Relationships & Roles Aboard

Boat jobs: Pink or Blue? Marcie Lynn comments

Marcie and David: Pink and Blue!In April, Betsy Morris wrote about the division of boat jobs aboard Salsa (Boat jobs: Pink or Blue? Betsy Morris’ Confession). She wondered how other cruising couples divided up the jobs and whether they were happy with the result. Following is Marcie Lynn’s response.

I enjoyed reading Betsy’s article, but I guess I never had delusions (or was desirous) of being able to do all the “blue” chores that David does aboard Nine of Cups.

He’s an engineer and I was VP of marketing for a medical company. The difference in being on land versus afloat is that anything I needed to get done on land, I could hire someone to do. While at sea, it’s life critical to be able to handle everything yourself. 

David - s/v Nine of CupsAs an engineer, David sees problems at sea as challenges.

Rudder post sheared off in the middle of the Carib? He fabricated a part that got us to Colon.

Autopilot gone awry in the middle of the Pacific and the spare crapped out, too? He jury-rigged the two systems to make it to Chile.

Dinghy pontoon slashed and the MEK adhesive catalyst  has evaporated?  He’s your man for figuring out how to fabricate a clamshell patch that got us through the anchorages of Patagonia, 1000 miles from nowhere.

From a safety perspective, I’m confident I could get the boat to safety if something happened to David while we were at sea. Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary actions.

On a regular basis, however, we divide up tasks as we always have. We started and ran our own medical electronics company for over a decade. He designed and manufactured the instrumentation; I marketed and sold it, did the accounting and human resources and helped with manufacturing and shipping.

We’ve always had a division of labor in our work and family lives that used our specific talents and we’re comfortable with it and appreciate each other’s fortes.

Marcie servicing the winches in Panama

Being aboard the boat is no different.

Why hoist me up the mast if I don’t know how to install/repair the mast light once I’m up there?

Can I provision for 6 months? Absolutely…with a spreadsheet, no less.

Do I cook, clean, sew, mend sails, write, keep up the website, maintain communications, document our travels, file our taxes, entertain guests, service the winches (oops…that sounds blue, but I do it), stand watch, varnish, research and plan our trips, navigate…yup.

It’s what I’m good at and also part of keeping us “happily” afloat.

About Marcie Lynn

Marcie LynnAs liveaboards since 2000, Marcie Lynn and her husband, David, have traveled over 50,000 miles to date aboard their Liberty cutter, NINE OF CUPS, visited 27 countries and are 9 years into a 15+ year circumnavigation. Ports of call have included many ports off the beaten path, some close to home and some very remote. Marcie readily admits that traveling is key to her interest in sailing.

Born in Massachusetts, Marcie never set foot on a sailboat until 16 years ago. Along with her husband, David, she took sailing classes, read lots and then bareboat chartered and soon the sailing bug bit them hard. In 2000, they both quit their jobs, sold everything and bought NINE OF CUPS. She’s (almost) never regretted their decision (there are those days).

Marcie’s marketing background led her to a keen interest in writing and photography. She maintains a web site, an extensive photo-journal, writes frequently for the Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) and has published several articles. She especially loves sharing her experiences and travels with others who share similar interests.

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How do you divvy up the boat chores?
Does it fall along pink and blue lines?

Let us know.
Email or leave a comment below.

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