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Old 13-11-2020, 13:48   #1
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Where is Everything on the Boat?

Struggling to know what thread this question should go in, but it loosely includes food storage too.

I am wondering how people keep track of where on the boat everything is.

As well as food, how do you keep track of spare parts, tools, and boat equipment.

Knowing what you've got and where it is becomes more important the further off the beaten track you are. I was interested to watch a recent episode of Drake's Paragon as they sail through Greenland mention the importance of knowing where especially all spare parts are stowed, and how documenting this was a serious job before they embarked.

I've been pondering developing a little database, to manage this problem. But even using consistent names for many items would be problematic.

So how is this problem being solved?
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Old 13-11-2020, 14:25   #2
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I just use departments. Like a department store. When I go into a Walmart, I can find almost anything. Because everything is logically grouped together as it should be. I do the same thing on the boat.

I have bins that have what you need for engines, and the tools you use to work on the engines. Those are in one spot. Then I have a plumbing department. And everything you need to work on plumbing is right next to that as well. Then I have an electrical department. Everything I need to work on wiring is right there.

There’s no need for a database if you set it up so that your mind and most peoples mind would find something in a given spot.

I dare say that my situation is far more complex than someone just out using their boat. Even in Antarctica. I am building mine. So, I have a lot more stuff on here that you wouldn’t normally take with you.
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Old 13-11-2020, 14:28   #3
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I've had similar thoughts watching folks on youtube with huge underfloor bilge areas stuffed with boxes of pasta and all sorts of things.....
Seems it would be extremely easy for things to get buried and forgotten till they go bad, get wet, get critters, etc...
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Old 13-11-2020, 14:34   #4
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I keep a pretty simple inventory list by storage location, on computer but paper would work too.

Yes, I'm just doing coastal cruising on a moderate sized boat, but the list really isn't that daunting once you get started. Database? As an ex computer geek I've had to train myself to not over-complicate things.
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Old 13-11-2020, 14:42   #5
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I use a department system like Chotu. Each type of stuff has a general place where I'd go to find it, no list needed. And in most cases, the related things you'll need are all in one or 2 places, not scattered around the whole boat.
  • Tools have their own cabinet.
  • Another cabinet contains hardware, plumbing bits, thru hull plugs (both wooden and foam), and other assorted extra stuff that's not engine related.
  • Extra fluids (oil, coolant, trans fluid, etc.) live in a pair of strapped down milk crates in the engine room.
  • Engine / generator related spares, spare pumps, etc. live in a few crates strapped down in the forward bilge storage area.
  • One small cabinet in the forward stateroom contains a few infrequently used overflow tools (like a timing light and hacksaw) and any small supplies I've staged on board for something I'm working on or will be doing soon.
  • Food items and extra drinkable liquids live in the galley cabinets and under the couch in the salon (there's a good size storage area under there).
  • PFDs are distributed between the forward hanging locker and one of the under-seat storage bins on deck.
  • Extra dock lines, power line adapters, etc. live in another under-seat storage bin on deck along with extra chafing gear.
  • Windlass remote, lines for snubbers, velcro chafing gear for temporary use (anchoring, etc.) lives in a cabinet on deck.
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Old 13-11-2020, 14:54   #6
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

Benn discussed several times. Last time was:
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3188534


The repository for my MS Access database solution is now https, so you may have a problem with the previous link.


This one works: https://camcopng.com/download/BoatInventory.zip
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Old 13-11-2020, 15:12   #7
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

We use the app AnyList for many things. What is where on the boat is one.
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Old 13-11-2020, 16:22   #8
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

No software here, but we too use a rough "department " breakout. Augmented of course with profanity-laced random searching when we can't remember what group some random item might belong to.

Seems to work out OK for the most part
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Old 14-11-2020, 09:46   #9
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

Ha ha! Iíll try and learn from the comments you receive. I once couldnít find my wet-dry vacuum for several days! Then it showed up exactly where I had carefully placed it! How one can lose a vacuum cleaner on a sailboat is beyond me....
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:12   #10
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

Like others, we used a map. With about 130 jars of canned food, we needed to know where to look for meat, cheese, butter, without opening cabinets all over the place. We simply used a boat layout picture.
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:15   #11
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grantmc View Post
Struggling to know what thread this question should go in, but it loosely includes food storage too.

I am wondering how people keep track of where on the boat everything is.

As well as food, how do you keep track of spare parts, tools, and boat equipment.

Knowing what you've got and where it is becomes more important the further off the beaten track you are. I was interested to watch a recent episode of Drake's Paragon as they sail through Greenland mention the importance of knowing where especially all spare parts are stowed, and how documenting this was a serious job before they embarked.

I've been pondering developing a little database, to manage this problem. But even using consistent names for many items would be problematic.

So how is this problem being solved?
Excel sheet.
Table of everything.
Each item under its storage place.
150 lines. Excel allows to sort and to search.
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:30   #12
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I havenít read the other posts but what I did was make a drawing of the outline of the hull with all the compartment covers. Then added a note to each cover with what was inside.

Of course this was after everything was well establish of having a good place. Sometimes after a couple years one can forget where stuff is or that you even have it, like spare parts. Also, I used a pencil so if things change places, so could the drawing. Make a photo copies of the blank drawing in case of multiple moves.

Tools and perishables are the most important.

Also, if you have fuses that are separate from a main panel. You can mark them in too, with the amperage.
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:30   #13
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rslifkin View Post
I use a department system like Chotu. Each type of stuff has a general place where I'd go to find it, no list needed. And in most cases, the related things you'll need are all in one or 2 places, not scattered around the whole boat.
  • Tools have their own cabinet.
  • Another cabinet contains hardware, plumbing bits, thru hull plugs (both wooden and foam), and other assorted extra stuff that's not engine related.
  • Extra fluids (oil, coolant, trans fluid, etc.) live in a pair of strapped down milk crates in the engine room.
  • Engine / generator related spares, spare pumps, etc. live in a few crates strapped down in the forward bilge storage area.
  • One small cabinet in the forward stateroom contains a few infrequently used overflow tools (like a timing light and hacksaw) and any small supplies I've staged on board for something I'm working on or will be doing soon.
  • Food items and extra drinkable liquids live in the galley cabinets and under the couch in the salon (there's a good size storage area under there).
  • PFDs are distributed between the forward hanging locker and one of the under-seat storage bins on deck.
  • Extra dock lines, power line adapters, etc. live in another under-seat storage bin on deck along with extra chafing gear.
  • Windlass remote, lines for snubbers, velcro chafing gear for temporary use (anchoring, etc.) lives in a cabinet on deck.

This is similar to my "system" and I think most of us have about the same ideas of where to put "stuff". You strike a balance between good organization, available space (that's a big issue), and location near to where you use it. The storage database is all in my brain.

Maybe, if I had the time, an electronic database would be really nice. But I could never keep it up to date.

If you sail with a crew larger than 2, a PC database becomes more useful, especially if one or more of your crew is regularly doing maintenance, repairs or cooking and needs access to things without having to ask or if you are away from the boat. But for just me and the wife, maintaining it would be a burden.
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Old 14-11-2020, 10:38   #14
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

I find its a voyage of discovery , " hey I didnt remember I had/bought one of those ,, great "

I dont store food low down ever ,have that T-shirt
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Old 14-11-2020, 11:08   #15
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Re: Where is Everything on the Boat?

My boat is small enough that I just remember where I put everything. Luckily I rarely need tools, though the engine-specific ones (the one 10mm socket for the carburetor--only metric thing on the boat) live in their own box with the spare plugs and gaskets, and plug wrench.
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