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Old 16-10-2007, 06:40   #1
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Keeping track of systems/refit

Good Morning All!

I have been working for a little over a year now on a 'restoration/refit' of our boat. (A 1968 H - Pilot 35). Things are going well, albeit slowly constrained by the two most common reasons - lack of both time and money.

Meanwhile though, my mind churns during nearly every non-working moment on and about all the wonderful things I want to do to: the galley, the nav station, the rig, the sails, the cockpit, the decks, the ports, the mast, the V birth, the head, the refigeration (or lack thereof), the bar (or establishment there of), not to mention life lines, MOB gear, life raft, EPIRB, Auto pilot, bright work, Bimini, ceilings, Cockpit cushions, Dodger, Wheel, cockpit grates, midship chocks & cleats, windlass, bow roller, running rigging, skylights/hatches, stern rail, swim ladder, dinette table, cockpit table.

As I said before, ll of these random thoughts float in and out of my head in a near constant parade during every non-working moment of the day, and night. Well, in all candor they are there during quite a few working moments as well!

It has occured to me that the best way to keep track of my myriad ideas would be to create a spread sheet or data base whereby I could keep track of ideas, estimated costs, schedules, priorities, various options, suppliers, vendors, crafts persons, where I have seen reference materials, etc. Then I think about the time it would take to put together and say to myself, "Self, someone else MUST have already done this", and if I just look and ask around, I am sure to find a much better spreadsheet than my scattered mind can create.

SO . . .
Here is the question

Does anyone have or know of a good excell spreadsheet (or other database) that covers the array boat systems?

I would love to score a spread sheet used by a builder - I KNOW they exist.

I welcome your ideas and suggestions.

Thank you very much

Cheers
Paul
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Old 16-10-2007, 09:38   #2
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Spread sheet let me keep track of the cost. They became unweildy to track task. I end up using both spreadsheet and Microsoft Project to track ideas, task, timeframe, dependancies and completion.

Well worth it!
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Old 16-10-2007, 10:24   #3
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Once used a tool (given at a conference - no idea whose proprietary software) called "Critical Timeframe Analysis" - try Googling it - it was a great project costing and timing tool . . .
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Old 16-10-2007, 13:03   #4
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Aloha Pyxis,

I'd like to know if you get a handle on what you are looking for. It is embarrassing to me that I have not finished my boat project after many, many more years than you have put into yours. In my defense, I did build a house and a couple of smaller boats and start a yacht club in the meantime.

I know about what you stated concerning most waking moments thinking about boat systems. My key to making the project last so long is that I move from one project to another without really completely finishing the one before. Then, I lose my train of thought concerning the past one and when I get back to it I rethink it again.
I started the rebuild with a pilothouse in mind but changed my mind and lowered the cabin top to just give me head room below. That was a rethink. I started out replacing my engine with another just like it so that all would fit in place. I ended up building another engine bed and cutting the shaft and realigning everything anyway. That was another rethink. I rebuilt my cockpit once. Now am rebuilding it again because of rethinking and the use of bad grade plywood on the first rebuild.

So I'm destined to building/rebuilding, etc. etc. Hope you can avoid this viscious cycle.

JohnL
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Old 16-10-2007, 14:42   #5
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I am going through a similar refit, with similar constraints (lack of both dollars & hours). It is turning out that although I have a loose plan of the order in which things might be done, it is often determined by what I can find cheaply (on eBay, on-line or locally). I have an on-going word document where I record (loosely), work completed with an approximate cost.
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Old 16-10-2007, 14:53   #6
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I have a product I'm about to release that can be used to setup such things but as far as the numbers for how long and how much it costs it isn't something that will do that much detail but it is a data base application that is in general able to be used. It would be up to you to determine schedules and costs but it could remind you and keep track of actual costs. Plus it can pull together documentation and all the other details it takes to manage a boat.

I expect to have it ready soon and at that time I'll post a classified ad. For a period of time CF members can get it for free. I will make a better announcement when it is available.
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Old 16-10-2007, 16:31   #7
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Thanks Paul.
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Old 16-10-2007, 17:25   #8
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Other boats? a Yacht Club? How about doing something USEFUL with your time.
My only excuse is that I love sailing her so much that half the time I go down to "work on the boat" I end up "working on" my tan and tacking skills!

