That picture is one of the most important ones we’ve taken while cruising. Maybe not the prettiest, but important. It allowed us to hook the watermaker pump up correctly after removing and rebuilding it.
What you don’t see are the six other pictures I took that didn’t show the one thing that wasn’t clear from all our labels.
Over the years, we’ve learned several things about disassembling anything:
- Take pictures before taking anything apart and as you’re going
- Take lots and lots of pictures from different angles – you never know which will show exactly what you need
- Take some close up and some further away – sometimes it turns out you need to see something adjacent to where you’re working
- Check the photos immediately (on a laptop if possible) to make sure they’re not blurry or have shadows that make it so you can’t see everything
- Put the photos in some special folder so you can find them a week (or more) later when you need them. I have over 300 photos in a folder called “Important Boat Photos” with subfolders for each system.
- Those photos have also helped when calling tech support. More than once I’ve had to email the photo to show them what was there previously or how a part has chanaged.
- If the light is good, a cell phone can take good pictures. But where the light is low, it pays to get out the camera and use flash (the flash also helps reduce blurriness if you’re holding the camera/phone at a weird angle).
- Use the highest resolution possible so that you can zoom in really close on an area if you need to.
- Sometimes, a picture still just doesn’t show something and a sketch may help. Case in point: how the line for a 6-part purchase was run. I took numerous photos and checked them. Even pulling the blocks close together, it was hard to see the entire route. Back to the old sketch with numbers!
I also try to remember to take pictures when we figure out how to tie down something new or store something odd-shaped when it took us a while to get it right. I find we end up looking back at these a few times until we just know where/how it goes.
A good example was tying down our hookah on Que Tal. It only really fit well one way, but of course we’d forget. A quick look at a photo saved an hour or more of trying it every possible way . . . again!
Photos are also a good way to end “discussions” along the lines of “I don’t think that’s how we had it before . . .”