Cleaning, Happiness, Maintenance, Organization

How Matthew McConaughey helped me manage projects

After having the heating replaced, I think we are starting to get the hang of how projects work on a boat. My phone ended up in the marina a few days into the project, so all most of pictures I had taken over the last months of our progress are gone. I thought I’d synched it but, alas. I even lost the one of me flipping off the old propane sensor when I ripped it out of the wall. Which is probably best, that was a little rude, even given the brain-melting hell that device put me through (RIP).

In this time of the great Heating Project of ’17, I came to three solid things I’ve learned.

1. Essentially, get your shit together

Clean and orderly stacks. Keep everything as clean and organized as you can (and backup photos!). Everything needs a place, and also a safe place to be when it can’t be in that place. That place might change three times during a project, so a third safe place might be needed. Just be ready to constantly move things. We DID save a lot of time by cleaning lockers up as we went installing the heat registers, so when we went back to run wire, we weren’t disgusted and therefore moved slower, we knew what we were in for and had a plan. Of course, that plan changed at times, but the pre-planning and cleaning set us up with essentially the right surface area to paint our vision. Of magical, 85-degree heat. Ahhhh…

Don’t get lazy, cocky, or assume anything. Anything that’s not put away or managed while out will get tripped over, moved, lost, possibly any number of those in a given hour or day. You don’t win at “stuff bingo” when all of these occur all in a day. You just lose…things, time, possibly sanity. Things that you think should be easy won’t. Some things that are hard just magically happen with ease. The moment you mix that time-sensitive pot of epoxy, it rains. The second you are done battening down hatches and checking lines for the storm, the sun comes out. You are pretty much run by nature’s whims, be a bit more in tune and you’ll fair better.

Manage tools & resources. We would have saved a lot of time if we’d had a little tool belt so Shayne wasn’t often asking where he’d put a tool (I do it too, not gonna lie).  We saved a ton of time by having one place for all random tools/bits, so they just aren’t sitting here or there. We were trained if we didn’t know what something was or couldn’t find it, look or put it there.

I saw one phone, four cotter pins, a few washers, and one tool charger go into the drink in the past month. The first three were my fault, the charger was Ev as he tried to toss it from the boat to the dock cart. It didn’t work.

I think I might start making a list of items into the drink. I feel like if we are going to contribute to Posieden, we should at least be organized about our offerings. That inventory must be nuts.

2. Be patient & chill

Flexibility is key. You might have to sleep with no water, no heat, a different bed, no electric. Who knows? It’s a boat. This is life, it’s all a toss-up.

Go into a project with a mindset that the scope will change, be as ready as possible for it to shift. Everything is so interconnected one project to clean out a cabinet could end up equalling taking off the entire deck if one really wants to be thorough. Projects escalate here like a paternity battle on Jerry Springer. There’s always one person that thinks they are going for a makeover. Never be that person.

3. Keep livin’.

For as many one-liners that Dazed and Confused had, Matthew McConaughey words are probably the most apt, “you gotta keep livin’, man. L-I-V-I-N.”

Keep in going. It may be that everything comfortable you had is now uncomfortable. So where exactly is your comfort? Comfort and security lie within. Make what you can of the situation, attitude is everything. There are still peals of laughter from our boat, regardless of whether it has heat, water, electric. We still have fun, no matter what.

As we head into Fall, I know that it’ll be a bit less jolly as the colder temperatures creep in. We made a great investment in the heating, as we already find ourselves curled in the U-shaped settee with it blasted, playing board games. It’s super cozy. Total hit with this crew.

Today, we have to get some extra diesel for the heater. We still can’t really leave the dock, so we have to throw the jerry can into the dinghy and take it over to the fuel dock. There are of course a few steps before we can get the dinghy started, so that’s pretty much today. Hopefully not all of today. I am looking forward to getting dog into dinghy. I’m certain there will be terrible jokes about the dingy dog in the dinghy.


Lists and waiting

We spend Saturdays researching drones, galley supplies, and how to survey boats. I’ve been working on a small database in Airtable to give me a realism of what it’ll take to live on a boat. It’s pretty badass, I have to say.

My closet needs to keep getting more empty. It’s like the challenge of a lifetime, in a way. The minimalist in me is elated, the not-yet-a-sailor is terrified. I’m excited to learn, though.

There are so many challenges ahead with this change. Dog, laundry, showering. A learning curve a thousand miles long.

I figure it’ll get easier.