Really Useful Boxes

We’ve been ordering a seemingly endless number of supplies and spare parts for the boat, ranging from fuel filters to zincs to alternators to pumps, and even a spare inverter. Stowing it all has been a big job. The boat has a large amount of storage space in various lockers, bilges and other spaces, but most are irregularly-shaped. To maximize the storage space in an accessible way, and keep the spares safe from damage, we use Really Useful Boxes. The boxes are straight-sided, so don’t waste space; are see-through, so we easily can see the contents; and are strong, so can handle heavier parts without shattering. And they come in about 50 sizes, ranging from 0.7L to 145L, so we usually can find a box, or combination of boxes, to make the most efficient use of any space.

In the flybridge brow, we use 5 64L boxes, and other sizes, to store lighter spares such as fuel and watermaker filters:

We’ve used a variety of sizes in the irregular area under the stairs down to the stateroom:

In the lazarette, we’ve got two stacks of 64L boxes, with a 33L on top. The two 64L boxes have a particularly handy feature in that the front folds down, so we can access the contents without destacking them. We’ve them held in place with bungee cord, but we easily can unhook the bungee to slide the whole stack out of the way:

The open-front 14L boxes are ideal for storing shoes:

In all, we’ve probably got 100 of the boxes in various sizes stashed around the boat, and we keep ordering more. We buy them from Office Depot, which carries a limited selection, and online at




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6 comments on “Really Useful Boxes
  1. Chris Barber says:

    I’ve had this on my todo list for ages. Finally got around to ordering a batch of these boxes in various sizes to try them out. Love them! Nearly used them all up already, gotta get more!

  2. Jennifer Hamilton says:

    Nicole, the heels are totally impractible on a boat, but can’t give them up. :)


  3. Jennifer says:


    Tetris is a good analogy. :) It’s easy to get them all out and then forget how they went back in. The boxes are waterproof to a point. They’re not completly sealed where the lids join, but they have no holes on top. So they could take some water being spilled onto them, and they could be submerged up to the lid.

  4. Nicole says:

    Thanks for sharing this great info. We’re on a Hans Christian 33 sailboat, and I completely understand about storage issues. I love that you have high heels on a boat, too! Glad I’m not the only one. :)

  5. Matt says:

    Wow ! Its like a game of tetris:) I guess with limited space you have to get pretty creative. Are they all waterproof?

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