The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Death By A Thousand Details

Over the last 35 years of offshore boat ownership (there were dinghies before that) I have done four major refits and a complete rebuild—I’m beginning to think that this may be seriously sick behavior. But, be that as it may, at this point in the process, with the launch date looming large, we have entered the phase that I call ‘death by a thousand details’.

Have we got enough Spartite to chock the mast? no—make a note to order more; critical parts for the fuel system are on backorder, chase them up—that part won’t be available in time, modify the plan to use a different part; the dealer sent the wrong bilge pump rebuild kits—send them back, order the correct ones; check with the machine shop on the stove mounts; check with the welding shop on the fuel tank lids; pick up the sails…

Of course, while all this is happening, it would be a really good thing if we actually did some work on the boat.

I think what makes it all so stressful is that we are acutely aware that one missed detail can delay, by a surprising amount of time, actually getting to sail the boat, which I seem to remember, albeit dimly, is the idea behind all this work.

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