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Old 05-11-2014, 02:38 PM   #21
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Now when you talk food, that's where my system may be of use. I do not write down what I have, because the boat is fully stocked most of the time. What I do is write down each item as I use it. Thus I know that right now I'm down peanut butter, pie crust mix, popcorn, oh, and 3x5 cards.

If your boat is fully stocked, why not simply right down what you use and call that your shopping list? I'm simple: I use 3x5 index cards. For me, it works.
Janice142 article 3x5 Cards

As for your boat parts inventory, I have lockers where I store stuff as needed -- and within some generalities I know that anything electrical is in the forward bench of the dinette. But I'm fairly well organized by nature.


Free advice. The most dangerous sort!
I do appreciate the advice, especially since it is free.

I agree that my system won't work for most of my food items. The root of the problem, not being organized and disciplined may not be solvable. Most of my trips are multi-day, offshore, with guests and crew. It has never worked to get people to consistently write down when we run out of something. So, we often find that there is no wasabi to go with freshly caught tuna. And today my wife was surprised to find that we have no blue cheese for some chicken wings we intend to make. While searching for the blue cheese, however, I found that we have at least 4 bottles (two opened and half-used) of wing sauce and 4 unopened containers (all different sizes) of unopened (but refrigerated anyway) mayo. Probably what I need to do is to compile a list of the stuff I want to have on board, and do an inventory after each trip. We like to cook fancy stuff and need lots of obscure ingredients.

As for everything in its place, I do agree, but don't have the one place. I can't spare a stateroom and there is no one place where everything will fit. Instead, I have to spread stuff around based on how likely I will need it. Things like replacement main engine cooling pumps (in addition to spare impellers, I have one complete pump -- housing, gaskets and all) and replacement main engine starter motors, which are big and heavy and rarely used (never needed so far) must be relegated to the most inaccessible areas. Remembering where that sort of thing is stored is beyond the capabilities of my memory. And since I often used a delivery captain and crew to move the boat, they need to know where that stuff is.
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Old 05-11-2014, 04:45 PM   #22
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Tuna sounds good, even without wasabi; tonight it's flounder here... swimming yesterday, the fish spent the night on ice. Last night I was invited out and had Bambi in a stir fry. Yummy. Oh, and I picked blackberries today (ouch!) so blackberry pie for dessert tonight.

It's a rough life, but somehow I manage.
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Old 05-11-2014, 05:59 PM   #23
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What about photos (with tags as needed) in albums titled for location.

Like
Lazarette - broken down by rubbermaid totes
Port engine compartment - broken down by rubbermaid totes
Stb engine compartment - broken down by rubbermaid totes
Under berth
Under settee
Hanging Locker
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Old 05-11-2014, 11:25 PM   #24
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What about photos (with tags as needed) in albums titled for location.
Agreed --I hope to incorporate pics, as each is worth 1,000 words.
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Old 05-12-2014, 12:51 AM   #25
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If you use Apple products I recommend a program called Tap Forms which I used to easily set up forms and associated databases on my Mac/iPad/iPhone to track my Parts Inventory, Boat Use Log, Maintenance Log (including before and after pictures) and Boat Systems Information (categorized by type and tracking all information on the different systems on my boat including manufacturer, model number, serial number, scanned or downloaded manuals, pictures and support contact information).

It took me one evening to set up the forms I mention above. With this program everything is synced either via iCloud or Dropbox between my computer, iPhone and Ipad so that I can add or update any item from any of my devices. Cost was about $50 for the licenses for my Mac, iPad and iPhones.
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Old 05-12-2014, 06:19 AM   #26
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Perhaps a piece of paper in the galley that folks just write down what they tossed out empty would help with the inventory?
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:27 AM   #27
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Perhaps a piece of paper in the galley that folks just write down what they tossed out empty would help with the inventory?
I tried that once and while cleaning at the end of the trip, someone through it away.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:51 AM   #28
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I tried that once and while cleaning at the end of the trip, someone through it away.
We use a tablet. In fact we use them for nearly everything around the boat. All hooked into our wireless network.
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Old 05-12-2014, 09:19 PM   #29
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Timely question. It's somewhat on topic (I think).
I've decided to restock the tool stores. Does anyone have an inventory list?

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Old 05-14-2014, 12:52 AM   #30
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We use a tablet. In fact we use them for nearly everything around the boat. All hooked into our wireless network.
What app do you use?
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:12 AM   #31
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I've learned a lot from this forum over the years, but this is one of the best threads I've ever read. This year, we are finally starting to spend some extended time on the boat and I've been pondering this same subject.

