A friend jokingly referred to me as “Mr. Winch Handle here…” after a spear fishing expedition where I attached a heavy metal winch handle to my belt.
Besides the fact I look styling with a shiny object on my belt underwater, the winch handle (along with a small dive weight), negates the buoyancy of my wet suit. A neutral or slightly negative buoyancy makes free diving much easier to get to greater depths and to stay down longer. (I did steal this idea from another cruiser – thanks Scott.)
On small cruising boats, many, if not most items need to have more than 1 use to justify the weight & real estate they occupy.
Back in Florida, Serena almost convinced me to get rid of our third anchor (a 3 piece old-school 50 pound fisherman’s anchor) since we have never used it (and still have not to this day). But a more experienced cruiser convinced us to keep it, even though he had ulterior motives of wanting us to give it to him. He told us situations where a plow anchor (our primary) and a Danforth anchor (our secondary) did not hold for him and only a fisherman’s anchor was able to get good holding. Well, it scared us enough to hold on to it.
But while cruising, I’ve found a near daily use for it (or at least a part of it). As our dinghy anchor. I just use the part with the flukes and attach it to our bow line/dinghy painter. At about 10 pounds, it works great. Thankfully we’ve never been in a situation to have to use it for Wildie.
I’d love to hear creative uses of other objects on your boat.