Join Date: Sep 2007
Thanked 20 Times in 20 Posts
Rep Power: 10
Yes and no -- you pretty much make do with what you can create. Larger boats provide more opportunity to carve out space than smaller ones, and some boat designs are easier to adapt than others. In my particular case, the cockpit and docks have been the actual work areas.
When we moved aboard, I pretty much converted the quarterberth into a storage area for tools/materials/supplies. Larger materials (plywood primarily) went under our pullman berth matress forward. I accepted that using power tools might not always feasible, and laid on some old school hand tools to compensate. As a benefit, my overall woodworking skills have improved even when using power tools -- and I pretty much grew up in a woodshop. I've found that when using hand tools, I tend to take more time to consider exactly how I'm going to do things before I start into making any cuts.
I didn't leave all the power tools behind, though -- the Fein MultiMaster is almost always the first tool I reach for on most projects. I also kept a jigsaw, an RO sander, a buffer, a router, a small angle grinder, a Dremel, and cordless drill, etc.
Obviously, nobody has real, full sized shop tools on their boat. I have run across folks who have benchtop sized tools aboard -- one guy even had a lathe!
One thing to keep in mind is that with a little patience, persistence and an outgoing personality, you can often find other sailors or facilities in/around marinas that will help you out.