Since boats (in our size range) don’t come with bed-side tables, bunk pockets are a handy thing. And everyone has a slightly different list of items they like to have close at hand, so a custom bunk-pocket is particularly nice. These attach to the bulkhead with screw-in Common Sense or Twist Lock Fasteners, but Snap Fasteners would work as well. Either solution allows them to be easily removed for cleaning.
Design Your Bunk Pockets
- flashlight or head lamp
- water bottle
- hair band
- lip balm, lotion, etc
- book or Kindle or iPad
- iPod or mp3
- offshore kit or pocket knife
Then determine a max overall size by looking at the bulkhead area for that crew-member’s bunk. You’re looking for the width between the wall fasteners, as well as the height hanging down. They don’t need to be large to be useful. The two I made are about 9″ width (between the centers of the fasteners) and 8 to 12″ high. Jon’s is nearly flat with net pockets providing the space for the bulkier items, whereas mine is essentially a bucket with a tie and a couple of flat pockets on front.
Create The Bunk Pockets
Make the pockets out of canvas or sunbrella. Create a 1″ to 1 1/2″ band at the top with doubled or even tripled material to provide reinforcing for the Common Sense Fastener installation. Don’t cut those openings until the entire bag is made and the hardware is already installed on the bulkhead.
To make the front of the bag or the accessory pockets use whatever scraps from your other canvas projects you have. For the two bags shown I used scraps of the settee cushion covering, stripey sunbrella from our settee pillows, and netting and webbing I had left over from other bag projects.
Some ideas for “widgets” for different items:
- For the heavier objects like a Kindle or iPad, I would probably create a pocket in the back wall of the bag that it could slip into. I would make the pocket wider and shorter than the item so that it would stick up enough to be easy to grab and loose enough to be easy to put back in.
- For small things like lip balm which could get lost easily, I would create a small pocket in front. Similarly for reading glasses.
- Things that have their own clips or clasps can hang from a piece of webbing sewn to the front of the bag (see stripey bag top left side) or a webbing loop (stripey bag, bottom right side).
- Bulky things like lotion, unless they’re too heavy, can go nicely in net bags, especially if they have a bit of elastic around the top.
- Paperbacks can slide into a flattish pocket (like the stripey one) or into a bucket bag (top bag)
- MP3 players are usually small enough they can have a custom pocket at front.
- To make a bucket bag, use a Barrel Lock and a spur-grommet for the hole that the cord comes through. The cord can be whatever you have a hand, but leechline would do if you have some spare.
Install The Completed Bunk Pockets
Screw the Twist Lock Fasteners to the bulkhead. Then carefully measure the center points for the Common Sense eyelets on the top, reinforced band. Cut the holes and apply the eyelets. Hang the pocket on the bulkhead – you’re done!
Now at the end of each watch you’ll have that cozy feeling of having everything you need close at hand. Enjoy!