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Old 18-03-2013, 01:31   #16
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

SmartMove, welcome to the real world of cruising
Looks like you didn't just survive the initiation ceremony, but passed it with flying colours .

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Our expectations for outfitting Smart Move were unrealistic, both in time to complete and the amount of money to complete.
Generally I have learned if you think it will take an hour allow a day, for a day allow a week and a week allow a month LOL. As a rule of thumb, just multipy all the expected expenses by two or three and expect every job you do to create another couple that need tackling

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
We did a major re-fit .... but no aesthetic stuff (a hard thing for two architects!).
Took us about five years before any aesthetic stuff was done. Hard for a perfectionist, but I have just learned to chill out. Having the boat running faultessly is far more critical (at least I get my much needed uninterrupted beauty sleep ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Every boat project starts by moving everything out of the space you are working in....... Finally, all of the stuff that you just took out has to go somewhere that will not be in the way.
You have spots like this on board LOL? When all the flooring is up, bilges emptied and ceilings are down (eg for major electrical work) the only clear room on our boat is the bed. I have even been know to spread out dustcloths and use this as my workspace during the day, measuring and marking and drilling. Unfortunately sometimes the "banging your head against a brick wall" analogy can go on for weeks and weeks and weeks , but boy does it feel good when it stops .

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Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Also, that area will not have enough head room and you will not be standing, sitting, or laying on a level surface and the platform will be moving.
Being able to contort into a pretzel certainly helps. Skip boat handling classes (that can be learned along the way), along with learning to arp, yoga should be added to the list of mandatory boat skills required before setting off LOL.

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Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Every boat project requires two or more trips to West Marine or Home Depot (or both) while in process. I really do not know why hubby cannot plan this better at the start.
Only two trips? Wow, you are doing well! While on the hardstand last time I dont think any job was completed without a dozen trips to the candy store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
Our shakedown cruise at the end of December showed me I am way more resourceful that I believed and showed me I am pretty good at problem solving and being able to step back and re-look at a situation when the first solution isn't working. It was very empowering, abet frustrating, but a huge confidence booster.
Yep, the challenges are the confidence boosters. Although they can be frustrating and sometimes terrifying, they can also very addictively shoot adrenaline through your system. Once or twice a year is enough though, the rest of the time I am perfectly content gazing out at the scenery perfecting the art of being lazy .

It is not just the stunning places we have visited and the memorable sails and the magic of watching each and every sunrise & sunset and being rocked to sleep every night that I have loved. Slowing down, having few plans and certainly no diary (whereas previously for several decades every 5 minutes was accounted for), having each day unfold in unexpected ways (usually good not bad) and almost never needing to multitask any longer have been the best bits about sailing.

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Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
I love this new life and look confidently to the challenges it will throw at me! I love sharing this with my best friend and the love of my life that shares this dream. I have never worked harder (physically) in my life, most days when I go to bed every muscle in my body aches from the boat projects we are still completing, but I have never been happier in my life.
+1
I had a great life before, so it is saying a lot that the last six years on the water have been the very best to date . I still find it hard to believe I am out here doing this and to wipe the grin off my face .

Hope to meet you on the water some time.
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:19   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post

I laughed out loud when I read this because for me at least it's a dramatic understatement. If I could get away with just two or three trips to the hardware or marine supply store for any project I undertake I would consider myself the very pinnacle of efficiency.

Then again, point me in the direction of any real marine supply store and I'm like kid with a nickel (showing my age) headed into the candy store. Even if all I can afford in one single Atomic Fireball I can at least revel in the dream.

There is a certain light that shines through your litany of woes. I can sorta tell you're smiling ear to ear all the way through it, in one way or another.
We have a lot of (for lack of a better term) 'supplies' on board that helped keep the number of trips down but some projects did take more trips!

My hubby feels the same in the 'candy store' he can spend hours in both marine and hardware stores. Years ago, on a hot July day, we decided the garden needing weeding. About 20 minutes into it he decided he needed to go to Home Depot for a sprinkler part, he came back four hours later -- I was not amused! He just lost track of time wandering through the store, as I recall he forgot the part too.

Yep, smiles abound here!
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:29   #18
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Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post

We used to write things down like this, but inevitably we arrive back at the boat with a carload of supplies that has to be put away somewhere, which requires we unpack every space and repack it and everything becomes jumbled and then we forget to cross things off the list and then of course we add new things that we forget to put on the list. It's hopeless. Our basic strategy has changed to try to organize things into larger groupings: nuts and bolts are likely to be here with spare parts, pasta goes there, canned goods under there, cleaning supplies stuffed in below this, etc.
In desperation I have adopted that approach as well. I have also stored unlike things together based on frequency of use, this has helped a lot in the for the time spent unpacking/packing of lockers.
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:40   #19
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Oh this is all so familiar. Have been through it several times and now, in the middle of the (hopefully last) biggest project it's not much different than the first.

