Providing proper stowage for clothing often seems to be way down the priority list on a cruising boat; most cruisers give a higher priority to stowing food, spare parts, and tools. But what happens to your clothes if there is no closet, dresser, or even a single drawer for them to occupy? Often they wind up in a locker with a front-opening door and lie there, loose on the shelf. While you may have stacked them neatly, they soon become jumbled when a shirt or a pair of shorts is extracted from the bottom of the pile. Over the years we have tried various strategies to bring some order to stowing our clothes, but most have proven to be unsatisfactory. Boxes don’t breathe, baskets waste precious space, and both hide their contents.
Finally, my long-suffering mate had had enough of seeing her lingerie hanging out with a rougher crowd, and she began storing it in a zippered net bag—the kind that’s used to protect delicate items in a washing machine. The net bag worked so well that she bought one for her bathing suits, and then one for her blouses. Soon all her clothes—and not long after that, all of mine—were happily ensconced in ventilated, visible, and accessible net bags. Best of all, the clothes stay unruffled, even after we’ve been crashing to weather for a few days.
No stowage arrangement we’ve tried or seen works as well for clothing. A shirt that may not have been worn in months can be located and retrieved quickly, without difficulty, and without disrupting the adjacent items. We’ve refined the process a little by grouping our seasonal clothes together and moving them to a less-accessible space until they’re needed again. The bags are cheap, durable, and washable. If you’re less than happy with the way you now stow your clothes, give the nets a try.