To see as much of the world as we can,
Using the smallest carbon footprint we can,
Spending the least amount of money we can,
Making as many friends we can.

Team Red Cruising

Less Work — More Doing Nothing

We use Trello ( to track a lot of the jobs on Red Ranger. We also use Toodledo ( Trello is really good for complex one-time tasks, prioritizing, assigning, etc. Tooled is really good for recurring tasks. Trello requires an internet connection, Toodledo is a mobile app that synchronizes through the web.

And some days, we lay around in the cockpit and talk about what we're going to do. Someday.

(Cue up Cat Empire "The Car Song". Someday. I'll buy and old car. Someday. I'll get that car to start. Someday. I'll learn how to drive, too.)

Heron on the Piling
Heron on the Piling

Tasks seem to fall into five categories.

Blue Heron. Easy. There it was. It's name is "George."

Epic. Things like encapsulating the rub rail or rebuilding the sails or installing new electronics or rerouting the deck drains.

Electrical Connections
Better Electrical Connectors

Woodwork. Multipart jobs that can't be done in a single weekend. Applying Epifanes to the hatchboards. This takes days and days to apply seven coats of polyurethane. And. It's hard to do both of them at once because it seems like it would be awkward to go in or out until it's hardened enough that you can touch it to slide it open. And we spilled ammonia on the cabin sole — it needs to be cleaned down to a consistent color and then a satin-finish urethane applied.

Minor. Rewriting the connectors on the solar panels. Adding a 12V socket in the aft cabin so I can replace the fan that's there with a quieter one. Replacing the collection of foredeck panels with two 55W GoPower! panels. And replacing all the MC4 connectors with the correct gender connectors. (I did them all exactly backwards before. Sigh.)

Electrical Connectors
Cut these off to replace them with something better

Here are the old connectors that I removed. You can see they're proper MC4 at one end. The "white" wire was originally red. The red wires are on the wrong gender connector. The outside two are male and usually have positive current flow. The inner two are female and should have been ground.

CA has a dozen of these "minor" jobs, maybe more. We need new cloth covers for the windlass and the helm station. We should have cloth covers on all the winches. We need proper covers for the jerryjugs of spare fuel we keep on deck. We need a place to keep sunglasses. We need better bugscreens for the companionways. A lot of sewing. Each small. Each super-helpful.

Annoying. These are jobs I'd rather contemplate than do. Here are a few:

  • Replacing the valves in the deck wash down/bilge pump system. It appears I didn't use proper bronze; the valves I put in many years ago are looking corroded and sketchy. I have bronze valves ready to go. I just have to actually do it.

  • Replacing one mast step with a folding mast step. This involves freeing six stuck stainless steel screws (say that six times fast.) Two have moved. Four are soaking in penetrating oil. The "rubber band" trick worked for one. I hope it works for another of the hard to access screws. This can't simply be attacked as a job. It has to be done in stages. It requires a lot of patience.

  • Sanding and teak-oiling the handrails and eyebrow wood all around Red Ranger. This doesn't count as woodwork because there's little aesthetic concern to this. It's not like the spilled ammonia on the cabin sole. It's just a lot of hunkering down, light sanding, and brushing on teak oil.

This weekend, we did very little. I'm gaining confidence in applying Epifanes, but, it's still a terror-filled nightmare. CA reminds me I can always sand it out and try again.