Murphy's first rule of thumb for boat projects, everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you plan. And don't even think of trying to out think Murphy by planning a project and then doubling the cost and time because it will then take twice as long as the doubled estimate.

I have found that after a couple of previous overhauls I have the cost down a lot closer but the twice as long rule still seems to be winning.

By the way, you should be deliriously happy that you can go to West Marine a couple of times a day. Even though I live in FL I am about two hours from the nearest West Marine or any other variety of boat store. I have become very good friends with the UPS guy (and FedEx and the mail carrier). So for me, find I need a small part it delays the next step for a few days until I can order what I need from Defender.

So live in the moment, enjoy the refit. Will make the day you set sail all the more fun.
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:47   #20
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

My wife and I also moved aboard full time in December and early January. The Smart moves post is spot on and mirrors our experiance perfectly oh and a great read to boot!
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Old 18-03-2013, 19:59   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaworthy Lass View Post
SmartMove, welcome to the real world of cruising
Looks like you didn't just survive the initiation ceremony, but passed it with flying colours .

Generally I have learned if you think it will take an hour allow a day, for a day allow a week and a week allow a month LOL. As a rule of thumb, just multipy all the expected expenses by two or three and expect every job you do to create another couple that need tackling

Took us about five years before any aesthetic stuff was done. Hard for a perfectionist, but I have just learned to chill out. Having the boat running faultessly is far more critical (at least I get my much needed uninterrupted beauty sleep ).

You have spots like this on board LOL? When all the flooring is up, bilges emptied and ceilings are down (eg for major electrical work) the only clear room on our boat is the bed. I have even been know to spread out dustcloths and use this as my workspace during the day, measuring and marking and drilling. Unfortunately sometimes the "banging your head against a brick wall" analogy can go on for weeks and weeks and weeks , but boy does it feel good when it stops .

Being able to contort into a pretzel certainly helps. Skip boat handling classes (that can be learned along the way), along with learning to arp, yoga should be added to the list of mandatory boat skills required before setting off LOL.

Only two trips? Wow, you are doing well! While on the hardstand last time I dont think any job was completed without a dozen trips to the candy store.

Yep, the challenges are the confidence boosters. Although they can be frustrating and sometimes terrifying, they can also very addictively shoot adrenaline through your system. Once or twice a year is enough though, the rest of the time I am perfectly content gazing out at the scenery perfecting the art of being lazy .

It is not just the stunning places we have visited and the memorable sails and the magic of watching each and every sunrise & sunset and being rocked to sleep every night that I have loved. Slowing down, having few plans and certainly no diary (whereas previously for several decades every 5 minutes was accounted for), having each day unfold in unexpected ways (usually good not bad) and almost never needing to multitask any longer have been the best bits about sailing.

+1
I had a great life before, so it is saying a lot that the last six years on the water have been the very best to date . I still find it hard to believe I am out here doing this and to wipe the grin off my face .

Hope to meet you on the water some time.
Thanks.

+1 on the yoga, I lucky to still be pretty flexible and able to squeeze into small spaces.

It is magical isn't it? Sometimes I just have to pinch myself to prove to myself I'm not just dreaming! The other morning I woke up early for no particular reason, I made a cup of espresso and went to sit in the cockpit to watch the day unfold. We were in a beautiful bay that we had nearly to ourselves, everything was so quiet and still you could hear the turtles exhale as they surfaced. I was awestruck by the beauty surrounding me and of the beauty of the moment. Slowing down is good!

I also hope we meet on the water.
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Old 18-03-2013, 20:10   #22
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Oh this is all so familiar. Have been through it several times and now, in the middle of the (hopefully last) biggest project it's not much different than the first.

Murphy's first rule of thumb for boat projects, everything takes twice as long and costs twice as much as you plan. And don't even think of trying to out think Murphy by planning a project and then doubling the cost and time because it will then take twice as long as the doubled estimate.

I have found that after a couple of previous overhauls I have the cost down a lot closer but the twice as long rule still seems to be winning.

By the way, you should be deliriously happy that you can go to West Marine a couple of times a day. Even though I live in FL I am about two hours from the nearest West Marine or any other variety of boat store. I have become very good friends with the UPS guy (and FedEx and the mail carrier). So for me, find I need a small part it delays the next step for a few days until I can order what I need from Defender.

