Limited storage is high on the list of liveaboard complaints. For me, it’s a particular hardship when it comes to papers and documents. Like many other boaters, I resort to a locker full of plastic storage boxes.
The locker isn’t always close by, especially when cruising. Therefore, I have stored most of my files of manuscripts, correspondence, financial spreadsheets, and so forth on the web. I upload these password-protected files to my G-Mail web address. Those documents not in digital form like birth certificate, marriage license, diploma, etc. I first scan to create a digital file and then upload in the same manner as word-processing files. At no charge, Google offers 2.5 Gigabytes of space, which is more than enough for a dozen book-length manuscripts, years of correspondence, and hundreds of photos.
When far from my locker, I can stop off at the nearest Kinko’s or public library, access my email account, and print out an important document or photo. I think of this as an important storage medium in case of a real catastrophe, like the flooding of my locker in a Florida hurricane or finding myself in some remote corner of the world with no identification. A copy of my passport, or any other important document, is as close as the nearest Internet cafÃ© â€“ they’re everywhere.