I agree Excel is the easiest to setup and will require the least time imputing data to keep it current. I've used it for my maintenance records and fuel log for years. I've just downloaded the new MS suite for the iPad and it seems to be working fine. This now makes keeping my records even easier, especially if you're using cloud storage. I used to keep written notes until I turned on the computer and invariably something would not get entered into the computer. Not that I can update it on the iPad, I'm more inclined to do it right away.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts, this is the forum at its best!!!
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Old 05-14-2014, 01:23 AM   #32
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What app do you use?
We use one that is overkill for most here, it's a comprehensive management software. Now for most I'd probably recommend just any inventory software. But then Excel is excellent for the purpose too.

On the more comprehensive side there are various products aimed at larger boats and fleet management. I believe someone mentioned Vessel Vanguard. Deep Blue and Manage My Vessel are two complete packages. We use Idea.

Now back to a basic package like a Quickbooks or Inflow, Inventoria, iMagic, Inventory Tracker, Inventory Organizer and more. Most of them can be installed on your main computer and then accessed with laptops and tablets from anywhere on board.

Why do we like to access by tablet? Where the product is. You're in the engine room, check and enter right there. Galley. Hidden storage areas. Now, one might think tablets are extremely expensive when you see nearly $1000 iPads. But there are tablets that are excellent for this purpose for under $200. Most of these software combos have Android and iPad components. If you want to just use a basic spreadsheet, might try google's. Or go to a Windows Tablet and be able to interact with your computer. Also most of these do have free trials so you can play around a bit and see.

Don't over complicate things or you'll not use it. Guess what we're saying is do as we say, not as we do.

Also for those of you preferring Excel. You don't have to necessarily design your own. There are many templates of inventory systems already included with your software and many more online. Some are simple lists, some for parts or equipment, and some full perpetual inventory systems so you can keep good detail not just on the on-hand quantities but the purchases and usage.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:45 PM   #33
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I've had this in my favorites for quite sometime. Will say I have never used it but check it out and see if it might work for you Oso Software - Cruising Software for Everyone
I believe it's freeware.
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Old 05-14-2014, 12:57 PM   #34
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I've had this in my favorites for quite sometime. Will say I have never used it but check it out and see if it might work for you Oso Software - Cruising Software for Everyone
I believe it's freeware.
It appears to be a very simple, but functional database. Their Vessel Log is free but their Yacht Manager is $49.95. However, it has a free 45 day trial and then the price is a one time charge. I would certainly recommend checking it out. Even if you don't decide to buy it, it can give you some great ideas for your own system. In addition to the Inventory section it has many other features such as maintenance logs and trip logs and even planning logs which might be of interest. But the Vessel Log contains the Inventory section and for free is an excellent price.

I had seen this but totally forgotten about it until you pointed it out.
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Old 05-14-2014, 05:36 PM   #35
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Thanks for all the advice. I looked at the Oso website and will download the Vessel Log trial version. At the very least, I will get some ideas, but it may be exactly what the doctor ordered!
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Old 05-14-2014, 10:19 PM   #36
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Glad to be of help!!
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:02 AM   #37
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We have 10 fleets like this. We use laptop for navigation and low lux camera for monitoring engine room and other places. So boat monitoring is simple. And for inventory management and monitoring we took services from online bookkeeping services. They keep track all our data and give us invoices anytime we need.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:41 AM   #38
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I use an 'N +1' inventory model, meaning most items I have 2 of everything. I pull the parts from my inventory and replace with the newly purchased parts. (All parts are dated with date of purchase and rotated FIFO).

I pull from inventory, leaving one spare remaining, then add it to the list of parts to be bought. This means the only list I need is the 'shopping/ordering list' and does away with a need for an inventory.

I know where I store stuff, so the Where isn't a big deal.
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Old 08-10-2017, 11:47 AM   #39
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The only time we kept a food inventory (more like a shopping list) was when we provisioned the boat for a 6 month trip. On the other hand I did keep a detailed list of spares and replacement parts, and their locations. Also, whenever I purchased a part, I kept a record of the part number (not always obvious when sourcing replacements), where purchased and price paid. That information saved a lot of time and effort next time around. All was easily accomplished with an Excel spreadsheet. No need for fancy software.
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Old 08-10-2017, 06:01 PM   #40
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I use "ERRANDS" app on my iPhone. Venders, part numbers, details on part change out. Has alerts that can't be super customized. Of all the apps, I use this one ten times more than the rest combine.
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