This Corner of The Boat: Part 1

Nav Station and port qtr storage

The port quarter storage arrangement aboard Sundance is one of the more unusual aspects of the Morris Justine design. It’s also one of my favorite features of the boat. Most 36′ sailboats will be laid out with both a forward and aft stateroom. On Sundance, we have well organized storage spaces in the place the aft stateroom would ordinarily occupy. It’s a tradeoff that suits us well. We have little need for the missing bunk and the copious storage space is much appreciated.


We use the space behind this door as a pantry for food. The lowest space works well as a cool dark root cellar for our potatoes and onions.

18 food storage tubs

The centerpiece in our food storage system on the three shelves in here are these 12-cup plastic food storage tubs. We can fit six per shelf for a total of 18 containers. It’s a bit of a Tetris game to get the one you want, but it works. Enough left over space in there remains for a collection of other smaller jars and boxes.

When we load food aboard, we do our best to decant the food from its packaging into these reusable plastic tubs in an effort to rid ourselves of all food container trash before we depart from the food purchase harbor.

Hanging locker

Once our foul weather gear has dried hanging on the hooks outside the hanging locker, we move it inside for storage until the weather becomes foul again. But this is just the tip of the iceberg for what we store in behind this door.

At the floor of this locker, we keep a cutting board that I use as a mini workbench for boat projects, a crib mattress cover that we use to protect the boat from the boat worker (me) during various boat projects, a portable ice maker, a bag with various anchor gear, and our ditch bag. The autopilot computer is also mounted in back down there.

Ice maker out from storage and in use.

The entire locker is ringed with 2 courses of shelves. On these shelves, we store:

  • Electrical supplies kit parachute bag
  • Spare stainless fasteners parachute bag
  • Epoxy kits: Underwater epoxy, West Six-10 and other misc. fiberglass supplies.
  • Sewing kit
  • Sealants kit: 5200, 4200, 4000, silicone, butyl tape.
  • Lubricants kit: WD-40, Boshield T-9, winch grease, pawl spring oil, Lanocote, Tef-gel, SAE 30 and some crazy glue.
  • Wire ties in a variety of sizes
  • Spare RayMarine electronic cable kit.
  • Spooled wire, mostly 12 AWG
  • Emergency VHF antenna
  • Tape: Shrinkwrap, Duct, Electrical, painters tape
  • Battery powered drill and saw
  • R-134A refrigerant
Contents of sewing kit displayed on nav desk
Battery powered saw and drill
Misc. Electrical connectors and stainless fasteners

The locker below the nav desk was designed for large, rolled paper charts. We tend to work more with chart books and folded charts that we mostly stow elsewhere on the boat. We do also stow a few charts in this locker, but mostly this locker works well for us as a place to keep engine spares: Fuel filters, oil filters, belts, impellers, water pump rebuild kit, replacement water pump. The engine is brand new, but we’ll likely add a few other items to this spare kit before we get too far away from home.

Engine spares and a few charts
Tool drawer

For the first few years with the boat, we stowed tools in the space we now use as a pantry. To free up this space for food storage, I built a large tool storage drawer that opens up across the entire 40” wide nav desk. When closed it fits into little used space in the top of the hanging locker.

This project was probably the last time I’ll get to use my blind dovetail jig for a while.
The space was already equipped with a smaller tool drawer

Other tools are stowed in other corners of the boat, but these are the ones I need most frequently and its great to have them at standing height in good light to help easily find the tool I want. And the best tool, a gift from my favorite daughter, the ships bottle opener, is screwed to the wall just inside the companionway door for easy access.

Small storage spot under the floorboard

Under the floorboard in this corner of the cabin, we keep spare zincs, Maxprop grease, a spare cutlass bearing and wooded plugs.

All this storage is one of three benefits from not dedicating this corner of the boat to a quarter berth. A second is the larger than usual nav station where I now sit. The third is an abundance of storage in cockpit lockers, but that’s another story for another time…

4 thoughts on “This Corner of The Boat: Part 1

  1. That dovetail work is absolutely beautiful. I saw the contents of the sewing kit that my sister needs to learn to use. Sewing is one of her hobbies.

  2. Every square inch beautifully utilized and organized! Inspires me to declutter and improve space use at home….

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