Mergers and Disposals

A place for everything and everything in its place has always been our boat motto. Interweaving two homes into one is a challenge that is currently stretching our ingenuity. The fact that the target home, the boat, is relatively compact and everything it contained already had a well-honed storage place makes integrating necessary items from the other even more problematic. Plus over the years Temptress has always had almost everything we needed on board, whether for cruising, lolling around at anchor or racing. All we used to bring with us at weekends was a food shop and some clean underwear!
For example on board a woven squidgy basket the size of a moderate plant pot has served well for years as a home for phone, iPod, VHF, camera and other chargers, with everything labelled you simply tipped the contents onto the table found the item needed and returned the rest to the fold. No longer, with additional radios, two handheld GPS’s, spotlights, several rechargeable torches, a Nintendo DS, a rechargeable blender, cameras, an electric toothbrush plus laptops, a Kindle and a host of other “essential” electronics, the basket capacity has been exceeded by a country mile. Even reducing duplicates didn’t help. For now we’ve taken a two tier approach, stuff used frequently is in the faithful basket and everything else in a large plastic cake box.
Sailing shoes pose a similar problem – typically we each had a pair on the boat and one at home for dinghy use plus others for going ashore… it seemed shame to throw away good shoes so currently the bottom of a hanging locker plays host to a folding crate full of surplus sailing and other footwear. To be reduced greatly before we sail too far.
The Skipper finally decided to merge the “boat” toolbox with the “home” tools, the latter serving no purpose by being in storage. It took several hours to achieve but there are now spare drills to dispose of and additional power tools to stow. Tools that used to live in the garage and be brought down to the boat as required, now need to find permanent stowage somewhere on the boat.
Bedsheets, towels and table linen also face a cull once the shipment of personal effects arrives from Dubai. The plan is to merge everything then sort by wear/usefulness, items that are more faded & tatty will be heading for the local recycling point. It’s hard when some have given good service for years but there is a limit on how many swimming towels, sheets or pillow cases two people plus occasional guests require. Likewise with clothes and books. We both spent a few hours earlier this week merging the clothes we brought back with those already on board whilst tidying our wardrobe lockers and drawers but have unanimously put off for now at least the disposal bit. There is a large surplus of polo shirts lurking waiting for the death knell to sound!
What easily fitted into our luggage for the flight to the UK has tested Temptress’ storage capacity to the max. Goodness knows how we’ll cope with the influx of boxes shipped at the start of April. By shuffling things around and finding new stowage homes we may or may not succeed. Thank goodness only a small part of the shipment is actually destined to go to sea again, the rest is to head for long term storage ashore.