Friday, April 12, 2013

Maintaining Control

Helina has really taken an interest in sailing. Of course, when I say sailing, what I really mean is she can't keep her hands off of Sea Gem's gadgets and gizmos. No matter what kind of baby toy I put in front of her, she makes a beeline for the good stuff--pumps, fire extinguishers, electronics, etc.

There is one feature on Sea Gem that Eric and I figured would be the most tempting for Helina--our control panel:

Sea Gem's Control Panel
I don't think an explanation is needed as to why we thought a curious baby would be interested in playing with this marvelous contraption. The panel has about 65 different switches that control everything aboard Sea Gem requiring power. And where might this panel be located? At ground-level, of course. There is a switch that can turn on/off our refrigerator, navigation instruments, anchor windless (thing that lowers the anchor), overhead lights, pumps, fans, deck flood lights--even our toilets (yes, we can turn off our toilets). Given Helina's propensity for boat gadgets, we figured our control panel would be the first non-toy that Helina mistook for one, but surprisingly, she has only recently taken notice of it.

We aren't taking any chances though. Although some things on this panel would prove harmless if they were accidentally switched on/off (say, our lights), other things would not (imagine if our pumps were turned off and we sprung a leak). The control panel has doors and a latch, but they aren't secure. Helina could easily figure out how to open the doors if she put her mind to it (she has already figured out how to unlatch our ice maker, which has the same type of closure).

Thankfully, unlike many things aboard that require a custom baby-proofing fix, we were able to buy a regular old baby-proof lock, which fits easily over the cabinet's door knobs:

Safety 1st
In fact, it is so good that Eric and I can barely unlock it.

Because Eric and I both use the control panel several times a week for various things, we've been leaving it unlocked due to the difficulty that we have releasing the mechanism. However, because Helina has started to include the control panel in her daily rounds (of destruction), the lock is back on and securely latched! A minor inconvenience for us, but one that protects our boat--and us--from an endless amount of trouble.

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