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Date: 29 May 2015. Project Management.

Project Management has been a sore point with me of late. In the Dangerous Boatyards article I wrote "I'm not good at Project Management" and vowed to make a change in that department. I've let a lot of items on my list slide all too long. Also, I've been complacent when I should have been a squeaky wheel.

Looking out over a beautiful sunset won't get this boat underway.

However I am learning and making changes.

Online I searched the term "Project Management" for cures and ideas on how to better implement the changes in self I sought. It's well defined, but solutions? Well, I'm simple and straight-forward. Some seemed more complicated than others.

For instance, on ProjectSmart I read: Project management best practice reminds us that if we successfully initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close out our projects, our metrics will illustrate better results. Argh! Does that sound as arduous to you as it does me?!?

Tom Mochal on TechRepublic suggested: "The right mix of planning, monitoring, and controlling can make the difference in completing a project on time, on budget, and with high quality results."

However, for me defining the problem wasn't what I needed. I knew what the problem was: Me!

Team Gantt was the best site for what I needed. An article written by Sarah Faith Hansen offered hope that I could do better. Indeed, it would be difficult to do worse in this engine swap business. [I created an entire human being in less time than this motor change has taken.] Obviously I needed help, and a few of Sarah's bullet points were helpful. She suggested:

  • Begin with an end in mind (know my goals)

  • Put first things first (I've done this successfully, i.e. acquire engine first, get components lined up, etc.)

  • Create a project timeline (failed miserably but working on improving)

And don't think I've only failed in one project arena. No, I'm a multi-tasking could-be-better gal. There is a long list of opportunities for improvement. Motivated? Yes, I finally am.

For instance, back in 2008 or so a new skylight was put in the galley of Seaweed. It was fine, however the doggone thing started leaking after a year or so in the blazing sun. And I'd told the installer that 5200 would fail, but was assured it would not ever leak. Oh, and "everyone" uses it.

One year later, and many miles down the waterway it started leaking. That's because 5200 is an adhesive, not a sealant.

Sometimes we can get away with using one for the other, however when you want something sealed, buy a sealant. If you want something glued 5200 is permanent. Made by 3M, UV4000 is similar to 5200 however it offers UV (sunlight) protection.

Adhesives and Sealants should not be used interchangeably.

In any event, finally this past week I found a solution to the problem. I bought a Fan-tastic vent fan from Amazon. Now they have several varieties. I chose the least expensive with a one way exhaust fan.

It comes with a foam template so cutting the proper size hole is relatively easy.

My exterior was okay at 14" square. The interior needed to be wider.

Knowing that companies are in business to save a buck and make a profit, I noted that Fan-tastic fans come in a variety of versions. Some are exhaust only, whereas others both blow and suck. Guessing that only one motor was used in both versions, I opted for the bottom-of-the-line exhaust-only unit.

The switch would be the component that allowed the fan motor to run in reverse.

I knew that detail from my windlass remote. The power-down units merely reverse polarity so the motor works backwards. It's the same with outboards that have a motor to raise and lower the units.

And yes, in an upcoming article I'll show what switch to buy and how to wire said switch. I will take pictures when I rig it. Then you'll have that in your arsenal of Stuff To Do in your spare time.

To test that theory, I put power to the positive wire, and connected ground to the other wire. The black is ground and white is power in this unit. The fan sucked air out. Perfect. It works.

When I switched wires however, putting power to the black wire and ground to the white side, the fan blew. Success! I know I can wire it for airflow in both directions now. Also, I saved about $30 in the process.

The how-to-wire the fan article will be written soon. Having a variety of switches in my ship's stores is helpful, especially when I think up these projects. I have to get the wire first though, and that part is not done. Yet.

Pictures are required of course, and too, the butyl isn't here for the final squish-down so nothing's finished. Except the hole in the overhead.

When sawdust is a factor, taping a bag over the place you're working helps.

I had to even up the hole in the overhead for the Fan-tastic Fan. It needed to be 14" square.

And Seaweed is a boat. Nothing is square, even or balanced. That's okay if one accepts that perfection is for yachts. I live on a boat, and quite happily too.

Still, this replacement window/hatch has been on my mind for literally years. Ever since the first piece of Plexiglass started to leak. Fortunately the overhead in Seaweed is cypress. That wood doesn't rot, so the leak wasn't critical, except to my happiness quotient.

I'm much happier now with the vent in place. And soon that project will be finished.


A few other things are in the works. And here are a couple of "why I haven't posted" photos. These ought to allay any questions as to what I've been doing of late.

During the process, pure chaos:

After, and so worth it:


As for the engine, the mechanic is making progress. The bookcase has been moved. Canned goods locker dismantled, reefer shifted and I'm tired. But happy too.

I see goals being met and the results are pleasing. There's more to do of course, but I'm getting there.

Thank you for everything. I appreciate the help more than you can know.

I'd love to hear what you do to stay motivated.
And, is Project Management as difficult for you as it seems to be for me?


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