The rumors of my pending retirement have been greatly exaggerated…..
Ever since I heard about The Great Loop I have wanted to cruise it (www.greatloop.org). To successfully complete the Loop, one needs to have 3 things: adequate equipment, adequate time, and adequate health. I had the first and third. To secure the second, I had floated the idea of a two-year sabbatical. A year to complete any existing cases and a year to execute The Great Loop.
With the arrival of COVID-19, our firm went to remote work. I found that I was able to be just as productive on my case work from a remote location as I was at the office. There is no reason that “remote” has to mean my house, it could mean aboard the “Two by Two”, our 2003 Magna Marine Nova Scotia 47 Pilothouse Trawler, with a little modification.
There were three places I considered for a working space: the saloon, the pilothouse and the guest stateroom. I rejected the saloon because that is where we sit, eat relax and visit with friends. I did not want to have to remove my work items from the table for every meal. I rejected the pilothouse because that is where we navigate from and I did not want my work materials in the middle of that area. I settled on the guest stateroom as the best place to set up shop and do my work.
The guest stateroom on Two by Two is about 6 ft by 8 ft with a bench seat in front of a Murphy bed. It has a small closet on the port side, a small table just forward of the closet and a door leading to a guest bath on the starboard side. In my work I review documents provided and read depositions on my second generation Ipad pro (12.9 inch), and I write reports on a Dell XPS 13 9370. In my land office I have a Varidesk Pro Plus™ 48 stand up desk with a Dell docking station and dual monitors which I really enjoy. I wanted to replicate this land office setup as much as possible on Two by Two. I also wanted to be able to use the Murphy bed in the guest stateroom when our grandchildren were visiting with us. This meant that everything had to be out of the way when the bed was laid down. The solution I designed and installed was based around an Ergotron track mounted LX Sit-Stand Wall arm. This device has a 32.8 inch reach and a 20 inch lift.
The onboard office is working great. I can sit on the bench and work or raise everything up, rotate the arms 90 degrees and stand facing the port wall. When the time comes to lay down the Murphy bed, I remove the laptop, the I-pad and the keyboard and rotate the three arms against the wall. Everything clears the bed frame when it comes down. For travel, a couple of rubber straps secure the arms and keep them from bouncing around.
As part of this workspace project, I also added three shelves forward the guest bath for a printer and another place to store other office supplies. My next project is the installation of a router and proper antenna for improved internet connectivity.
My plan is to cruise and work from my boat as much as I can. If you have a case involving mechanical engineering, machine design, machine safeguarding, risk assessment or safety, please give me a call. I welcome the opportunity to consult with you about your case.
Jeffery H. Warren, PhD, PE, CSP, is the chief engineer and CEO at Warren specializing in mechanical, machine design and safety. His deep expertise in machine design and safety analysis makes him a frequent presenter, trainer and expert witness. In addition to investigating more than 2000 claims involving property damage and injuries related to machinery and equipment since 1987, Jeff has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from UNC Charlotte as well as a Master of Science and a Doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University — both with machine design emphasis.