Date: 30 April 2016. Label Everything.
associate named Jack who recently bought a trawler wrote "I'd
like to go through it and put some sort of labels or tags on
everything. Any suggestions?" He's definitely smart to want to label
his boat. Aboard Seaweed I mark even the "obvious" and for a very good
I know that at some
point in the future I will forget what is apparent and easy today.
I have labeled almost
everything aboard Seaweed. I do
not have to remember. It is all
right there ready for me.
The best part of labeling though
is in the money it WILL save you down the waterway. The why is
simple if you think about it.
Someday you will have a worker
aboard who does not know your set-up. He will be able to see the
labels and thus follow the logic you have employed. The time he does
not spend tracing wires will be money you get to keep.
This is the back of my instrument panel. It is not the
tidiest on the planet. Sigh.
This is one of those labeling projects I should get to
Folks wonder what boaters do once retired. After all,
what can possibly take all day long and still not be finished a week
later. Well, look above. Those wires ought to have been identified
and marked long ago.
When in the midst of a project I
label temporarily the wires I'm messing with.
A clothes pin holds the pair I'm connecting.
It also prevents me from dropping a wire. That is never a good
Also I make use of old
bread wrapper tags. It is easy to make a note for myself on them
in a permanent marker. Ink pens will not write on the plastic so
use your better markers.
Having a stash of bread wrapper tags is a good idea.
I keep a half dozen in my electrical box and a few more in the
Note: I use the least expensive sandwich
bags in my galley. They are a penny each ($1 for a hundred)
which appeals to my thriftiness.
The problem is sealing
the bags. A bread tag like those at the left solves that and
Some boaters such as Colin Day on Lily Maria have taken labeling to
the highest level. His is an engine room I admire. A total neophyte
could come aboard Lily Maria and KNOW what to do, what oil to use,
what filters, and more. Nobody has to be smart and that is directly
the result of Colin's genius. Kudos to Cap'n Colin for certain.
The article about this boat is here:
Life onboard Lily Maria
(Thompson 44 M/V)
One of the nicest things about boaters
is sharing... knowledge,
a spare from the parts inventory, and most of all friendship.
I have learned a lot from others. I am grateful for their
help and willingness to assist me as I learn the ropes. So far so
Perhaps that is why boating
appeals to me. I can incorporate knowledge gained from a variety
of sources and make it work for me aboard Seaweed.
There is no way any one individual
could know it all. Regardless of what some online forums might have
you to believe, being a know-it-all able to rebuild each system on
your boat is not necessary. As long as you are
Capable of Learning
[article link] you and I will be fine.
I am having a fabulous time
Last week I was chatting with a
gent. Between the two of us we have nearly 100 years of boating
experience. And still we learn. It is fun to bounce ideas off others
as a nugget here and another there can form the basis of a Good
My expired flares I keep separated from the current
ones. Labeled as such, of course.
Life is good afloat.
P.S. - You cannot have too many labels.
Dymo Embossing Label Maker might be a nifty toy/tool to have aboard. It is
something I would pay retail for. Indeed with good handwriting the label
maker is not
necessary. A 3x5 card,
scissors and a piece of good clear tape can do the same thing for
I'd love to hear what you label and how you mark the
And, have you got the wires/fuse panel, etc. marked in your Log Book too?
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In the Bilges,
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Red Fish, Green Fish (visual clues)
A favorite aphorism: You eventually realize
you don't own a boat... you are the mayor of a city with several power
stations, fresh and salt water supplies, lighting, generators, main
power station, and a sewage system. Bruce, Mayor of M/V Mary Shaw.