Keeping sharp knives in drawers on boats is not only a waste of prime storage real estate, it is also dangerous, as you can easily cut yourself rummaging through the drawer with your fingers. On our Celestial 48, Indigo, we store our knives in a cut-down knife block that we mounted between our microwave and the dish locker. Now we can store five steak knives, two large cutting knives and a bread knife in what was previously unused space.
One problem with our installation was that the saloon was filled with flying cutlery whenever we sailed on starboard tack. To solve this problem, my Mom came up with the idea of fitting a square piece of fabric on one side of the knife block with small screws. The end of the fabric square has a strip of Velcro that mates with a Velcro strip mounted on the edge of the locker. When I’m cooking, I like to keep the knives handy so I roll the flap back out of the way. When it’s time to sail, I can secure the knives again in an instant.
Our knife flap is made of Sunbrella, but any piece of canvas or stiff fabric will do. Ours has held up for 10 years and has never needed a replacement or repair. As for the size and shape of the block, that depends on your nooks and crannies. Try to find a space that is easily accessible but serves no other purpose.