Does your to-do list never seem to end? Are you constantly finally checking off one job only to have 5 more take its place? Do you find yourselves wondering just how in the world this 5 minute job has taken you all day?
When we purchased a new boat (new to us 1983 C&C Landfall 43) it goes without saying at some point we knew for sure we would be up to our armpits in boat jobs. As frugal boat owners we take pride in learning the skills required to take on new projects around the boat. Between research, ordering new parts and supplies, figuring out all the new systems on the boat and actually completing the boat projects themselves it can get pretty overwhelming to keep track of it all and feel like you aren’t making any progress. Here are just a few simple tricks that help us stay on course.
Firstly if you have the budget and time to do most of the work required while close to shore everything is much easier. With access to supplies much closer and the ability to stay off the boat while completing projects it can get done faster.
Careful not to get too comfortable. It’s easy to fall into a routine while living nearby and working on your vessel. Of course it’s nice having luxuries at home but it’s easy to get lazy and spend less time working on the boat and more time relaxing in the AC.
With that all in mind eventually you just have to untie the lines and go. In our case we could make our way through the Erie canal before it closed in mid October or stay on the Georgian Bay until it was too cold to work and wait for spring. Ready or not we pushed to make it while working away at our large list of things that needed completing.
A whiteboard really helps us keep track of what absolutely needs to be done. The most important stuff on one side and the rest on the other. Before bigger deadlines like launching our boat we like to focus on completing just what absolutely has to be done before the deadline. Of course as you work on one thing you will find other surprise projects that need to be repaired but stay focused on the task at hand and put it on the list. It’s easy to get distracted and dig into something else out of curiosity but often leads to falling down a rabbit hole. Unless it’s critical and needs to be addressed just shelf it for now.
Don’t get discouraged if it feels like your list is only growing.It is completely normal to keep finding new things that need some love. The list is only to help keep track of things and will likely never be truly complete. The goal shouldn’t be to complete the list but to complete what is required. Instead of being overwhelmed by the list we are satisfied when we complete something and if we manage to complete something not required you begin to feel like you are ahead rather than behind.
While cruising it’s easy to get sucked in to only travelling and enjoying yourself exploring and doing activities leaving boat projects for later. The projects start to pile up and when you finally make it to the yard the to do list is huge. This list tends to get bigger the more you spend time looking around your vessel but as you are spending so much time doing everything else it’s normal for the list to become seemingly too big. Out of necessity we have started working as we cruise to keep the boat going. Making a simple goal of just trying to complete or work on one project per day however small. Our list isn’t getting smaller but the high priority projects are slowly getting chipped away.
Something often said onboard Wildly Intrepid II is, “We are getting somewhere.” After a long day of working away or even just finally crossing off that project that has taken forever we start to feel a sense that maybe this is possible.
Cory and Alex share their adventure with weekly videos on their YouTube channel “Wildly Intrepid Sailing” and share stories on their website www.wildlyintrepid.com . Their dream is to travel the world and to live without any regrets.