Every day, I vacuum the floors and a bunch of other surfaces in Barefoot Gal. Sometimes twice a day.
And a couple of weeks ago, I was talking to Belinda on Rickshaw, a DeFever 46 with a number of high gloss varnished surfaces. She complained about how she was always having to dust them — and it seemed that more dust would settle before she even finished!
What gives? Are we suddenly more sensitive to dust and dirt when we’re on the boat?
I don’t think so. I think it’s just that most of us have gotten used to living with air conditioning, where the outside air gets filtered. Until I was 18, I lived without air conditioning — just windows wide open. And the house was dustier in the summer than winter. That’s just the way it was.
On the boat, the windows (aka hatches and ports) are almost always wide open — usually without even a screen to keep some of the dirt out. That accounts for a lot of dust.
Another reason for more dust, I think, is that we tend to walk more when we’re ashore. And dust and sand ends up on our feet, legs and clothing — not to mention the dog — and then get tracked onto the boat.And finally, well, there’s a lot less living space. Our house was small by most people’s standards at 750 square feet. But our living space on the boat is about half that. And that means that the dust we track in plus all that fun stuff like the dead skin cells we shed and hair that falls out gets concentrated in that smaller space.
End result? Living on a boat is a lot dustier and dirtier than most of our houses. And while I make reasonable efforts to keep the boat clean, I’m not going to drive myself nuts with trying to always have the boat spotless. It’s a losing battle and besides, there’s too much fun stuff to do!