Have you ever experienced the never ending project loop? The one where in order to do A, you have to do B. But B would really be a half assed job if you didn’t do C first. But to do C, you really ought to finish D which you put off because you needed to do A in order to do E which is needed to really do D correctly. Maybe I should start at Z in the future?
Perhaps an example would help.
I had to patch a hole in my spinnaker, so I dug out the sewing machine and found the UV thread I had purchased last year. I was confronted with a few yards of canvas I also purchased on sale for some projects I never got around to doing. Since the sewing machine was out, I thought I should inventory the items I had on hand and rethink the projects I had wanted them for. My mind raced with ideas after watching a few Sailrite videos and buying a Speedy Stitcher since my old machine couldn’t handle the edging on the sail.
Prior to the spinnaker repair, I had been racking my brain on how to better organize clothes storage on my 32′ live-aboard boat. I longed to see that eye-catching tidy salon that caught my eye when I bought it rather than the storage unit it was becoming. Just to see a foot or two of empty settee would be an improvement.
I aired out all of my sweaters that had been in a drawer under the settee and smelled of old boat and diesel. I noticed that two of my favorite wool sweaters had a small hole in them. Luckily, since I had just taken some of my sewing supplies out of the dark cubbies of the boat, I could quickly sew up these holes and get them packed away with the other sweaters. It would only take about 10 or 15 minutes.
And so it begins.
I had some other nifty sewing related items on the way for a hatch cover and I wanted to make a specific sail/canvas repair box that could be quickly grabbed and would have the appropriate needles, palm, UV thread, etc in it which was separate from regular indoor sewing supplies. I knew exactly which of the many storage bins I wanted – one with a lid with a handle. This particular bin was currently in the pantry and home to a bunch of soup cans and canned chicken. Damn. Fortunately, I had found shelves that would fit in the pantry and give me twice as much storage space and they were just waiting for the opportunity to be put into use.
19:30: I removed the back cushion on the starboard settee where the “pantry” lives. It stays nice and cool there, but unfortunately there are still some un-located leaks and condensation that cause it to be damp so everything sits inside one of a few plastic bins. I had to remove another bin to get to the one I thought would be perfect for my repair kit. As I did this I thought I should take a bit of an inventory of what I had hidden in this space. Mistake #1.
Instead of sewing a couple of tiny holes in two sweaters, I cleaned out the entire pantry. I culled numerous things from some smaller sectioned organizers which were deep in the recesses. Items that did not make the cut – finishing nails and screws that I was sure were not for a marine environment, a jib track fitting that had long since lost it’s screw which would cost more to replace than a new fitting, two large shackles which were forever frozen and would never be functional, nuts and bolts from shelving I had in college, stick pins with colorful ends for notes on a cork board I no longer had, and the list went on. Four organizers were reduced to three, and then to two. Progress! The two sweaters still sat on the table waiting.
21:00: Now that the pantry was empty…I felt I should clean it before I put things back in. Mistake #2 – putting an LED lamp in there. Now bleach water, a scrub brush, and a roll of paper towels were going to be involved.
21:30: While fishing by hand for the scrub brush under the sink, I realized that one of the shelves I had might fit there. Everything came out of the under-sink cupboard. One shelf fit, and all the ziplock and tinfoil and garbage bags fit in nicely. Success! Hmmm, where was I? Oh! Pantry.
22:00: I was shocked how much ick could accumulate since I cleaned the pantry in the fall. I bleached and scrubbed, re-directed the light, then did it again. Who paints the inside of a dark recess on a boat brown??!! I already have the BilgeKote…thank goodness the paint roller wasn’t within reach.
22:30: I rehashed what to do with a strange P.O. (previous owner) SNAFU at the end of the settee where a large hole had been cut in the wood and fiberglass taped back in place. Looks like a good place for a liquor cabinet, but how do I cover up the ugly that was done there? I put shelves in and re-organized the pantry. I didn’t like it. I re-did it. I added a piece of closed cell foam so things wouldn’t slide. It’s passable.
23:00: I can barely keep my eyes open. This could be due to exhaustion, bleach or mildew at this point. The sweaters still sat on the table. I had a friend with guests arriving in the morning for a sail, so I needed to clean up my mess. Maybe I could do it first thing in the morning? Time to tidy up, which means throwing everything in the V-berth and sleeping with it.
23:45: No way I’m sewing the holes in those damn sweaters today. Peace out.