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Rebecca shared an observation with me yesterday. In our previous “job” of running our martial arts school, both she and I were responsible for an entire gamut of duties. We were both teachers of course, but in addition to that, we were responsible for cleaning, accounting, advertising and marketing, sales, merchandising, repairs, etc. etc. etc.

Given that each of us had to be able to “switch gears” so readily, she believes, and I would agree, that the two of us have a pretty good advantage when it comes to the requirements of cruising. Why? In the previous week alone, we have been electricians, woodworkers, plumbers and mechanics. We have cleaned, spliced rope for our storm drogue, studied charts, done fiberglass work, planned provisioning lists and most importantly, had fun while doing all of the above.

Eyes spliced in the lines for our Seabrake storm drogue.

One of two hanging lockers which we converted to shelves. This will be much more efficient for storage. They still need to be stained which will be one of today’s tasks.

This is a fiberglass and epoxy pad that I laid up for under a windlass. This one may very well have to be redone as I didn’t wax the glass first and now it won’t come off. An important detail I guess!

Our friends, who have been cruising the Caribbean for several years now, have shared with us that they are responsible for an equally wide range of duties and I think it’s pretty safe to assume that just about every long-term cruiser out there would be the same in this respect. Variety is the spice of life, is it not?


  1. Zero cost experiment: Try putting the glass/winch pad in the freezer. Maybe the difference in thermal expansion coefficients will loosen the epoxy from the glass plate

    Nice job on the shelving! We have 4 hanging lockers on Eolian, but we are not living in the tropics where all our clothes are shorts and tee shirts, so we to keep need all of them as hanging lockers. Nothing but shorts and tee shirtsI am jealous! (well, you have to keep one hanging locker for all the Hawaiian shirts)


    • Thanks for the tip on the freezer Bob. Had I not already smashed 99% of the glass off it with a hammer I would have tried that! 🙂

      T-shirts and shorts are where it’s at. Sadly I am wearing a hoodie with a heater pointing at me on full blast!

  2. You gotta love the opportunity to “practice” making the fibreglass pad though!

    Your eye splices look great, I’d like to learn that.

    Fair Winds,

    • All may not be lost with my “practice.” A hammer helped me to removed the glass!

      Thanks for the splicing compliments. I had only ever done 1 splice by myself prior to those 4 and that was my first ever with a thimble. If you want to see what I did check out the video that I filmed (linked earlier in the blog). I humbly think it is more clear than most of the other instructionals on you tube as, by necessity, I had to dumb the whole process down (it was my first solo splice). Most of the others that I have viewed assume you know what’s going on. The exception is the Brummel splice videos that I also linked earlier in the blog. They are excellent although not for double braid.

  3. Changing hanging storage to shelving was one of the first things my parents did with all their RVs they had raised us in as kids. Dad would also tilt the shelves a bit, making the front a tad higher than the back. When an RV (especially a camper) is cruising the winding back roads of Colorado and New Mexico it can pitch and roll just like a boat. After the first vacation of re-hanging all the clothes my Mom decided no more hangers.

    • We are having a book shelf made by a friend. The shelves on it will be angled like you described.

      • So, where do you keep the rain coats, wind breakers, and wind pants? Even in the summer, we use the nav area closet a lot; the ones in the cabins I might give up. Although they might be worth it for the Hawaiian shirts!

        Are the shelves removable or fixed? Also, I wonder if a low (1-inch) fiddle on the edge might help?

        I owned a small business too, some years ago. You always know where the buck stops, you fight for solutions, you make mistakes, learn from them, and don’t mind as long as you are moving forward. You bend with changes in the world, whether you want to or not. A perfect basis for successful cruising.

        • We still have, and are keeping, the hanging locker by the nav station. This is where we keep the rain coats, foul weather gear, etc. The two lockers we converted to shelves are in the berths. The shelves just lift out, which is especially important as the bottom one covers a fairly substantial storage area (for items non-frequently needed). Fiddles might be helpful. We’ll see if they are needed after we use the shelves for a bit. The locker in the port berth, by the galley, will be used primarily as a pantry.

          Yes, being self employed, you learn early on that if you don’t make things happen, no one else will. I think that is a beneficial mindset for cruising.

  4. There is a good article in the latest “Seven Seas Cruising Association” newsletter,regarding the division of jobs aboard. Seems that on most boats there is still the division of “pink jobs’and “blue jobs” as they called it.
    Seems that on many,if not most boats,the creature comforts are attended by the female crew member,while the male tends to the mechanical,and technical items. I know of boats where that does apply,but others where it’s totally different.
    As a safety factor,it’s best for all crew members to be proficient in all aspects of cruising,but like many,there’s the stuff that I do best,and the stuff that she does best. We are working towards a better mix,a little at a time.
    Fortunately,we both make a mean Rum Punch!

    • I saw that article. We may be a tiny bit like that, playing to our strengths as is natural, but on the really serious safety stuff and boating stuff I think we are equal.

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