perfect for storing sheets of sandpaper of various sizes, from letter-paper-sized sheets to round or square velcro sheets. Each pocket can be labelled with the grit count, so you can easily find the right sandpaper for your project. You can also separate different types of sandpaper, such as sanding discs and sheets, to make it even easier to grab what you need.

The compact design of plastic accordion files makes them a great space-saving solution, especially for small workshops or limited spaces on a boat. They can easily fit into a cabinet or be hung on a wall, taking up minimal room. Additionally, their portability means you can transport them to different work areas or even take them with you to a job site. This feature makes them a versatile option for organising your sandpaper collection.

To get started with this sandpaper organisation method, simply purchase a plastic accordion file that meets your requirements. Then, take all your sandpaper out of its current storage location and sort it by grit. Label the tabs in the accordion file with the corresponding grit numbers, and you're ready to fill the pockets with your sandpaper. This process will help you keep track of your sandpaper inventory and quickly identify when you're running low on a particular grit.

Using plastic accordion files for sandpaper storage is a brilliant way to stay organised and efficient. It saves space, keeps your sandpaper in one place, and makes it easy to find the right grit for your projects. So, if you're tired of searching through disorganised piles of sandpaper, give this storage method a try!

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Install bungee cords on the ceiling to store flat items

Bungee cords are a great way to store flat items on the ceiling of your boat's engine room. They are elasticated storage cords with a hook on each end, designed to keep items secure and tidy. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to install bungee cords on your boat's engine room ceiling:

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need a sufficient number of bungee cords with a length that suits your storage needs. Ensure the cords have hooks at both ends, as these will be crucial for securing your flat items. You may also want to get eye hooks or similar fasteners to attach the bungee cords to the ceiling.

Step 2: Plan the Layout

Decide where you want to place your flat items on the ceiling. Mark the spots where you will install the bungee cords, ensuring they are securely attached to the ceiling ribs or any other sturdy structure. If necessary, consider mounting a plywood base on the ceiling to provide a larger surface area for storage.

Step 3: Install the Bungee Cords

Attach one end of each bungee cord to the ceiling at your marked spots. You can screw in eye hooks and attach the bungee cord hooks to them, or use other suitable fasteners. Space the bungee cords according to the size of the flat items you plan to store.

Step 4: Secure Flat Items

Once the bungee cords are in place, you can start storing your flat items. Place the items within the bungee cord framework and stretch the cords to reach the items' edges. Secure the other end of each bungee cord to the ceiling or an adjacent bungee cord, creating a web of cords that hold your flat items in place.

Step 5: Adjust and Test

Ensure that the bungee cords are taut and securely fastened to the ceiling and your flat items. Give the setup a gentle shake to confirm that everything is stable. Make any necessary adjustments to the cord placement or tension to optimize storage security.

By following these steps, you can effectively utilize the ceiling space in your boat's engine room for flat item storage. Bungee cords provide a flexible and cost-effective solution, allowing you to make the most of the available space.

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Frequently asked questions

You can add storage to your boat engine room in many different ways, either permanently or temporarily. Identify areas where you have space to add storage and take the dimensions. Depending on how much space you have available, you can add tilt-out storage, glove boxes, or even drawers. If you want a quick storage fix that isn't permanent, you can even add tool holders that mount with suction cups and can be easily removed when not needed.

If you’re mainly going to be fishing, tackle boxes and tool holders are a good add. If you’re more of a pleasure cruiser, then you’ll probably enjoy glove boxes, storage bags, drawer units, and even wine cabinets to hold all your necessities.

Create a box for servicing and a box of spares for each. You can pull out the correct box and get to work depending on your job. Put your toolset or tools you use most frequently in a side box for each engine inside the door of the engine room. Make sure important spares, like the alternator, are vacuum-packed or wrapped in oily rags and bagged. You don’t want anything like that to rust!

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