David Parker makes a simple shelf and installs strong webbing straps to stow a scuba tank securely in his boat’s cockpit
A shelf and strong webbing straps can save cockpit space
On smaller boats stowage space is always at a premium and while general gear can usually be packed in lockers it’s the bulkier items which sometimes have you scratching your head to find space for them. In my case one such item was my diving tank – as you can imagine space is limited on a 23ft motor launch.
I use my diving gear to clean and inspect my props and shafts and it has also come in handy for retrieving items lost overboard or if an anchor gets fouled. However carting all the kit back and forth in my little tender is a bit of a faff so I wanted to find a permanent home for the cylinder on board.
With the hull layout I have, the ideal and really only place to keep it would be in the cockpit. But the cockpit sole already has inspection hatches of course and systems lockers which also double up for stowage. I didn’t want any fitting to compromise quick access to these. My solution was to build a tank stand that would be a sort of ‘half shelf’ design: strong enough to support a heavy weight but also compact enough to allow access to lift the hatch underneath. The load itself would be secured by webbing straps which would be fitted to the bulkhead. The same principle will work for my plans to carry additional water and fuel jerry cans on board. Here’s how I stowed the diving tank.
Storage for the diving cylinder had to be strong and secure yet easily removed
Webbing, buckles and fittings are readily available online
Waste wood from a job can be used to cut your own plugs