One of the big problems in becoming full-time cruisers is over-stuffing the boat. Even though we’ve cruised full time before, and had been on the boat all winter (and knew just exactly how big it was – and wasn’t), we still brought too much stuff.
Now, some of that was “planned,” as we decided that something that was in the house was better than what was on the boat and thus we planned to take the better stuff to the boat and then donate the old boat stuff.
But in other cases — clothing is a big one — it’s just a case of thinking we need more and have room for more than we really do. Goodwill has gotten quite a bit.
Our boat, like any other boat, handles best when she’s not overly weighed down. And we work hard to keep her light.
And that means that we’ve been getting rid of lots of “stuff.” There are only a few other cruisers here in the yard, but they’ve been able to use some of the things we didn’t need. A case in point: we discovered that once we combined what was on the boat, what we moved from the house and what we both had in our travel bags, we had 9 bottles of shampoo and 7 of conditioner. While we would have eventually used all these, they were just taking up too much space and adding too much weight. We gave away all but two of each — and they were quickly taken from the “free” shelf here at the yard.
Next up: I discovered that we have no less than four sets of sheets, four quilts, and three blankets on the boat. There is our bed and a guest bed and we’re in southern Florida. Laundry is readily available, so I don’t need spare sheets (or if I did, we could use the guest sheets since we rarely have guests). Two quilts — one for each bed — and an extra blanket will suffice. Goodwill got the rest and the guest bed got half cleared off (that’s where I’d stacked all the extra bedding).
We brought all our lifejackets from the house. We knew we needed more in the dinghy (we had two permanently in it but scrambled to find more whenever we had guests or gave someone a ride) and preferred the ones from the house for SUP-ing. But now we have way too many — and while they don’t weigh much, they take up a lot of space. Rather than get rid of the extras, though, they are going in our storage unit since it’s already the smallest size and not full.
Electronics are another area ripe for paring down. It’s all too easy when something dies to put it in a drawer and forget about it, along with the cords, cases and anything else that went with it. I’ve been working on weeding those out whenever I find them. The dead items went to electronics recycling and the extras to Goodwill.
Goodwill is also getting a box of kitchen goods. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of items that the previous owner left and replaced with items of my own choosing that came from the house.
We brought a number of extra tools from the house and they’re heavy. Some we use only rarely (and would be unlikely to need in an emergency) and those are going to either stay in the storage unit (which is near the DIY yard, which is where we’re likely to use them) or will go in the car which we’ll take to the Keys this winter. we’ll have them available for projects but they won’t be weighing the boat down.
Even Paz has gotten into the act of paring down. She’s accumulated a number of toys and balls that she rarely plays with, and several bags of treats that she tried and didn’t like. An extra brush. Her bed from the house. Four leashes — one extra we’ll keep, but how did we ever get four extras? And the local no-kill animal shelter has signs all over town asking for donations of just those things.