We have always approached deck storage with the guideline that we never wanted to pull into a harbor and have the locals immediately think: “nice cruising boat.” We’d prefer they think “nice boat.”
While that is an aesthetic question, keeping the deck clear has many practical benefits. When we are on passage, only two things are on deck that we’re not there when Harmonie first left La Rochelle: Jerry jugs with gasoline for the dinghy are lashed to the starboard rail because there is no safe place below deck for flammable liquid storage, and the solar panel arch. Everything else is stowed out of weather. Being able to do this is truly one of the awesome things about owning an Amel.
We pretty much adhere to the rule, "If you wear it, or eat it, it is stored inside the cabin. Everything else is in one of the external lockers." While there are a few exceptions, they are few.