The Most Important Tool

We’re making progress.

A before/after for the last couple of weeks on the project. From adding the strips to the hull and then glassing them in, to fitting the bulkheads and then painting the bare fiberglass (it’ll all be covered up with wood strips/cabinetry, so how it looks really doesn’t matter one single bit) - we’re making progress!

As I posted these photos on Instagram, it occurred to me the problem with these before/after shots is the lack of understanding of the hours of work in between. You don’t see the shuffling of stuff to make room for the plywood cabinet bits. You don’t see the putting the plywood on/taking it off to shave a bit/putting it back on to measure again/taking it off to shave a bit more work (repeated I believe 10 times. TEN.) You don’t see the loading and unloading the car, the hours of driving.

You also don’t see the most important tool in this whole project.

The thinking chair.

The thinking chair.

The most important tool in any boat project is the thinking chair.

Sure, it might be a thinking couch, or a thinking stool, or a thinking bed. What it is and what it looks like are beyond unimportant. What is important, though, is the thinking that goes on in it.

Spending endless time in thinking mode helps you see all angles of a project.

You can decide on the important inches to consider. You can ruminate on the reasons for one decision or another.

Over the last few months, as we pull together a plan for redoing the interior of the boat, we’ve spent a lot of time in whatever our current version of the thinking chair is. The thinking can be done solo (resulting in interesting notes and drawings) or as a team.

Most recently, and something that’s a subject of an upcoming blog post, we are talking about the sink.

Make the sink as large as possible.

Time in the thinking chair? It’s allowed us to think about things like waterline and how big the sink actually CAN be. Things like how large an opening I want for the pots and pans I like to take with us - and where that opening will be.

Time thinking BEFORE acting means we take into account things like where the openings will be in the new seat backs - because accessing the cavernous storage under the bunk will be important. Time thinking BEFORE acting means we read, and research, and ask questions.

This thinking? It allowed us to remove the table from the inside of the boat, resulting in so much more space to work in.

Thinking opens possibility and provides some answers (or at least more questions).

Yes, the thinking chair is the MOST IMPORTANT tool you can have for any boat project. What does your thinking chair look like?