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Date: 2 March 2016. Buy and Install Levels.


One of my biggest failings is that I buy stuff. That in and of itself is not a bad thing when the budget can swing it. What is dreadful however is the accumulation of Stuff that is not installed. On more than one occasion I have acquired a sought after item, only to months later still have it in the box. For proof positive of that, may I direct you to this photograph from the Inadequate Boat (Gulfport too) article published just last month:

The larger alternator on the right still needs to be mounted to Betsy, the new Kubota.

I buy stuff fully intending to install it right away. The above alternator I received in May of 2015. To be fair Betsy did not run until recently so there is a bit of wiggle room on that item.

All too often once the materials are here I do not finish things. Partially done is not good enough. The Project Management article details some of those problems. Mostly the biggest problem is me. The Failure to Finish is something I have been striving to change.

Today, please feel free to celebrate with me.

I bought a pair of levels and installed them before nightfall.
I know it's a little enough thing however small victories are good too.

I will not get too much of a swelled head. You see, the LEV-O-GAGE as shown on the right came with the boat. It was always in just that condition. There was never any liquid so it did not work. I have dusted it regularly since 2008. Sigh.

Here is a spiffy new Lev-O-Gage Inclinometer ←Affiliate Link

Lev-O-Gage Inclinometer
is well made and the price reflects that.

When I priced the "real deal" they were expensive. See above. To pay lots of $$ for a spiffy wall decoration that served little purpose was not going to happen. I am too thrifty for that sort of nonsense.

That said, it is convenient to know how level things are aboard a boat. For folks with larger yachts the weight of personal gear will not be as critical as for those of us with smaller light weight boats.

For years I have used this level, keeping it right in front of the helm:

The level tells me that fore and aft, I'm on a pretty even keel. Port to starboard though is not level. The bubble is on the left, port side. My boat has more weight on the starboard side.

Larger boats are effected most often by fuel. The shrimp boat Ichiban was listing to port after fueling.

Later Ichiban's owner will pump the fuel into her other tank and level the boat. It's normal though of course some non-boaters think "oh, the boat is sinking!" when nothing could be further from the truth. Folks who earn their living from the sea are are careful of their livelihood. Ichiban when not hunting Moby Dick catches shrimp. Delicious ones.

If you are curious I wrote a bit more about Ichiban in the Appearances Can Deceive vignette.

For Seaweed, I like knowing how she is floating. The levels confirm what my feet feel.

Camco 25523 Standard Levels←Amazon affiliate link

My levels came from Walmart. I spotted them in the automotive section.

Identical set from Amazon

At just $2 for two levels the price is hard to beat. I installed the pair in less than 15 minutes. They are simple stick on items though I could have added screws. Once one falls off the bulkhead I will and that screw. In the meantime I am enjoying my victory.

One small job is finished. The port side one went up first. The final new level was installed on the starboard side, just beneath the window leading into my cabin.

This time for a change I managed to not only acquire something for my Seaweed but also use it right away. At present my goal is:

Install everything I have bought, along with sea trials and local cruising.

The biggest advantage of actually installing something is that it does not have to be stowed anywhere. It is serving the purpose originally intended when purchased. The money is spent. The pleasure of use is now all mine. Golly gee, it feels good to finish a project.


I wish I had a dollar for every item I bought and set aside to install later.
It is embarrassing and goodness knows clutter disturbs my sense of tranquility.

I'm feeling better. It is good to be human again. My get up and go is back!

Have you a collection of items yet to be installed?
What is your newest acquisition for your boat?

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2016, 2023

Categories: Boats, Gear, In the Bilges, Organizing, Recommendations, Vignettes,

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