So live in the moment, enjoy the refit. Will make the day you set sail all the more fun.
The proximity of West Marine is one of the contributing factors for choosing Fajardo for outfitting. Well, also because we could mail all of our stuff via USPS cheaply. We still order a lot of stuff as well, we just have to have it sent by US mail to a post office box. We got to know the people at the post office so well, that when they hadn't seen us for a few weeks, they asked where we had been sailing when we came in!
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Old 18-03-2013, 23:21   #23
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Oh I so loved reading this thread, made my heart sore as we are just at the beginning of our dream, will be moving aboard in 2 months. Thank you for sharing.
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Old 21-03-2013, 08:33   #24
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I almost forgot, the other thing I wanted to say in this thread is a great big thank you to everyone on CF!!! Over the last 3+ years both my husband I have learned a lot here. Not one project was started or one problem resolved without first checking the archive here it see how/what others had done.

Thanks CF!
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Old 21-03-2013, 09:00   #25
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

hay smart!!!!
now ye kno wit doesnt have to be perfect to leave....
and ye know cats are some of the worst pigs known to woman, short of men....lol
i use place mat for my cats food dishes, and i grow lawn grass for his hair ball hockingness..yummy thought..lol
i place coers on all my sitting places and he knows he can use those covers. he also has places where i placed lines and knots for his wonderfully strong sharp weaponry to be sharpened, so my cushions remain intact. works like a charm--he loves to show me how good he is with his claws and stretches--good boy....and he loves to guard his home from intruders, and is proud of his catches.....

i am fortunate that bubba doesnt exhibit signs of seasickness. he sleeps and hides and still eats foods...weird cat.
when i did have a seasick pair of gatos, i placed one where she was happy, with a towel under her puking self, and the other i took into air and brushed so he would settle down and quit puking. 2 green cats was almost as enjoyable for the amount of yuck one can clean without being in a hospital at work or taking care of 2 or more ill young children with flu.

so, smartmove--where will we meet .....
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Old 21-03-2013, 09:36   #26
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Great post and great insights! We are still about 5 years from slipping the dock lines however we purchased our cruising boat about this time last year and we are going through the process of getting to know her and fixing and upgrading as we go. I can totally relate to things taking twice as long and requiring multiple trips to West Marine. We spent a week on our "new" boat last year while it was in Florida with the goal of getting her ready to ship to Minnesota. We had grand thoughts of sailing everyday, tidying up a bit, etc. We ended up spending the entire week hauling 8+ dock carts full of stuff that was taken off the boat and put into storage (so the boat would show better) and putting it all back on the boat and finding a spot to store it. Yes, I think this boat came with an entire West Marine store, LOL! It seems the previous owners were like most cruisers, they couldn't find where an item was, so they went out and purchased another one. Well, we found them all, LOL! A year later, we are still finding new goodies that we didn't know we owned, some stuff still new in it's package.

Some people have asked us why we purchased the boat so far in advance of our departure date and so far, I am still feeling like we are about right on the timing. Year one, inventory what we have and store it somewhere. Year two, replace broken and worn parts and pieces, etc.......It does take longer than you think, cuz you know we also have to find time to sail alot and have fun!
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Old 21-03-2013, 09:38   #27
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

timing is irrelevant--i bought first boat to live on board in 1990. i didnt leave, for whatever reason/excuse until 2011..........doesnt really need a reason....
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Old 21-03-2013, 10:34   #28
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Nice posts SmartMove -- and accurate too! As for storing stuff, I know I found that many items I thought were ideally placed, were not. A lot has been shifted as progress is made -- for instance the drill is less accessible as it's not needed as frequently now.

You're spot on as far as stowing things but I suggest that you might chose to be less particular about where various items "belong" at present as that too will change as you live aboard. The right home will be found as you use the items you have available so perhaps a bit more flexibility as to what goes where?

For instance, in my galley

one of the problems was no place to put my spices. Spice racks didn't work/fit where I wanted them, so I took a thrift store cake box, cut it in thirds and rotated, bolted to the inside of the door and now I have an easily accessible place for spices. Then I noticed the area between the sink and stove was not big enough for much, but with a piece of 1/4" scrap wood I have a small shelf for my tin foil, baggies and such; and then I noticed I didn't have a place for paper towels, so a bit of string and a slip knot later; and the galley gets a lot of light so having a place to put away clothes pins for the sun shades... not shown is Seaworthy Lass's great idea on the nets for vegetables -- I've got two more small nets hanging around the edge from my glasses (yep, invariably I'm sitting on the sole and realize my glasses are elsewhere, so... -- and of course a flash light is there too)

Anyway, what this long dissertation is saying in essence is that things will evolve as you spend more time aboard and I suggest you're doing a great job enjoying the evolution!

The only piece of advice I would suggest you write in stone (so to speak) is that ANYPLACE you reach for a hand-hold and don't have one -- find one and install it. If you're like me you will discover it's those little things that make life safer and more comfy. Enjoy.
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Old 22-03-2013, 18:46   #29
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

Quote:
Originally Posted by SmartMove View Post
1. Our expectations for outfitting Smart Move were unrealistic, both in time to complete and the amount of money to complete.

