Archive | October, 2011

Walking Surfaces

A while ago, I removed all of the white carpet from the forward staircase. I’m sure it was beautiful when it was first installed, but it was clear that it wasn’t practical for daily wear. At the time, I painted the stairs to match, with a strip of tread at the toe.
It proved to be a good idea in theory, but violated one of my cardinal rules: walking surfaces should be dark in color. When we painted the walking surfaces of the upper deck in battleship gray, it was one of the best moves ever. The yellow cream color on the stairs did not wear as well as I would have liked and was tough to keep looking clean. Even after wiping the stairs down, they still looked grungy.
So I fixed that today. It’s still paint, so it’s washable. We added SharkGrip to the paint, so it will be non-slip but still easy on the bare feet. It’s easier to clean than surfaces with sand-type additives. We have it in the moisture cure urethane that we have on the decks and that seems to be working out well, so I’m hopeful. 

Long-standing, Mildly Annoying Storage Issues

I suspect most people have them, regardless of whether theylive on land or on a boat. All those little details that just don’t work wellbecause the space hasn’t been optimized. Ours was in a hall closet. Itessentially holds our cleaning supplies (vacuum, broom, rags, etc).

It had never been finished, just splashed with a quick coat of primer. None of the vertical space had been used at all.  
Which means that everything tended to just get piled on the floor. Rule: Everything must have a place. It’s the only way you can ever get things tidy. If it doesn’t have a home, it will just float from here to there, getting moved constantly or just piling up uncontrollably. 
     So Magic Brock added electricity, I added paint, we both added thoughtful design. Now my handheld Dyson has a permanent mount and a charging outlet so it will always be ready. Previously it lived in my stepdaughter’s cabin and being a teenager, of course she unplugged it so she could plug in her phone, etc. The only problem was that she never plugged it back in. That’s not a flaw on her part; that’s a design flaw in the system. Now? Problem solved. 
     The full size Dyson also has an outlet, so it can stay plugged in as well. The cord is long enough that it will reach most of the boat from this outlet. We put a hook on the back wall so the cord can just hang loosely there and I won’t have to hassle with wrapping it on the handle every time I use it. Another Rule: It has to be easy to use, or it won’t get used.
     I had Magic Brock add four outlets rather than the two he originally planned. Short of creating a fire hazard, you can never have too many outlets. I immediately found the perfect use for the second set. My rechargeable camera batteries have lived on the helm station. The problem was similar to the handheld vacuum – people would need the outlet, remove the batteries, charge what they needed, and never plug the rechargeables back in. So whenever I needed new batteries, I would find them discharged and unusable. (I’m beginning to see a theme here – perhaps my intense search for space solutions is really just a clever way to circumvent my family’s tendency to not put things back, since I know the odds of changing the behaviors of the people I love are slim?) 

     And shelving gives everything else a place to go. We’re working on the sea rails right now, so things won’t slide off the front. 
     It feels good to have one of those projects done that aren’t very “Important” in the grand scheme of things, but that make things function more smoothly.
     I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sell this boat. After all the work we’ve put into making things luxurious and functional, I’d have a hard time starting over with another vessel that just couldn’t compare to this old girl.

Update: Fixed sea rails added  now so that things won’t slide about when we’re underway

Southern Gulf Islands

It was a lovely trip; I’d like to say pictures will follow, but we’re doing a few KJ projects today and it’s more like that I will post pictures of that rather than the trip. We shall see; I may get a chance to add them.

There were thousands of jellyfish in Tod Inlet; I’ve never seen such a biomass. Brock thought there was a sand reef behind us as we anchored until the prop wash sent it rolling around in the water, swooshing jellyfish everywhere.

Tod Inlet was gorgeous and peaceful. We went to Butchart Gardens via dinghy.
Well, after we hung out onboard in the sunshine for a while…

We found time for gelato 
Tea at Hastings House on Saltspring with the folks was lovely,

as was a drive to Mt Mitchell and the views of the surrounding islands (on a dirt road with moguls…in the Mercedes)

Small farmer stands were all over and operated on the honor system

Wallace Island needed a Katherine Jane sign,, so I made one
Brock hung it on the cabin at Conover Cove

Typical Northwest evening in the San Juans on the way back home