Reviewed by Captain Mike Schoonveld

When I unboxed what my wife calls “the big gray box” Plano Molding Company sent me to evaluate for this column, I instantly imagined a half dozen great uses for it. Plano calls it the Marine Box.

I could imagine it stuffed full of lifejackets with the word LIFEJACKETS stenciled on it and stowed in an accessible, but out of the way location on a big boat. I could imagine it fulfilling the same function on a smaller sized boat, strapped or bungie-corded at the bow or tucked under a bench seat.


I could imagine it being stuffed with rain gear, enough rain gear for everyone on board, or extra coats for those times when a day on the lake is going to feature uncertain weather. No one likes to put on wet gear, even if it’s rain wear and in my boat, the bow of the boat is the best place to stow extra gear, but not necessarily the driest spot on the boat if I have to splash through choppy seas to get to the fishing area. The Marine Box has a rubber gasket to make it water tight and four snap down (even padlockable) latches to make sure the lid doesn’t pop off from the wind when going fast or from bumps when hitting choppy waves.


I could imagine the Marine Box conveniently stocked up with any sort of gear or supplies you don’t want to transport in the boat when it’s being towed on a trailer. Stow the chandlery in the Marine Box and haul it in the back of the tow vehicle, then transfer it all into the boat in one, easy to handle load. It even has wheels on the bottom so you can roll it instead of lugging it, need be.


When my wife spotted the big gray box she immediately started imagining uses for it herself. Currently, it’s storing an amazing number of sunflower heads which will be apportioned out to the birds at our winter feeder while keeping them from the mice that infiltrate our garage. It’s been stuffed full of blankets, pillows and sleeping bags on camping trips. It’s been filled with assorted groceries when returning from a shopping spree at Sam’s Club. It was filled with dog supplies when the mutt went on a vacation with us.


I imagine I’ll be getting a second one for myself. Over three feet long, a foot and a half wide and over a foot deep (108 quart capacity, Plano says) what can you imagine doing with one?


Get your own big gray box at a wide range of retailers or go to

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