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Date: 29 September 2019. Box of Small Stuff (line)


Nearly 40 years ago that man I married gave me a box one year for Christmas. It contained a collection of *Beautiful scented items including perfume. I loved it. Though the perfume is long gone, the box remains a much-used item. It has become my box of Small Stuff, along with a few accoutrements that I find most useful.

*Beautiful is a perfume that was made by Estee Lauder. It remains my favorite scent. Nowadays though I have to shop for it on eBay as it is no longer manufactured. Gosh though, this is some wonderful perfume.

This is a small bottle of Beautiful perfume. It is about the size of my pinky finger.

Macy's Department store along with Estee brand cosmetics offered a bonus gift box with the purchase of Beautiful perfume. All these years later I continue to use that Beautiful collection box. You need a box like mine.

The box contains small stuff aka line along with a few other useful items.

Every boater needs a similar set-up for conveniently storing small line and strings.

My strings and accoutrements happen to be in one small easily accessed box.

More times that you can imagine I find a need for a bit of twine. I prefer braided because it coils nicely. Three strand stuff unravels though if nylon, I'm okay with keeping the three-stranded.  My box contains the pull string from window blinds, along with some line that belonged to Daddy. It is a conglomeration.

For me, the best size is 1/8" braided line. Should you search Amazon for braided .125" (1/8") line be sure to avoid cored line. You don't want that. When you cut cored lines you will see that they have an outer cover over the middle strands. The covering separates or pulls back from the coring. It really is awful stuff.

Side Note for the Survivalists among us:
I am fully aware there are a lot of folks who love paracord specifically because it contains a core of finer fibers. Those can be utilized as fishing line, sewing thread, etc.

Aboard my Seaweed however I already have fishing line and quality sewing thread. I am particular about my stitching and paracord fibers have not impressed me in that regard. As for fishing line, I use knock-off brands of Spiderwire. Paracord fibers are not in the same league for either sewing or fishing purposes.

I do not buy paracord for Seaweed.


But I digress...
In my forward cabin I have sun-catchers hanging in the portlights. They diffuse the sunlight and make my cabin cooler too. Plus they offer a degree of privacy.

I told you about my sun-catchers in the Portlight Privacy article.

Oops! The flamingo is a bit askew in the above picture. The sun-catcher is secured using fishing line.

Using twine from my box of small stuff I tied loops to secure the fishing pole above my portlights.

You may notice a small fiberglass tray with some foam that is tucked below my portlight. That opening drips, especially when those afternoon thunder-boomers occur. This way I can leave the portlights open for the breezes. Most of the time the tray will catch the rain.

The tray is not an Ideal solution. It is for the time being Good Enough.

When the rain is torrential I can close the portlights.
The fishing pole hangs nicely, out of the way yet accessible.

The string I used was formerly a shoestring. It fits in the gap between the hinge and the portlight frame.

Yes you're seeing glow-in-the-dark planets along my
bulkhead. At night it truly is wonderful in my cabin.

The contents of my Box of Small Stuff includes more than just bits of line.

In addition to the lengths of string, twine and small line I also keep a couple lighters and a book of matches in the box. The line ends will melt if heated with a lighter.

Side Note: There is a real Bic (the best brand) in addition to a 4-four-$1 clear lighter bought at the Dollar Tree.

Cheap lighters tend to lose their flint at some point. I find the Bic brand more reliable, though vastly more costly. That is why I use the inexpensive ones. I keep a better quality Bic lighter as a back-up in my box of small stuff. It is very seldom that I use a lighter so this method works for me.

As for burning the ends of rope, if I have a lot to do I get out an oil lamp and use that flame.

Utilizing an oil lantern is quicker and easier than using a lighter.

This idea to keep a box of Small Stuff did not originate with me. Daddy had a 5-gallon bucket in the aft cockpit bilge. It contained scraps of line up to 3/8" thick. Short lengths and longer were all coiled, tied and dropped into the bucket.

I've copied and modified Daddy's idea to work on my smaller boat.


My box of lines does not contain scissors. That is because I have several pairs around Seaweed. Tucking a cutter of some sort in the box might be a good idea if you don't have readily accessible scissors.

Side Note: On a boat if I use an item regularly, I make sure there are duplicates conveniently located.

As I age I prefer to have
everything within reach.



The black item is a Figure 9 line gizmo. It allows me to adjust the length of a rope. My friend Ken gifted it to me many years ago. It is just coolest tool, albeit one I don't use often. I am definitely a gizmo-holic! I often think of Ken. He's a good guy.


I have multiples of my most utilized accoutrements.

Once you have a collection of small strings you too may find a myriad of uses for same.

In this picture I've used small stuff to secure the cord to my Scorpion by Dirt Devil hand-held vacuum.
I told you about that unit in the
Scorpion Vacuum and Kindle Fire Questions article.

As an aside, I love my Scorpion vacuum. It is powerful. The vacuum helps me keep down the amount of dog fur aboard Seaweed. Scorpion has a basket so emptying is easy too. Being able to coil the cord and secure it makes my life easier. The box of Small Stuff had what was required for that cord control job.
Affiliate link Scorpion by Dirt Devil

I suspect if you have an easily accessible collection of small stuff you will find a great many uses for the strings. All these decades later my Beautiful perfume collection box is still brought out regularly. As much as I love the scent of that perfume, the box has lasted well too.

The contents rise and fall as I use and replace the lines within.
Having a box of Small Stuff aboard Seaweed makes my life easier.

To you and yours, thank you for reading. Happy boating.

I'd love to learn if you have your own collection of Small Stuff.
And, do you keep it in a box or ??? 

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