By Steve Hayes
In preparation for DIY boat repairs, we collect spare parts and repair materials and store them in the many little nooks on our boat. The challenge comes in remembering what you have and locating it when you need it.
The “What’s on My Boat?” iPhone app may help. The developer, Intelligent Maintenance, has a series of inventory-oriented applications for boats, attics, closets, etc. The iPhone app lets you back up the database to Dropbox and download it to your other Apple devices.
Entering the information can be a bit time-consuming, but it’s easier than the paper log we use or would use if it were easier to keep up to date. You enter each item with a description and optional photo. Each item has a location, category and condition (select one of the choices available or enter your own).
For example, if I wanted to add “raw water pump impeller,” I would select “Add” from the initial page and type in its description. Optionally, I could click on the microphone on the keyboard and dictate the name using voice command. Then I can take a picture of the impeller with my phone and select a storage location from the dropdown menu (or add a location, such as Spares Box 1), and categorize it (Engine Spares). The “lists” entry can be “buy,” “check condition,” “lent to” (great for tools), “replace” or any other group you want. Each item has a notes section that can be used for additional specifics, such as part number and source.
As you grow your lists, you will want to use the filter option to simplify finding a list later. (I can foresee lists for spares, tools, stock foods, charts and other items I want to track.)
After using an item, simply tag it for the “buy” list. Then when you go shopping, simply filter on the “buy” list and get what you need. A photograph and description of the item make shopping easier.
The app costs $1.99 on the iTunes Store.
If you have multiple boats or want to keep track of trips, maintenance costs, checklists, reminders and service history as well as your inventory, the company also makes an app called “My Boat” for $19.99 that includes all these functions and more.