Oooh, good topic. They bubble out faster than I can write them down!
Never hire a guy who hates his work... I'm still fixing messes left by the plumber-from-hell.
DIY should always be first choice unless the job requires highly specialized/expensive tools or esoteric skills.
To-Do lists are fractal. The closer you zoom into one item, the more it expands into a whole collection of component items. I try to anticipate this with what I call "CDTs," or Clearly Defined Tasks. Writing these out ahead of time may seem like over-detailing, but pays off when it helps avoid gross underestimation of time and costs.
management tools can make or break a job. I like OmniFocus since you can list by projects and then review by contexts (like, "what do I need to do next time I'm aboard with wiring
tools all spread out?"). And Scrivener is very useful for keeping the sprawling collection of design documents in one cohesive environment
... before that, I had stray files everywhere.
If a project
requires (n) components, there will be (n-1) units in stock. I agree fully with the person above who suggested buying
in bulk... and besides, you end up with repair inventory and trade
goods. For hardware
Tool duplication between home and boat is unavoidable. You'll end up needing 'em anyway. Expensive tools are usually good investments, though they sink just as fast as cheap
ones. No shame in using a lanyard when leaning over the rail. The new Li-Ion Makita power tools are awesome.
Document, document, document! Buy a cable-labeling machine (I like the IDpal from Brady) and ID every cable as it is identified. Take the time to do good drawings (I use OmniGraffle Pro for overall diagrams, and Eagle for detailed schematics). Start a binder for the known-correct information that you will want to be able to find again... sprinkled throughout project notebooks and random scraps, it gets lost
. Dedicate portable file boxes to manuals
and individual projects. Use your digital camera
to chase otherwise invisible mysteries, and save the images
. Take photos before closing off an area so you will know later where not to drill.
Save labeled core
samples from hole-saw adventures.
Cheers from Nomadness,