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A simple solution for holding heavy locker lids open

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What is the issue?
Locker lids are heavy and awkward to deal with when open. Typically you have to hold them open with one hand whilst rummaging around with the other for what you are looking for. With deep lockers, this is particularly difficult. This is a far-from-ideal way to retrieve often awkward equipment and particularly so on a rolling boat where the seagoing rule-of-thumb is one hand for the boat, one hand for yourself. Likewise, if they were to fall upon you the heavy lids would doubtlessly cause a painful injury.

There are also times you may want to get into the locker to pack or retrieve deeply stored items or carry out some work. In these circumstances, the lids have to be wedged securely open in a totally reliable fashion. As a proper seagoing lazaret lid self-fastens when it falls closed, there is the potential that you could be trapped in the locker.

Why address this?
Lazarets are in constant use on a boat. As often as not this can be when the boat is in motion and you are not feeling the best. You need to reduce as much as possible having your head down in the locker with whiffs of old diesel fuel in the air, building a mounting sense of frustration whilst rummaging around with a single hand whilst being forced with the other to hold the lid open. Anything that makes that easier is going to make a dramatic difference to life aboard. Worse a heavy lid that has not been held securely open could fall down painfully on an arm or hand.

How to address this?
Fix a padeye to the bottom of the lazaret lids. Attach a sturdy piece of shock-chord to this with a loop on the other end that can be dropped over a nearby cleat or winch, as it was in our case, holding the lids open.

Locker lid retaining straps
Photo: Tony Gibson

As often as not, it is the most obvious and easiest solution that is overlooked. I owned my vessel for three years and had sailed it half way around the world before I twigged this. Once I implemented it I could have kicked myself for not having done it earlier.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession. Photo with thanks toYacht Rent.
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