Paddle Keeper - For Inside Sailboat CockpitArticle By Shorty
I am a big fan of always having a paddle handy. There are plenty of times that I use one aboard my boat, such as:
- fend off other boats or the dock
- get the bow the rest of the way over after I blow a tack
- pickup stuff in the water (use like boat hook)
- hold out for someone at the dock to grab onto, help pull me back to the dock
- pole out a jib (use like whisker pole)
But here is the problem, the only good space to keep a paddle on a sailboat is usually inside the cabin, right where it is NOT very handy to get at. If I leave it in the cockpit, it always floats around the floor getting in the way or causing a hazzard. I tried carrying along the side deck, but I walk there and it got in the way.
So here is my solution, I made a little keeper for it so it is held against the sidewall of my cockpit.
Very simple keeper, just a trapezoid of plywood and 4 bolts. The plywood is held off by by some spacers I made from aluminum tubing. I just slide the blade of the paddle into the keeper, and it holds it there out of the way.
When I need my paddle, it is simply a matter of lifting it up and out of the keeper.
And just to be on the safe side so I don't loose it while trailering down the road, I attached a leash to it which I toss over a cleat. If for some reason it pops out, it won't go flying into traffic. A friend of mine had his fishing rods in the cockpit of his boat and they popped out once, not sure how, but that was the main reason I added the leash.