Turns out I was wrong. All those years working away in a cubicle in my own personal Dilbert cartoon have finally paid off. Now, I find myself using PowerPoint to document all the systems on our boat. I'm as surpised as you are.
They aren't the prettiest presentations I've ever made and, trust me, I used to make some pretty slick presentations in my time. But they're functional. And when you live on a boat, you quickly learn that function is far more important than aesthetics. After all, wouldn't you rather have a boat that floats, rather than one that has fashionable throw pillows?
One of the things I've slowly been doing over the past couple of months is getting to know our boat and figuring out what everything is. Although Tickety Boo came with a Moody 346 manual, it's almost 30 years old and doesn't reflect the changes that have been made to the boat since then or provide all that much detail.
One of the fun things about boats is that they have all these tiny little spaces hidden away beneath the floor, in cabinets, under the bed and settees. Everytime you open one you're presented with exciting little mysteries to solve. Like what the heck is that pipe for? Where does that wire go to? Where is the water in my bilge coming from?
Here's what you see when you lift up the floor in our saloon (aka living room). Once I opened it, I sat down and stared at it for hours, utterly confused by the the various hoses, pipes and contraptions. Okay, maybe I didn't stare at it for hours - my attention span certainly isn't that long.
Eventually, I traced the various pipes and hoses to other parts of the boat and identified the various bilge pump equipment. Then I made a handy-dandy PowerPoint diagram so that we would have a visual reference going forward.
We've also got lots of mysterious vents. Well, mysterious to me. Scott knew what they were. Turns out they're called "breathers" and provide ventilation for our water tanks, holding tank and propane locker. We didn't have these on our last boat. There's days that I miss our old boat - it hardly had any systems at all and was much simpler to understand. Then I remember it was so small that Scott had to sleep on the settee because there wasn't room for both of us in the v-berth. There's something to be said for larger, more complex boats.
I've also been making diagrams of our thru-holes and seacocks. I get a little unnerved by the fact that we have holes above and below our water line, but what can you do? The water from your sinks needs to go somewhere. Same for the waste from your blackwater tank. And, as counter-intuitive as it may seem, you actually need a way to get saltwater onto the boat for the engine, to flush the toilet and to wash off the anchor.
As frustrating as it can be to figure everything out at times, it sure beats wearing clothes that need to be ironed and sitting in an office everyday!
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