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Old 25-08-2019, 16:41   #91
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Emphasis on action is important but had I planned better I may have saved a boat buck several times over. Apologies if mentioned before: read Jack London's Voyage of Snark for insights.
That one has not been mentioned, thank you, I will check it out.
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Old 25-08-2019, 18:03   #92
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Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

Iíve spent a lot of time managing complex multi year multi million dollar engineering research and development projects. For those, as painful to use as it is, Microsoft project works well for me.

For my boat projects multiple pages of lists, written crossed out, marked up, and reviewed works best for me. It allows the free flow of ideas from my mind to my hand and the paper. If Iím bored stiff in a meeting ( that never happens) sometimes Iíll start making a list from memory. Iíll keep that list and cross check it with others. I cross out whatís done, elaborate on the complex items, and in general keep a set of notes that evolves over time.

When I really seriously need to keep track of boat contacts, vendors, and critical items, I use spreadsheets and documents in google docs in the cloud. I can access and edit those from anywhere I have an internet connection, and can keep local copies and edit then if I donít have that connection.

Iím not big on spending time on formal systems if they donít work for me.

The suggestions in this thread are great for some people and useless for others. Iím sure that what works for me is awful for some. Thatís ok.

I think trying (at least in your head) a lot of the suggested methods in this thread and finding what works best for you and your particular mental style are what you should do. It really personal.

Oh yes. And I find that lots of things fall off the bottom of the list never to reappear. And others fall off the bottom but keep reappearing and eventually get done.
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Old 25-08-2019, 18:17   #93
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Arrow Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
Evernote is another fantastic boat resource imho, as you go along just keep putting stuff in there, fuel filter size, reminder for tools next time you leave home, serial numbers of kit etc - everything! Then next time you pass a shop and see something you'll have all the dims etc on your phone.Just keep putting everything in there, i use it for passwords as well, encrypted of course
That & mind mapping I find extremely useful, mind maps are great for zooming in and out from the 'big picture' to what nuts & bolts are needed etc - really helps to focus on just one task rather than feeling a bit swamped with the number of tasks.

Also, google does a voice recognition thing where you you can say 'OK google' the 'note to self......bolt is 50mm long' and it will save that note to evernote so when you are upside down under the engine you can write notes. Works pretty well but you do get some wierd text sometimes

Lots of stuff online about using evernote to help with getting things done as well >>
https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-use-evernote-for-GTD/
Very useful advice, thanks Conachair. I've been refitting my 33 ft sailboat off and on for nearly 30 years. Some of that time I have lived aboard which helps me sort out my priorities and also dream up new solutions. Living aboard embeds you into the project and helps you balance doing things that provide visual satisfaction, or make life easier for you, with the jobs that don't. This keeps you motivated.

One of the best pieces of advice about prioritising came from the owner of a boat yard where I kept my boat for a while. He said a good plan is to start at the stern of the boat and work forward. I find that idea especially helpful when subdivided into, say, outside and inside jobs, and then into jobs below the water line, above the waterline, at deck level and above.

You can then make a series of job type passes from aft forward, like painting, mechanical repairs, wiring, refurnishing and re-finishing, rigging, and so on. This prevents you from trying to multi-task in a small area which can often prove very inefficient in terms of time, tools, and materials.

Of course, this approach still benefits from the sort of things Conachair mentions. For long term projects like live aboard cruising, which usually involves live-aboard refits, the advice I was given has often prevented me from getting overwhelmed by the number and complexity of the jobs involved. It has helped me see that I have actually made some progress.
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Old 26-08-2019, 00:41   #94
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Perhaps you should read the original description of my situation and you'd see that this advice, although valuable in itself, is not applicable to my situation.
Sorry, very long thread, I kno 40km away, garage work on custom fiberglass fridge, tools moving around... I was not aware of the crime situation at your location too.

I have done my refit on my boat being 1000km away in a country where I do not speak the language well enough to find what I may need easily, so I had to get all the major parts and tools probably necessary for the jobs in one haul with our RV to the boat yard, set up my workshop and do what needs to be done there on a tight schedule, I needed to water it within 2 months because of the contract end. Was a great experience, met a lot of people doing their boat works too.

If it was 40km only, I would have commuted back and forth and probably spent more time in travelling to shops for parts and tools and home then on the boat, the refit would have taken 3 times more effort and time.

I prepared as much as I could at home, tested the systems, shopped the internet and sorted my tools that may be needed.

