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When your entire living space is the size of the average North American’s living room, efficiency is the name of the game. Efficiency could be improved by making frequently required tasks less time consuming to accomplish. It could also mean having items that are often needed, easier to access.

Last September I wrote about the Flow-rite system that I installed to speed up adding distilled water to our 8 batteries. That product offered a huge increase in efficiency for me and was well worth the investment. Replacing our cooking pots with a “nesting” set offered a much more efficient use of storage space. But increases in what I am calling efficiency don’t have to cost a bunch of money. For example, we had on hand several long white baskets. They were originally purchased for a few dollars each for some other project that has since been shelved. With a handful of mirror clips and a bit of boat-yoga (that is what I call the contortionism that was required to install them) they have now been made into sliding drawers under our salon table. I love them.

My next project is to install a 120V outlet in the salon area. At this point, for us to charge our laptops, we need to drape a cord over the seats either into the nav area or into the galley. It’s not a really big deal but it could be much better. One GFI outlet and a bit of wire and I’ll have that fixed. Note that I am getting over my aversion to cutting holes in the boat!

I’m sure that all boat owners, and especially those who live aboard their vessel, have dozens of little improvements that they have made in their boat. Reading about inexpensive and easy-to-do projects is one of the things I enjoy most on the various sailing and cruising blogs.

13 Comments

  1. Since the boat we have comes very “bare bones” when purchased,we have made dozens of “mods” to make the boat more comfortable and better equipt. Once you get over the fear of making holes in your prized possesion,it get’s easy.
    We keep a note pad handy when we’re sailing,for those ” you know what would be a great thing to do” moments when sailing.
    Your boat will be very enjoyable,because you’re taking the time to make it “your boat” before you set out.

  2. I enjoy reading them too, Mike… Keep ’em coming!

    bob

  3. We added 110v outlets to the rear cabins and find them very handy: space heaters in the winter, a small aquarium for my daughter, and my wife’s CPAP.

    Another item I thought was useless were these sticky pads (http://www.overstock.com/Electronics/Hand-Stands-Jelly-Sticky-Pad-Dash-Holder/2603163/product.html) my wife keeps getting at her office for free. She made me try them. Intended for the dash of a car, they will keep a cell phone on the salon seat back through anything. The best non-skid anywhere. You just need to wash them every 4 months or so.

    The space just in front of the salon seats is one we don’t use efficiently. Post your solution – you must have one.

    • I am thinking of putting a 120v outlet in our berth too. Where did you put yours?

      I haven’t seen those sticky things before. I can imagine that if they work as good as you say they would be helpful.

      We don’t have an amazing solution for the space you are talking about. I will take some pics (after cleaning it up a bit) so you can see what we have done.

      By the way, your posts on small additions to your boat I find very helpful too. I want to build that little box you use as a foot rest, and the shoe-holder catch all that you have too.

    • The outlet faces aft and is on the short bulkhead about elbow-high between the cabin closet and the cabinets.

      Steering without a foot rest is a drag; you turn the boat right, and the seat goes left!

  4. Let’s get basic – what is the storage solution for dirty laundry? We tried the well under the seat in the cabin and I’m sure you have too; after a few days in the summer it ferments into something deadly due to lack of ventilation. I’m sure some vents to the bilge and possibly forward would solve that, but I didn’t feel like cutting the holes or reducing potential flotation. Currently we use small well-vented laundry bags hanging in hammocks at the foot of each bed (http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/2009/11/under-bunk-stoarage-on-pdq-32.html) and that works fairly well.

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