I take a lot of gear when I go cruising, and while most of it is essential for my safety and comfort, only two things are irreplaceable: my photographs and my notes. Decades after a cruise, those images and words are often all that remains after I’ve sold the boat I’d used and updated all my gear. Although I have a sturdy watertight, crush-proof case for my camera gear, a drybag is all I’ve had to protect my journals and notebooks, pens, and pencils. That’s fine for writing at day’s end when I’m in camp or at anchor, but it’s awkward during the day when I want to make notes while I’m underway.

Photographs by the author

The Clampdesk measures 14" x 11" and weighs just 24 ounces when empty.

The Clampdesk from Rite in the Rain consolidates writing material in a weatherproof case that also serves a lap desk. Its shell is made of EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate), a tough, UV-resistant thermoplastic. Flat panels on both front and back provide smooth, stiff writing surfaces. The front has a strong spring clip that can hold a single sheet of paper or a 1/4″-thick notebook, and an elastic-fabric band at the bottom to keep letter-sized sheets of paper from blowing around. A weatherproof zipper with dual sliders keeps rain and spray out of the Clampdesk when it is closed and a yellow elastic loop on the spine keeps a writing implement handy without having to open the case.

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