A peaceful day on the water can easily transform into hours of frustration when the chaos of disorganization strikes. This is even worse when the wind and the waves combine to stir up your disorganized tackle, nets, and other essential gear by Saturday morning’s scrambled eggs.

There’s no doubt about it, if you want to have a nice and safe day out on the water, you need to get your boat organized as well as keep it organized. In this article, we will take a closer look at some simple, yet elegant ways to get your boat and your lake toys properly organized.

Adjustable Rod Holders

A lot of boat owners use their rig for a least a little, if not a lot of fishing. Whether you are a casual fisherman killing time on a fish-and-ski combo, an avid angler or a deep sea fisherman, chances are you are going to need to put your rod down, while still keeping your tackle in the water.

Adjustable rod holders let you set fishing rods at the ideal angle to keep your line in the water, without having to worry about an absentee bite taking your prized fishing rod out of the boat. Just make sure it’s a rod holder that locks the road in place.

Rod Lockers With Clips & Brackets

Rod lockers are a great way to keep fishing rods and fishing tackle tucked away when you aren’t using them, yet make it easy to pull them back out at a moment’s notice. Some larger rod lockers can even be used to hold retractable fishing nets. Installing small rod clips will help you lock the rods into place to keep lines, hooks and nets from getting tangled together.

Make Use Of Velcro, Magnets & Suction Cups

Small items getting tangled with larger ones like ropes, fishing lines, nets, and ski ropes can be a major frustration. Attaching Velcro and suction cups to hand-held items or small gear boxes will help lock them in place when the water starts to rock the boat back and forth.

Magnets are especially handy for knives and other metallic tools that you don’t want taking flight or sliding around on the deck and kitchen. Yet you also still want to be able to keep them close at hand when they are called for to slice meat or cut a tangled line. Magnets can be attached to rod lockers, compartments, cabinets of sidewalls with small screws of heavy-duty Velcro tabs that allow you to move them later if needed.

Give Everything Its Own Dedicated Locker Or Compartment

A lot of time can be lost on the water looking for where the ski rope was last tucked away, or where the fishing net ended up this time! Giving everything it’s own dedicated locker or compartment on the boat ensures that you can find what you want to find when you need to find it. This is especially handy for emergency items like life jackets, fire extinguishers and rain gear.

Use Sealable Totes For Storage Items

Small plastic totes that seal water-tight will help you lock away loose items to keep them organized. Flat low plastic totes are also easy to stack and slide away under seats, in bench storage or under beds. Keep an inventory list at the top or write a basic description with a black permanent marker so you can determine what is in each tote at a moment’s notice without it turning into a rabbit hunt.

Make Use Of Mesh Pockets

A lot of boats have more than a fair amount of unused vertical space. Whether it’s the narrow sidewalls in the bow or the back side of the door leading down to the galley, chances are there are more than a few places you can think of to hang mesh bags and net baskets.

This can be a great way to stash things like boat shoes, water socks, sun hats, gloves and other loose lightweight items that you might need to grab at a moment’s notice. The pockets are especially handy for the air pumps you need to pump up floats and tubes. They can often be installed on temporary hooks so you can move them around later if you change your mind.

Keep All Important Boat Documents In A Sealed Folder

The reality is that even if you are doing everything right 100% of the time, chances are you are going to get stopped by some authority figure and asked to show your documents and safety gear compliance. This is just par for the course with pretty much any watercraft. Keeping all your documents in one easy to find place in a sealable folder or container lets you grab it and get them out of your hair as quickly as possible.

Hooks For Clothes, Towels & Flip Flops

Hooks are a great way to keep a lot of light, loose items off the floor and up where you can quickly grab them. They are great for hanging towels, shirts, flip flops and sarongs where you can see them when you need them. Most can be attached to walls with simple screws of expanding anchors like you might use as drywall anchors in your home.

Give Kids Their Own Space

Let’s face it, even the most well-behaved child is still going to be an agent of chaos on a boat. Especially if you don’t give them a dedicated space to keep all their stuff. Something as simple as a dry locker compartment or a sealable cubby will give them a place to keep their electronic devices, chargers, cables, toys and other personal items, without needing to first have a conversation about it.

Create A Dedicated Hamper On The Boat & At Home For Wet Clothes

Nothing ruins wet clothes faster than mold and mildew. Even if you can wash them to the point of looking clean, they might still have that funky unwashed smell. It can be especially frustrating if your boat clothes are sharing the same hamper with your everyday clothes.

Giving your wet items a dedicated hamper of their own lets you keep them separated and reminds you to launder them as soon as possible after getting home. You might want to even try installing a mesh bag with a drawstring in a boat hamper, that you can simply pull out and sling over your shoulder to keep everything together for the trip home.