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Date: 24 February 2014. In the Head.

When I bought Seaweed she had no medicine locker in the head though there was an inadequate, small area tucked under the sink that might have sufficed if I were male. Fortunately Chris (of Rust Enough) came to the rescue with an old electrical panel box that he gifted me. Turned on edge it's perfection indeed.

The problem we have on boats is that they move. It's one of the best parts about boating too, but keeping our gear in place can become problematic.  In that regard a bit of ingenuity resolved the issue aboard Seaweed -- and you can do it too.  For free, which is simply an awesome price!

This is my medicine locker:

You'll note three shelves. The supports are small pieces of wood screwed into the sides of the box.  The shelves themselves were run thru a saw -- one chunk of oak became three shelves for my girl stuff.  In the center you'll see a small piece of ebony. It rotates. Also, at the bottom left corner is a little pan-head screw that is raised (not flush with the bottom shelf).

I know that your standard Fiddles (small pieces of wood usually that hold items in place) work well, however they do take space and my medicine locker simply didn't have the depth to give up for fiddles to work.  That's when I put on my thinking cap and came up with the Medicine Lock.

  1. Locate a throw-away plastic box in the appropriate size for your locker.

  2. Cut it just smaller than the interior dimensions.

  3. Add one large hole for your finger -- so you can remove it easily.

  4. Next cut out the area that your wooden peg will slip thru. Mine's above the shelf so that when gravity does it's job the plastic will not fall free.

  5. The next problem I had was in alignment -- the tiny screw down in the left corner solved that. The plastic tucks right behind it and voila: protection for my goods. And I can close the locker with ease because the plastic doesn't slip out of place.

When I open the medicine locker I can see what's shifted forward. Because the plastic moves a bit all I have to do is tap it and stuff shifts back where it belongs. By twisting the wooden closure I can open the locker and use the contents with ease. 

The hardest part of the whole project was finding a plastic box. I was not going to pay perfectly good money and then chop something up and you'd think people would throw them away more often. They do but sometimes it takes a while so keep your eyes peeled.

For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips,
speak only words of kindness; and for poise,
walk with the knowledge that you are never alone. Audrey Hepburn.

Anja is a wonderful steel ketch I met recently. She's a replica of Joshua Slocum's Spray has a cool gizmo in the head. It's a clothes drier line gizmo thingy that extends from one bulkhead to the other. A few clothes pins and voila: a place to dry items inside the boat.

The white bar extends across the cabin and attaches to the opposite bulkhead.  Four lines are available for hanging clothes inside. Because it's located in the head, a bit of water isn't going to hurt a thing.

It's "little things" that make our homes comfortable and on Anja, Lori's clothes dryer line certainly has caught my attention. I'll be looking for something similar. Go aboard a boat that's been home for a length of time and you'll discover all sorts of great ideas -- ones you might be able to implement on your own floating home.

If you're at the stage where you're boat shopping I'd suggest you opt for the boat that's been a home for a period of time. Most folks will make the boat their own, and it's these little tweaks that will make your own experience better/easier.

Is there anything you've done in your head that makes it better?
What's your favorite improvement made to the head compartment of your boat?


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