In your situation maybe a tool tender parked in your garage or containers could be helpful to get your workshop with you, or you simply move your tool base to the boat and go to your land jobs from there for the time being.
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Old 26-08-2019, 01:14   #95
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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, the advice I was given has often prevented me from getting overwhelmed by the number and complexity of the jobs .
That's exactly a big benifit... (for me anyway , everyone works differently, though these threads tend to morph into "works for me therefore everyone else is wrong ).. of mind maps and Evernote. A mind map let's you hide everything with a mouse click or 2 apart from the project or tiny bit of the project you're working on and if something pops into your mind or there's an overlap with another project then that thought goes into evernote 'in box' to go to the right place later, with ok Google and web access you just need to say it to clear it from your head. Then you can forget it and focus completely back on what you're doing.
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Old 26-08-2019, 08:34   #96
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

I've tried it,

"Ok Google, refit the boat!"

... did not work.
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Old 26-08-2019, 12:09   #97
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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...You can use project management tools like critical path method, schedules, tasks, ressources, agile techniques, six sigma black belt quality management, canban techniques, mind maps, etc...
CatNewBee, your scornful answer is uncalled for. Nobody proposed going over the top in such a way. And I can't believe that you engineered your electrical system off the top of your head.

I've used pages of lists on paper, and have several years worth of old ones to show for it, but when I have a large amount of work to do and a critical date to meet, (such as a racing schedule which starts in a few months) it is good to have a project management tool which shows me a path which will get me there.

And when a new item shows up, as it just did when my water tanks started to fail this month, I know I can rearrange things and see how much can still get done, and find work arounds on the ones which won't. Re arranging a paper list is inefficient.

Of course I can just work away hammer and tongs on what ever seems important or interesting and hope it all gets done, but a little planning and some computer assistance in mapping it to a calendar is smarter.

In my working career I knew several folks who were disdainful of planning ("Just leave me alone and let me get my work done!"). They were always the ones with an excuse when the project didn't come in on the dates they had given.

I know of several boat owners who "are going to leave this year" but somehow they are still there the next year and still don't have a real clue as to how long it is going to take.

And I know there are a lot of folks happily puttering away on their boat projects who don't care when or if it is ever finished, they just like working on it.
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Old 26-08-2019, 12:34   #98
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

Yes, I know. Done project management in my professional life, program management too (supervising multinational IT software and IT infrastructure projects in carve outs, merger and acquisitions for large companies, outsourcing and offshoring projects among others in big distributed teams) I am pretty aware what this tools and methods are and what they can do and what they can't.

Love the simplicity of boat projects. Much more satisfying at the end of the day seeing the progress...
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Old 26-08-2019, 14:46   #99
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

Boat projects!=boat refurbishment.

A single, or even a handful, of projects are not necessarily interrelated whereas a refurbishment involves many interrelated tasks. Projects often need to occur before, and sometimes even across, other projects so there is a need to plan ahead and then there is always the need to be able to re-shuffle due to external influences; Too wet to do that outside job; waiting on supplies; etc. A good plan will allow for these factors and help eliminate thumb twiddling time wasting or, even worse, the need to deconstruct because something was forgotten in the process,

I really don't think post-it notes cut it on refurbishment projects. Some form of electronic planning and management is essential, imo.
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Old 26-08-2019, 15:03   #100
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Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Love the simplicity of boat projects. Much more satisfying at the end of the day seeing the progress...
Ahhh.... the simple life.
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Old 26-08-2019, 15:09   #101
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

I wonder which electronic planning and management tools they used when building the pyramids?

Some form of Kanban I suspect - with clay sticky notes.
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Old 26-08-2019, 16:03   #102
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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I wonder which electronic planning and management tools they used when building the pyramids?

Some form of Kanban I suspect - with clay sticky notes.

None. That's why it took an estimated 20 years or so to build vs the 5 years it took to build the Burj Khalifa which is 6 times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza and indescribably more technically complex.


So yeah. Modern planning methods work.
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Old 26-08-2019, 16:30   #103
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None. That's why it took an estimated 20 years or so to build vs the 5 years it took to build the Burj Khalifa which is 6 times the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza and indescribably more technically complex.

So yeah. Modern planning methods work.

Maybe something to do with the machinery they used?
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Old 26-08-2019, 16:34   #104
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Maybe something to do with the machinery they used?

Machinery doesn't figure out where 100km of plumbing pipes go
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Old 26-08-2019, 16:43   #105
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Re: Favourite way of tracking boat refurb project

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Machinery doesn't figure out where 100km of plumbing pipes go
On the other hand... that sort of machinery probably NEEDED 100 km of plumbing pipes.
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