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Date: 30 April 2016. Label Everything.


An online 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 reason.

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 someday.

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 thing.

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 galley.

Side 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 is reusable.


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 good.

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 learning things.

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 Decision.

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. A Dymo Embossing Label Maker might be a nifty toy/tool to have aboard. It is probably not 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 essentially free.

I'd love to hear what you label and how you mark the items.
And, have you got the wires/fuse panel, etc. marked in your Log Book too?

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2016, 2023

Categories: Boats, Characters, Galley, In the Bilges, Organizing,

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