2. The definition of manana -- something I had to re-learn weekly for the first four months. We did a major re-fit, including but not limited to, new standing rigging, new thru-hulls, new plumbing, new sails, lots of new electronic gadgets (hubby likes them) -- but no aesthetic stuff (a hard thing for two architects!).

3. Every boat project starts by moving everything out of the space you are working in. Then you will, most likely, have to dismantle part of the boat to get to the area you need to work in. Also, that area will not have enough head room and you will not be standing, sitting, or laying on a level surface and the platform will be moving. Finally, all of the stuff that you just took out has to go somewhere that will not be in the way.

4. Every boat project requires two or more trips to West Marine or Home Depot (or both) while in process. I really do not know why hubby cannot plan this better at the start. This does not include finding unforeseen conditions while dismantling things to start the project, that will add additional trips!

5. Our shakedown cruise at the end of December showed me I am way more resourceful that I believed and showed me I am pretty good at problem solving and being able to step back and re-look at a situation when the first solution isn't working. It was very empowering, abet frustrating, but a huge confidence booster.

6. Cats do get seasick.

7. I need to get way more creative about where to store provisions. After storing the staples, I have only really provisioned for two weeks at a time. I love our Bene, but storage is in short supply with a shallow bilge. I think I need to step back and re-look at the situation, but I am in a rut right now.

8. I am embarrassed to admit this one -- being 'Little Miss Organized' -- but I am starting to loose things in the boat. I lost my watch for two weeks. I lost two new temperature probes for the refrigerator, we had to order two more, I still have not found them. I started so well ... I had a spread sheet cross-referenced to a plan of the boat that I was listing what was where -- then we started the boat projects ...

9. Finally, our two cats are slobs! Not in the litter box way, they are very neat there, but with their food. I would swear they were much neater in the house, but then maybe it was because it was bigger and I just didn't see the small stuff.
.

Love your humor...Here is my husbands list:

Don’s Dikshunary

Aground – A place the boat doesn’t perform well at all. Generally pronounced: UHHHH!!!! GROUND!!!!

Anchor - An item designed to keep a boat in the same spot on the water. Designs differ but they are all HEAVY.

Anchoring - Attempting to use an item designed to keep a boat in the same spot on the water. Methods differ but they are all a bit sketchy.

Anchor Alarm – Similar to an alarm clock, but different, in that you stay awake all night listening for it to go off. You can stop listening for it as soon as the alarm clock goes off and….wakes you up….?

Chart - Something that can be REALLY hard to read.

Chartplotter – An expensive way to display something that can be REALLY hard to read.
Depth – The distance between the surface of the water and the bottom. A surprisingly short distance at times. (see Aground)
Depth Sounder – Usually me, but sometimes Silvana. Sounds like “flock me” and in general not a pleasant sound during daylight hours.
Diesel – Really bad actor. Also something barely flamable that I seem to burn the flock out of!
Flock – Something I am considering saying….instead of another word. Enough said I think.
Gas Generator – Well….not me, and rarely the cat….but….
ICW Improvement Plan – Add WATER to the flocking ditch!!!! The plan is still in the developmental phase.
Interim ICW Improvement Plan – Some guy with two bent pieces of metal coat hanger and a REALLY BIG, UNUSED drilling rig that follows him around.
Over-estimate – When water splashes OVER the bow, I ESTIMATE the wind is blowing really hard. Perhaps too hard.
Propane Generator – (working HARD on this one because we use lots of propane).
Proposed Interim ICW Improvement Plan – A bit sketchy, but something to do with pulling the moon closer to the Ocean. The plans chief proponents blame lack of progress on a SEVERE rope shortage, but just secured a huge budget to study replacing the rope with ‘other suitable materials.
Sailboat - A type of boat with one or more long poles sticking waaaay in the air that the owners wrap expensive canvas around, and is propelled by a really slow engine.
Stress – The result of learning everything you DON’T know about driving your big boat.
Under-estimate – When less than 5 feet of water is UNDER the boat, I ESTIMATE I am really screwed.
VHF - Very High Frequency.
VHF Radio – Very High Frequency Radio. Must be for dogs or something because I rarely hear or understand it.

Wind Generator – (still working on this one. seems I am always right behind him. keeps getting stronger so I must be getting close. will try to post a photo.)



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Old 22-03-2013, 19:22   #30
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Re: Six Months In & Here Is What I Have Learned

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7. I need to get way more creative about where to store provisions. After storing the staples, I have only really provisioned for two weeks at a time. I love our Bene, but storage is in short supply with a shallow bilge. I think I need to step back and re-look at the situation, but I am in a rut right now.
I'm on a 28 foot boat.... You have no idea!
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