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Sunday, August 05, 2018

August 5, 2018 Mid Summer's Project

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Boat Work

Our life in Mexico runs in a cycle synchronized with the seasons.

In the winter we’re racing; that’s when the racing season is. In the spring we take a cruise. And in the summer…

In the summer we work on the boat. We’re not doing much sailing during the summer time and we’ve got time to kill.

After racing and cruising there is usually a list of stuff which needs to be done on the boat. In fact there is always a list, but after racing and cruising the list gets pretty long and some things have become urgent.

This summer we have a long list with several urgent things on it.

We made it all into a Mid-Summer’s project.

We actually organized the list in Microsoft Project, a professional project management tool. We have phases, tasks, estimates, dependencies, resources, and a schedule. There are 164 tasks on this project and the total of all the estimates is 713 hours. The project started July 11 and right now it is scheduled to finish on December 24 but that date shifts as we add and delete tasks and get things done earlier or later than planned. At some point we’ll cut off the lower priority items, which fall at the end of the project, and call it done. What’s left over at that point will go back on the boat list.

There is always a boat list.

We’re working hard on this Mid-Summer’s project. We try to get each task done on time, or early, and to do that we really need to make some progress on something every day.

In the heat of summer we don’t work long hours, and daily siestas (naps) are high on the priority list too, but we keep at it and we’re making good progress. As of August 5 we are 26% completed. At that rate the whole project will take around four months. We’ve had bigger projects: we’ve had re-fit projects which required us to move off the boat for months and spend thousands of dollars. This one is much less than that, but it’s enough to keep us busy.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
MS Project


The funny thing is that when we’re finished the boat won’t look any different or work any better. All of this stuff is just maintenance items. We’ll notice the improvement but nobody else will. That’s the thing about boats, particularly old race boats: no matter how hard you work on it you’ll still have an old race boat when you get finished.

It won’t make the boat more valuable either. Not that we’re selling, but the value of a fixed up old race boat, or any used boat for that matter, isn’t generally higher just because it is in good shape. You can put $10,000 and 700 hours of work in a boat and you wouldn’t get a much better price if you try to sell it.

So why do it?

As most of our readers know by now, sailing, and this boat, are big parts of our life. Most people might be tempted to say it is our life. We can’t argue much with that. But since the boat is a big part of our life we like to take some pride in it and we want everything to work. We’re doing this project for ourselves, in other words.

And so, the cycle continues, and the mid-summer’s project goes on.

Click here for more photos.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, La Cruz

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