One of the things I am coming to love about Goblin is how much storage space she has. Deep compartments under the settee and kitchen counters, long boxy storage under the beds, small drawers and cabinets all over. One thing I’ve been missing though is a drop zone. I’m sure you have one, though you call it something else. It’s that place to toss keys, wallet, and glasses when you come in the door, as well as to pile the things you need to remember to grab when running out, the letters to put out in the mailbox, library card, that kind of thing. For me, kitchen counters have been my drop zone. I’ve tried tables by the door or making a habit of putting my bag down in the same place but I have consistently returned to the kitchen counter.

Boat life forces changes. My kitchen counter is a pair of cutting boards that cover the sink bowls, a drying rack that’s almost always in use, and a dorm fridge eating up the rest of the horizontal space while we sort out refrigeration. Add to that a moving boat that slides loose items across counters in the middle of the night. A counter top drop zone falls out of the picture. Time to get creative.

It turns out that there is a panel of wood, oddly shaped, but roughly 10″x20″ just inside the boat, along side the forward companionway. The space is right at hand coming or going and yet out of the way and completely unused. I started planning.

I wanted a fabric panel that I could add snap screws to. That way, if it ever got soaked I could remove it easily and if I changed my mind about the format I could create something new using the same attachments. Alex and I brainstormed what we wanted to keep close at hand. Wallets, keys, glasses, sunblock, and then I started sketching.

The biggest planning slowdown was finding a time that both kids were asleep and I still had enough brain function to think through geometry. Which seams needed to be sewn first in order to have no hand stitching and no rough edges? How much extra fabric did I need to add in to make the pockets large enough to hold things but not so large that they flopped open? From there, lots of straight lines and I had a lovely rectangular pocket pouch.

Notice that is’s not a nice simple rectangle anymore? As is the way of every project on the boat, it did come with complications. I ended up revising the panel by removing a pocket. I had planned to hang the original rectangle over the small raised wooden box in the right hand corner. It turns out that the box is very thin wood covering up I don’t know what, not a good place for a strong screw snap. Rather than ripping the wood off, I modified the plan. Stitch rippers are a girl’s best friend.

The final product is up and serving its purpose well. As a bonus, I love the added color mixed in with all the wood. More of the same fabric is in process to become curtains for Owen and Kinsley’s rooms. Even more color for the boat is on its way with a couple of pending boat projects.