Frank's Blog - Yes, Finally
Back to the Home Page
Back to the Table of Contents
Storage - 10 February, 2016

I have a bit of a rant today.  I can't find the impeller puller for the main engine.  I have looked everywhere I can think of, and it
wasn't there.  That's a bit of an inane comment, of course.  If I had looked for it and it WAS there, there would be no rant.

The real issue, of course, isn't the impeller puller.  I do need it and I am really uncomfortable not knowing where it is, since I
might need it in an emergency.  However, the real issue is storage.

The problem is not that we do not have enough storage.  We have plenty of storage.  This sailboat probably has more storage
than it does living space, if you count the tanks and voids.  No, the problem is that there are too many storage locations.  My
"what is stored where" spreadsheet lists 42 different storage locations, and it doesn't include any of the drawers, cabinets or
drop-downs in the galley, any of the topside storage locations or any of the living compartments.  In all, there are probably
close to 75 places that gear and supplies can be stowed on this boat.

That may not seem like a lot, but let's compare it to a typical apartment.  A two bedroom apartment may have three closets, a
medicine cabinet in the bathroom, a chest of drawers in each bedroom, some cabinets in the kitchen and a desk.  Add in the
random "under-the-bed" storage and you might get 24 or 30 distinct storage locations.  

In addition, things in apartments tend to get stored where they will be used.  If you are storing jars of pasta sauce, they are
probably in the kitchen.  On Rockhopper, some are in the galley, some are behind one of the settees and some are under
another settee.  

When we moved off of Rockhopper at her last big re-fit, we took everything off and stored it in the house and sheds we were
renting.  Then, when the refit was (almost) over, we moved stuff back aboard.  When we moved, we kept a log of everything
we brought on board and where we put it, using a deck of 3x5 cards.  Then, I transferred all of that information to the
spreadsheet, and made it searchable by location and by item.  Easy-peasy.

It's been almost two years now.  Things have moved - migrated, if you will.  Stuff that was stuck in the "forward port Vberth
drawer upper" has found its way to the "aft cabin main bunk lower drawer starboard."  Of course, the stuff that migrated did so
for good reasons.  It was easier or more convenient to get to in the new location, or it made sense to store the paint supplies
with the epoxy cans, or we threw out a bunch of stuff and made room for new stuff.  What I didn't do was always update the
spreadsheet.

The second problem - and this is the problem with the impeller puller - is that I didn't list some things separately.  It is
wonderful to know that the "tool ditty bag" is in one place and the "mechanic tools" are in a different place, but neither of those
tells me which tools are where (note:  the impeller puller is not in either one).  Things that made perfectly good sense three
years ago now are lost in the carbonated bubbles of my memory.  One might float to the top and pop, or the whole damn thing
may just go flat.

I could start emptying out cabinets and cubbies, looking for the versnocken thing.  But you can never pull out more than one
or two storage locations at a time and when you do, the things inside will fill your living space.  Again, it is not like a house,
where you can pull everything out of the closet, pile it on the bed and then neatly rearrange it back in the closet.  Boat lockers
have the amazing ability to hold more than the living space associated with it - particularly those spaces that are really good
for storing the stuff you don't need every day.  

Under the main bunk aft is a great storage location for things like bulky clothing and holiday decorations.  But to get to it
requires completely stripping the bed and storing the linens, moving the mattress out of the aft cabin and into the main cabin
by way of the work bench passageway, then following that up with the sheet of plywood that serves as the bottom of the bunk
and the top of the storage cubby.  By the time you have moved all of that, getting at whatever you wanted seems like an after
thought - and putting it all back together an exercise in futility.  Compare that to popping up to the attic to grab the Christmas
lights and artificial tree and you begin to appreciate the scope of the problem.

I could just go out and buy another impeller puller.  I probably will have to if I don't find it in the next day or two.  But that
assaults my cruiser soul.  I HAVE one of these damn things!  It is HERE - someplace...and, as soon as I get another one - I will
find the first one.

And the worst part is - when I do find it, the location will make PERFECT SENSE!!!