Land-Locked Lessons

Last week I housesat for my parents as they traveled to California to, among other things, spend a day at Disneyland. I haven’t been to Disneyland in nearly ten years, so I’m a little bitter that they got to go and I remained behind to care for their house/zoo. But it wasn’t all bad, and I admit that there were aspects of living on land which I enjoyed.

When I returned home to Libby, I found that I still loved my boat and the coziness she provices, just by her small size and easily maintained warmth. There are few things of land-living that I simply cannot bring to a boat: laundry machines, pantry-space (and an abundance of food), and big squashy living room furniture. I can bring more comfort and space aboard Libby, and have decided to make that a bigger priority than I have thus far. Having a comfortable place to work and live is a must, especially in a small space.

Mission One: Boat Beauty

As discussed in my decor and construction post, the S/V Libby needs some cosmetic work, and rather than wait for later than sooner, I’ve decided it’s time to bump up the interior projects to now. In the next few weeks, Libby will hopefully have fresh countertops, new interior paint, a new table surface, and (fingers crossed!!!) new settee upholstery.

Mission Two: Commandeer the Port Side Berth

At first this birth was used to hold tupperware bins full of clothes. I got tired of sorting through the bins every morning, and got rid of half of my summer attire, then did away with the bins (instead storing my garments in the v-berth using nets). The berth then held other useful supplies, but when I purchased my 1.3 cubic refrigerator (the smallest they come, and still mammoth inside my little boat), those supplies and the rest of the boat went through a severe displacement procedure, in which I spent all afternoon rearranging my stuff to fit the fridge in its place of honor and convenience.

My fridge in the port side berth, along my space heater, which has a red light at the top, reminding me of the cylon centurions.

But now I want that space back. It needs to be a place of relaxation and comfort, a place where I can sit comfortably, legs extended, so I can work on my computer, read, or just stare into space as I sip coffee (an important morning ritual). Technically I can do this now, by converting my dinette into a “couch.” Sadly, though, I’m terribly lazy at times, and would rather have a table up than go through the approximately four minute procedure of dropping the table and making it into a lounging area. A house has a living room and a dining room, and since I loved having both at my parents house, I think it’s necessary to have it on my boat.

Mission Three: Bravery and the Great Purge

I still have too much crap. At most, three people have been on this boat at once, yet I have about six large coffee mugs in addition to three smaller cups, which fit in the little dish rack area on the wall. Why? I have a serious problem and just cannot part with some of these mugs. What kind of mental problem is that? They’re just mugs, big deal. Yet I cannot get rid of them, it’s like I want them to have good homes or something. How silly is that?

And though I have a Kindle, I still have stacks of books around, many of which I’ve had for several years but have never actually read. This problem I understand: I purchased the books and feel obligated to read them before giving them away. I’m a cheapskate, and want my moneys worth out of my years-ago purchases. Most are nonfiction, and I’m not really a nonfiction buff. I’ve had months–nay–years to read them, and haven’t. It’s time to face reality and give them to someone who will read them.

Mission Complete?

If I can accomplish those three missions, I should have more space and comfort, which will make me quite happy with my little boat. What about you? Do you have boat projects which have helped you make your boat a home?


  1. Cindy November 21, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Good for you! It is wonderful therapy to analyze and customize your space! In my experience it is an evolving process, as needs and demands change. I’m not sure what it is about the mugs, as I had the same issue of letting them go!

    Good luck & can’t wait to see pics on your completion!

  2. Mark November 29, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Gotta watch out for those Cylons….
    I got fed up with the space my small fridge took up. I ended up laying it on it’s little back, and opening it like a chest freezer. Goes under the counter where the alcohol stove was. Got rid of the shelves. I slide in a cutting board above it to have the counter space back. I’m sure it will kill the compressor or something, but I am experimenting with a $20 CL guinea pig.
    Needed the counter space for the espresso machine……talk about attracting a crowd on the dock. It’s worse than a “free beer” sign…. Need to design a stealth steamer…..

    Mugs, what is it about mugs?