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Date: 9 February 2016. Making a Towel Rack.


One of my flaws is I tend to complicate what would normally be an easy project. I recognize that and still mess up. Just this past week I created a Project that encompassed over two hours of frustration and work. The final solution took about five minutes. This is what I did wrong and right in making a towel rack in my galley.

This is the towel that caused the project. Baby gave it to me last month.

I told you about that visit in the Making a Treasure Chest article.

Being on a small trawler means having multiple uses for items is always in the back of my mind. Because I am on a limited budget some of my choices are dictated by that too. Going to the store to buy the perfect item is not easy when you have no car.


Note to those still ashore:


Think about what you're going to want on your boat. Now while you have good access to the internet and time, do some serious shopping. No, do not buy everything but the little things can be had for a bargain. I did most of my book buying before I had Seaweed.

I bought guide books for places that I might want to visit some day.
The target was to spend less than 50% of retail and I succeeded.

One mistake I made was in buying Up-To-Date guides. In retrospect I should have bought the older ones. Before going some place I could upgrade to new. For dreaming and planning current editions are unnecessary. Also I could have bought the used books for lots less than I paid. Argh!


Why Didn't I Think of That? : 1,198 Tips

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As long as I am spending your perfectly good money I would strongly suggest Why Didn't I Think of That? : 1,198 Tips from 222 Sailors on 120 Boats from 9 Countries  as a reference for boaters working with limited funds. It is profusely illustrated (line drawings) and filled with useful ideas. What I liked best is the ideas do not generally involve expensive retail purchases.

This book is definitely for boaters on a budget.


As you are narrowing your choices pre-purchase this particular book will help. It will enable you to see what changes and improvements you can make later. It fills in the gaps where you might think 'well that won't work' and shows you how to economically solve issues and make improvements.

I like mine. And no, you may not borrow it. I am done loaning out Why Didn't I Think of That? : 1,198 Tips as folks are too fond of keeping it after it is in their hot little larcenous hands. Fortunately with a bit of time you can find this gem for less than $10. It is money well spent.


Cruisers would find benefit in owning this book too.


But I digress... In one regard I have an advantage over many. Growing up on a boat we made use of what was aboard. Our first choice was always to use items at hand. Paying retail was not encouraged.

After living on Seaweed for so many years I too look to my ship's stores first before opting for store-bought. There is a sense of accomplishment when I can make something work with what is already here. But I mess up too... the early part of this project is what I did wrong.


Last Spring

The problem: After getting rid of the old stove I no longer had a place to hang my dish towels. They are the way I decorate for holidays. It gives me pleasure to find a $1 dish towel to celebrate the season. Economical and understated but still pretty, I liked it.

Last autumn I replaced the stove with a two door refrigerator and freezer combination. With the stove gone I no longer had a place to hang a pretty dish towel.


At first I pulled out some chunks of wood to use as the bar and off-sets.

I wanted the bar to stand off the locker front for air circulation.

There is a small locker next to the silverware drawer. I wanted to be able to access that space with ease. This is the point where I started down the wrong path.

Initially I opted for a hinge on the right side of my bar. The theory was this: I could swing the towel bar out and get to the canning jar supplies stowed in the locker. It would also be easier to hang the towel.

The jar with my hinges was wayyyy in the back and so I got out my back-scratcher.

A back-scratcher is a wonderful tool. For those of us with shorter arms it will reach far and pull out items that are otherwise difficult to reach. I've got one by my dinette seat where I sit and a second in my cabin in case I get an itch in the night.

Once my hinges were out it was time to sort through and find the perfect one.

Then came plan implementation. And that is where everything fell apart.

The doggone hinge would not attach properly to the piece of wood I wanted to use. Nothing fit. Angles for the hinge were wrong. It was a mess. By that time I was tired of hauling stuff out, drilling holes, cleaning sawdust, bandaging finger (no project is complete without blood offering) and, well, I had Plenty.

For me a break with a beverage is rejuvenating.


I put everything away. Continuing would not have solved anything.
Kenny Rogers sings about knowing when to hold 'em and knowing when to fold 'em. It was time to fold.

In the past I've kept at it. Determination is a trait of mine. This time though I was tired. Being tired and working onward is a recipe for disaster. One thing I've learned is to rest before I am exhausted.

When underway I have places marked on my chart before departure that would be a good place to anchor. I have anchored at ten in the morning and gotten back underway after lunch. Sometimes a break is just the ticket.


This is pleasure boating on a budget. I do not do schedules.

Side Note regarding my anchoring spots: Some are not particularly wonderful. They are Good Enough for a short duration. Good Enough would be a spot off the waterway with water sufficient for my draft. A place to stop for a few hours or overnight is far different than one I would want during afternoon thunder-boomer season or stormy conditions. 

Always stop before you are tired. Setting the anchor properly requires an alert helmsman. And turn on your anchor light. Do not forget to display your black anchor ball too. It alerts yachtsmen that you are not underway.

My anchor ball lets folks know that I am at anchor during the daytime. It is required though few follow this rule.

Gosh I'm busy with my bunny trails today. It's a remnant of being tuckered out. Chicken leg quarters were on sale for 29 cents a pound so we bought sixty pounds. That's what I have done for two days: can chicken. It's good to have the lockers nearly filled, and at so economical a price. More on that later...

In the meantime I wanted to create a place to hang my dish towels.


Back to my tale of the towel rack. I had put everything away earlier as my convoluted complicated plan just was not working. After relaxing while reading again The Richest Man in Babylon on my Kindle for a bit I took another look at the spot I had chosen. Yes, I do read books multiple times.

I did not need a hinge. A couple of small eyebolts could hold the piece of teak quite well. Two eyebolts were easy to retrieve from their storage spot. I screwed them into the wood face of the locker above the cubby hole hiding my canning supplies.

I am certain there are those who do not screw anything into their boat. They are concerned with damaging the woodwork. Fortunately Seaweed is a boat and not a yacht. I feel no compunction against personalizing my home as long as it does not damage her structural integrity.

The right side of my teak is permanently tied. I took a small piece of line and went through the eyebolt and then the wood. A square knot finished it off. The "opening" side has a loop tied through the eyebolt. The notched teak can slip on that loop. Voila. Done.

The dish towel Baby gave me for Christmas is now displayed.
I am definitely "Livin' the Dream" aboard Seaweed.

This towel is spiffy and looks nautical here in the galley.

Eventually I will install a knob on the locker door hidden by the dish towel. It will allow better air circulation around the towel as it dries. I just have to find one at a thrift store or create one from items at hand in all that spare time of mine.

Such is life afloat. If you want to know about chicken canning for cheap, I've got more details in an upcoming vignette. Perhaps even as soon as tomorrow.

Thanks for reading and have a great day.


About my engine...

Most Important of All:
Betsy runs and magnificently. Details upcoming. It has been crazy busy around the boat of late.

The Problem is this: Seaweed has water in her fuel tank. Fred spotted that issue for me. Having a spare set of eyes saved me being flummoxed.  Guess what I'll be doing this week? More details on all that too.

It is a boat so there is never just one thing. My next door neighbor will be supervising.

The neighbor/overseer:


Do you switch dish towels during holidays or for seasonal celebrations?
And, what do you do with your old towels after the holiday?

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2016, 2023

Categories: Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Galley, Gear, Money, Recommendations,

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