Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

Boat Mess

If you’re a new boater, one of your big frustrations is probably “the mess.” Any time you go to work on one thing, you have to remove the contents of at least one locker, move rugs, cushions or floorboards, and so on. And then, wherever you put it all, it has to be moved to get to some other part of the project . . . and so on. There is rarely a way to get it off the boat and out of the way.

I hate to say it but I don’t have an answer. I don’t think you ever really get a handle on “project mess,” other than to come to terms with the fact that it happens. No one is immune.

I’ll just show pictures of a recent project here on Barefoot Gal . . . scroll down if you just want the pics.

First, a bit of backstory. After Hurricane Irma, we had some water in the bilges, below where the bilge pumps sucked. So we dried it out and went on our merry way of putting everything back to its pre-hurricane place.

I noticed there was a damp place on the floor overlay, so we removed it and laid it outside to dry. I cleaned up the mess from the wet wood. And then, a little while later, I noticed water very slowly oozing (less than a trickle) from a low cupboard onto the fiberglass floor. So I started tracing it . . . and discovered a huge locker next to and under the galley sink with water in it that was slowly making its way down, through another locker and onto the floor.

A quick taste revealed it was fresh water, so we weren’t about to sink. But I did have to take everything out of those two lockers to find the leak and also clean up the mess.

About that time, we got word about our friend John’s near-drowning and medevac flight to Miami (read more about this here). We said we’d take care of their two dogs and brought them to our boat, along with a large bag of their stuff.

So now, the boat hasn’t been completely arranged back to “normal” from how we left it for the hurricane, we have the contents of the largest locker on board stacked on the table, settees and floor, wet floorboards drying in the cockpit, plus two extra dogs and their gear. And we’re still trying to figure out exactly where the leak is.

We finally figure out that a hose clamp on the faucet has chewed its way through the hose. Dave cuts the hose and re-clamps it but wants to leave the locker open overnight to make sure the leak is fixed, and also to thoroughly dry the locker.

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

So the point of all this? Don’t feel alone in having boat mess. It happens to us all. It drove me nuts when we started cruising; I now accept it as part of the life.

And how the boat looked during all this?

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

Think your boat is messy when you're working on a project? Take a look at ours!

The good part? It took less than an hour to put it all away the next morning.

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9 Comments
  • Larry Bowden
    Posted at 02 October 2017 Reply

    yep happens every time

  • Gayle Fox
    Posted at 02 October 2017 Reply

    So good to see that you are human after all and we are not the only messy sailors around!! 🙂

  • Geoff McClure
    Posted at 02 October 2017 Reply

    Pretty sure you guys had plenty of reasons.

  • Donna Ryder
    Posted at 02 October 2017 Reply

    Sure have been there. In due time it all does get back together and better than prior to the fix.

  • Jim Kindred
    Posted at 03 October 2017 Reply

    This doesn’t reduce the mess, but I obtained a roll of industrial plastic wrap years ago and use it to wrap cockpit locker lids etc to reduce damage to the boat during my projects

  • cyndy
    Posted at 04 October 2017 Reply

    hello! just curious, what did you use to clean the black mold? I have a silver (white?) mold problem in the bilge that I have tried everything except the really nasty “quats” on to try to get it cleaned and nothing works. Any suggestions? It stinks. I scrub and scrub and a week later it stinks again. I have replaced all the hoses, checked all the connections to the black water tank, scrubbed again. Bleach, Bromine, Hibiclens, vinegar, denture tablets, that mold stuff from the expensive marine store….. help! It stinks! Boat funk.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 04 October 2017 Reply

      I use Concrobium, which is a mold inhibitor. It kills mold, although it doesn’t remove any staining from old mold. Buy it at home improvement stores (for some reason, it’s usually in the paint department rather than with cleaning supplies) or buy it on Amazon: Concrobium Spray

  • Susie H
    Posted at 05 October 2017 Reply

    That’s hardly a mess at all… after a recent lightning strike which damaged almost everything electrical Temptress is being rewired and new everything fitted from nav lights to radar to VHF to charging systems. Both the main systems panel and the engine panel needed attention as well. In the process it seems every starboardside locker and bunk has been emptied onto the portside. We’ve a company doing the work, the main guys are both yachties who are doing a great job but still I’m thankful we,ve had somewhere on land to live for the past three weeks. Saturday I get to put most stuff away so we can calibrate everything then it’ll probably be a tip again as the radar dome and the anemometer have yet to be delivered.

  • Jeri Thomson Novak
    Posted at 06 October 2017 Reply

    OMG I love you! It’s not just us!!!

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