Saturday, April 18, 2009


Our friends who are road-tripping with their two beagles blogged recently about how they maintain marital bliss on the road. They accomplish this, in part, by dividing up their duties. This isn't like you fill the car with gas while I feed the dogs. This is you always fill the car with gas, and I always feed the dogs. They have divvied up every daily, weekly and periodic duty this way.

That got me thinking, wondering if this could work for us on the boat. When we first opened the wine shop together we imagined we would be completely interchangeable. We would both learn everything there is to know and be complete clones of each other. This didn't work. (Stop laughing.)

Eventually we realized that each of us had strengths and weaknesses that were complimentary and the duties and responsibilities could be divided up accordingly. Things ran much smoother after we embraced this concept.

We can apply this concept afloat with one major caveat: we both have to know how to handle all the duties. Unlike on the road, on the water, the lives of those onboard depend on maintaining systems. If the rigging isn't inspected and there's a failure, it can be both catastrophic and life threatening. The same goes for lifelines, leashes, life preservers, etc. To a lesser degree, if things aren't stowed properly they become hazardous or, if left up top, can be ruined or worse, disappear.

So what's the solution? We're thinking we create two carefully delineated duty lists that we alternate every month or so on a regular basis. That way, we know what our responsibilities are plus we know how to manage all the duties.

Now about that duty list .....

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