Collecting Stuff

Anything related to living aboard your boat

Collecting Stuff

Postby kdibnah » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:04 pm

What are some of your solutions to keeping things simple? There is only so much 'stuff' you can acquire and fit aboard - usually I am happily surrounded by the stuff I like, tools, for example, but what do you do with your mother's grandfather clock that she just gave you, or those watercolours that your great aunt gave you? Where do you keep your tax crap?

Do you take it with you?
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Postby Keith Morris » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:27 pm

We have a friend that lives aboard and she has a garage storage area at the marina and another 1000 sq ft commercial space that is being used to store all her other "stuff". I can't see how you can live aboard without at least a small storage space that you rent. I know we couldn't do it without a significant storage area.
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Postby Bob Lowe » Tue Jan 11, 2011 12:56 pm

We have stuff we didn't want to get rid of in storage awaiting our decision to settle somewhere.

When we "remodeled" Dreamer, storage was a major factor and I converted all available unused spaces to storage including a several large "file" sized drawers. We also had a computer dedicated to navigation and office stuff along with color printers and scanner with document feed which got rid of a lot of paper files. We scanned as much as we could.

One of the most difficult things we encountered was keeping our acquisitions to a minimum as any excess immediately turned into clutter. Clutter is a PITA when actually cruising as those accumulated piles must be dealt with, so we tried to keep it under control.

We presently have all our important papers including "tax crap" with us. With cell phones, VOIP, WiFi, email, scanner, and printer, we can pretty much do all we need to do so far as communications of voice and documents. Of course, life aboard was so comfortable for us that I found it hard to get motivated to do "paperwork stuff". :)
Good luck,
Bob Lowe
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Postby K Dowling » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:18 pm

Kathy and I downsized from a 10 room house to an 1100 sq foot condo. It took a year on that first go around to rid the house of 30 years of collected junk and get the house ready to sell. I had a Jeep Cherokee at the time and access to a dumpster. I took several carloads of "precious possesions" a week to work and dumped them.

Gradually the satisfaction of clearing out junk provided the motivation to make the harder choices. We gave away all of the furniture to charity, needy acquaintances and our soon to be homeless adult children. Two truckloads of the worst of the worst were carted away by a hauling service. After a four year detour to live in a condo, we could fit all our belongings into a 10 x 10 storage room. This is where we keep our beautiful wall clock, the art collection and the surviving memorabilia.

In the year leading up to moving aboard, we copied an extensive CD collection to iTunes, put over 5,000 photos onto a massive hard drive (backed up onto DVD) and scanned every critical document in the family archives. We bought a Kindle back when that was revolutionary. We learned to blog, how to use Skype and WiFi networking.

Along the way, we learned that we really did not need a lot of what we had held onto over the years and that technology made it possible to keep close things that really mattered. Day to day we scan and toss the inbound flow of paper, tax and medical records and ship's documents. We have a loose rule that any new purchase requires a sacrificial disposal. Even though we don't always enforce the rule we still have untapped cupboards and corners for future storage.

My five favorite live aboard conveniences:

1 Electric Blanket
2 Magma nesting pots - we both love to cook and it's nice to have quality equipment
3 Cuisinart blend stick with mini food processer for homemade soups and such
4 Enclosed flybridge, a warm retreat on sunny days.
5 The computers (all three!), air card, scanner, printer, iPods, etc.

After three years we are still silly/happy and looking forward to our next cruise.

cheers
Kevin Dowling
Atlanta GA
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Postby rotaryman » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:05 am

ok living aboard my 42 what have you done for a space for navigation and computer and printer area?
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Postby Bob Lowe » Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:30 am

Below are some photos showing what we did on Dreamer for an entertainment/computer/printer/scanner center. There is a color laser printer behind the flat screen TV which lifts up and slides in to access the printer. Two pocket doors hide all when desired.

For navigation, we mostly used electronic navigation on the computer monitor at the lower helm which was computer based. For paper charts, we used the galley counter adjacent to the helm station or the dining table nearby. Charts were kept in a large chart drawer under the dining table.
Good luck,

Bob Lowe
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