Cheers
Paul
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Old 16-10-2007, 17:30   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strygaldwir View Post
Spread sheet let me keep track of the cost. They became unweildy to track task. I end up using both spreadsheet and Microsoft Project to track ideas, task, timeframe, dependancies and completion.

Well worth it!
OK OK
So do you still have the spread sheet and the Project files?

I work in excell nearly everyday - Project on occasion, but I would love to have (and share) a base "form" file to use as a starting point. Anything anyone wants to share would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Paul
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Old 16-10-2007, 22:16   #10
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I use QuickBooks Pro to keep track of the boat partnership. All costs are broken down by category. It's nice to see what the hull, sails, rigging, interior and engine each cost.

All partner deposits are tracked. The partnership's bank account is managed and balanced monthly. The boat is a "capital" asset divided equally among the partners. The mooring deposit is also a capital asset "owned" by the partners.

It seems like overkill but it's not. And Quick books makes it easy. If you get really pedantic about it you can create costings and budgets for each project that you plan to do. That's too much for me.

As for boat maintenance I have a simple spreasheet log on the computer. A hard copy of the latest page is kept on the boat. The operator enters "squawks" and when we clear the squawk we make a maintenance log entry describing the fix. Costs for the fix (if any) can be located in the Quickbooks file. The log is continuous and all scheduled and no scheduled maintenance goes in there. If it is something big and can be deferred we track it on a second page called "upgrades." We prioritize these based on safety, performance and convenience.
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Old 17-10-2007, 00:23   #11
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I have a small notebook that I carry with me a lot, and always take to the boat. If I have an idea, it gets jotted down. If I take a measurement of something on the boat, it gets written down. If I need 1/4" washers, it gets written down.

I use a spreadsheet at home to keep track of boat costs, and maintenance, but the little notebook allows me to "dump" my brain's contents into it and not have those thoughts keeping me awake at night!
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Old 17-10-2007, 10:11   #12
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We use a $2.00 spiral binder. Work completed front to back, chronological (ie change oil 10-2-06, generator or replace all lifelines 5-5-07) In the back we have a "work to do list" which gets crossed off as it is completed. Simple, easy, cheap........
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Old 17-10-2007, 10:20   #13
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Would anyone mind posting their SS or other electronic refit data? I'm very interested in seeing what refit tasks took in terms of time and money on different boats in different places. I'd also like to see how different skippers have organized their data.
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Old 17-10-2007, 15:52   #14
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Quote:
And Quick books makes it easy. If you get really pedantic about it you can create costings and budgets for each project that you plan to do. That's too much for me.
For a partnership I can't see a better way for tracking the money. Partnerships need to do that well. What was spent and how it gets divided can become an issue without a solid accounting system in place. Quickbooks does that very well. Quicken also works well too.

What it does not really do though is organize the management of the boat and the work to be done and the resources aboard and ashore. I'm a bit biased since I have spent a long time turning poorly written spreadsheets into business software. When you try to use Excel to do data base applications you either have a poor data base r a limited application that does not server multiple purposes. The key is not so much what you use to build it with but what you thought about in terms of how the thing will work relative to all the things you need to do to be a success. Other people's spreadsheets has to be the worst choice there is. When you don't really know the background you won't get much out of it. The process you go through is the real route to getting things right as well as managed.
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Old 17-10-2007, 20:58   #15
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Quote:
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What it does not really do though is organize the management of the boat and the work to be done and the resources aboard and ashore. I'm a bit biased since I have spent a long time turning poorly written spreadsheets into business software. When you try to use Excel to do data base applications you either have a poor data base r a limited application that does not server multiple purposes. The key is not so much what you use to build it with but what you thought about in terms of how the thing will work relative to all the things you need to do to be a success. Other people's spreadsheets has to be the worst choice there is. When you don't really know the background you won't get much out of it. The process you go through is the real route to getting things right as well as managed.

I agree completely. I have been involved in aircraft maintenance for a long time. In aircraft there are lot's of tracked parts so a database is needed to track them. There are recurring tasks so a tool is needed to remind and schedule them. Finally there are mandatory and optional modifications so a project management tool is needed. Finally you'd like to track and predict the maintenance costs.

I have never in 25 years seen a good integrated package.

You need a:

Quicken
Database
MS Project
Calendar / Scheduler

All integrated into one package. Oh - and the package needs to have portable data formats that will talk to financial and regulatory systems. And when you scale this up to large fleets it get really tough.
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