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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

CCPDD or Chronic Compulsive Project Design Disorder

Since we started traveling north again, I have noted a significant increase in my symptoms of Chronic Compulsive Project Design Disorder, or CCPDD.  The symptoms include:  excessive rumination on project ideas, preoccupation with design details, furtive pencil and paper scratching of project dimensions, repetitive opening and closing of containers to find supplies, perseveration on unfolding and refolding of fabrics, cutting behavior and infatuation with sharp instruments—scissors, needles, rippers, hot knife, and postural crouching over the sewing machine.  Clearly, I am going through a bad patch of CCPDD.
My mother's 8' X 10' sewing room with bookcase of design magazines.

CCPDD is hereditary.  My mother had it too.  She started out innocently enough, with a passel of small children to clothe. But alas, it progressed in her retirement.  She would hole up in her sewing room for hours.  Days would pass where I’m pretty sure she came out only to make meals and to sleep. 
My sewing "room" on the water.

When she finally emerged from her self-imposed prison, sated at last, she would have a whole assortment of clever things that she had made for her grandchildren, hundreds of dolls with jointed limbs, stuffed animals, quilts, clothing (usually for others) such as bridesmaid and wedding dresses, costumes for Halloween, Norwegian traditional garb, Christmas stockings, and ordinary projects too, for example, repaired overalls for my dad and put new zippers on jackets.  She had it really bad, probably worse than me, even, if that is possible.  
My mom made clothes for six daughters and one son.

The ability to create designs and sew was something that I knew I needed to be able to do, in order for me to live aboard the sailboat.  Frankly, I don’t quite understand what people (who do NOT think about designing things) are doing with their brains when they’re relaxing.  I’d be willing to guess that it is perhaps more peaceful in their heads than it is inside mine. 
Pouch to contain the iPad at the helm.

There are a surprisingly great many sewing projects that are very useful on a sailboat.  I’ve designed a few recently.  We use several electronic devices.  This means that we have a slew of charging cords. We have three charging stations of 12 V adapters.  They are: 1) at the Navigation station in the cabin, 2) in the galley, and 3) at the helm.  I designed three projects that help us organize all those cords and keep things tidy and a fourth project that saves drawer space in the aft cabin.

The iPad pouch strap can be adjusted with buckle.
At the helm, Carl uses his iPad so that he can have the Active Captain software running simultaneously with the Garmin software on the chart plotter.  This means that the iPad sits perched atop the chart plotter, with one screen directly above the other.  His iPad is inside a LifeLock waterproof case which gives it a bit of grippiness, but still, I’ve been nervous about the iPad just balancing up there while we’re underway.  So, I came up with this really simple little iPad pouch that is attached to the binnacle.  It is adjustable with a buckle.  I used a hot glue gun after it was sewn up, to run a 2” wide wavy track of hot glue across the bottom of the pouch so it really IS quite grippy as it sits on top of the chart plotter.

Outside dimensions 10 1/2" X 13"
We use a number of other items in the cockpit as well, which we’ve been moving around to avoid stepping or sitting on them.  My iPhone 6 Plus has Nav Aids and Active Captain loaded on it, so that I can independently see our GPS position and look ahead for anchorages, etc.  I like to keep the camera handy in the cockpit too.  We refer to our paper cruising guides in the cockpit, and I make notes in our Ships’ Log while we are underway, so it’s nice to have both of those in a safe place in the cockpit too.  I finally came up with this Cockpit Organizer which has two large pockets for the charts and log, and then smaller pockets for camera, boat cards, eyeglasses, etc. 
Smaller pouches were sewn on the outside before sewing the larger pouches.

The boat cards are in a waterproof pocket on the front.  On our boat, this pouch fits over the cockpit table when the leaves are down.  Maybe on another boat, it could be hung from the lifeline. 

One of our 12 V charging stations is in the galley which is not an ideal location, since we obviously don’t want to get food on our electronics.  I found a small blank space on a wall in the galley, however, which was enough room to install a small tension rod.  I designed a set of pouches that are suspended on the tension rod so that the camera and iPhone can be charged while kept safely out of the way of food prep space. 
Two cables lead to this small, otherwise unused corner of the countertop.

Signal flares in top pouch.  Matching pouch below.
The fourth little project that I completed recently was to make a pair of pouches that snap onto the wall in the aft cabin.  The snaps were already on the wall, from a previous ditch bag* that was mounted there at one time.  After living aboard for a while, I decided that we could make better use of the aft cabin drawer space by getting all the signal flares out of the drawer and contained within this black pouch.  
Second pouch holds a pair of intercom headgear.  We use when anchoring.

A second pouch below is where we keep our intercom headgear.  The intercom head pieces are relatively fragile, so it’s nice to keep them safely away from other heavier things that could crush them. 

Calm evening anchored on the edge of the ICW.   Perfect weather for CCPDD. 
Four projects, all relatively easy to make, help keep the electronics safely tucked out of the way while charging and also provide space for other fragile things such as eyeglasses, phones, camera, intercom—all things we don’t want to step on when we’re handling the lines in the cockpit.   And, all accomplished while dealing successfully with the CCPDD. 

*Ditch bag - a waterproof bag loaded with emergency survival supplies that can be grabbed and taken along into a life raft when abandoning ship.


narwhal said...

I think your online store is down. I have clicked everywhere but can't figure out how to place an order.

Mark Bennett said...

You can come crew for us anytime! Bring your sewing machine.

Ardys said...

Alas, there is no online store, Justin. What projects are you interested in?

Deb said...

Finally! A diagnosis for my psychosis!

SV Kintala