Friday, May 1, 2015

Canvas Boat Bags and The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote Bag

Canvas Boat Bags

This style of canvas bags was originally designed for hauling ice, and some still call them ice bags.   Others call them "sail bags", or the traditional "Ratsey bags".

Options include:
Alternative types of bags include:

The L.L. Bean Boat and Tote

L.L. Bean sells a popular version of the iconic bag.  These are tough bags, made of 24oz cotton canvas, with nylon double-stitched seams, and in Brunswick, Maine.

The zip-top versions are good for tossing from boat to boat.

Good For Travel

 Size Small, shown above and below works well for a pocketbook.

Size Small

Uses for L.L. Bean Boat and Totes

There are so many uses for these bags. Some uses include:
  • As Luggage for Car Travel
  • As a Pocketbook
  • As Home Storage
  • For the Grocery Store/ Markets
  • For Hauling Firewood
  • For Boat Re-Supply
  • As a Baby Bag
  • For Permanent Car Storage
  • For Garden Tools
  • For Gifts
A Bag for Storing Bags 

A thirty year old bag now used for wood.

Storage (Extra Large, Extra Large, and Large)

Buying Options

Many buy them in all four of the sizes that they offer, some with open tops and some with zip tops. They offer bags with long handles as well (necessary if you want to wear them over your shoulder), but most have the regular handles.

Twice a year L.L. Bean comes out with a handful of seasonal colors in addition to their "staple" colors, which include Blue (Navy), Dark Green, and Red.

Bags in size Small - some with open tops and some with zip-tops, all with regular handles.

How to clean the L.L. Bean Boat and Totes and other Canvas Boat Bags

Most of the time one only has to spot-clean them with kitchen soap and a moderately abrasive scrubbing tool. Then rinse it under the faucet and put it in the sun to dry.

If they are very dirty you can sometimes put them in the washing machine, but the risk is that the corners might wear prematurely, like the one below. Some have experienced bleeding with the colored cotton trim fabric.

The natural colored canvas gets a bit discolored when wet, but dries clear most of the time, although not always.  Eventually, when they get too dirty to appear in public one can relegate them to a new position such as wood hauling.

Many use size Medium as well for a pocketbook or handbag.
Depending on the use, these bags may need to be broken in.  The first thing to do when using one as a pocketbook is to soften it by soaking it.  Next roll it up in a towel once or twice and then let it air dry.

This could more easily be done in the bathtub, but there wouldn't be as many ducks.

A good, durable bag

Stretching the definition of "monogram" even further.