This is the time of The List. It is when we look our vessels over with a (hopefully) jaundiced eye, enumerating all the things that need to be done to have her ready for next spring, and to be in yet better shape than last year. You see, all of us have taken a Vow with our boats, to protect and support each other in the best of times and in the worst of times. And this is the time of year when our part of the bargain comes due.
So: The List. What goes on it? Well, all the normal seasonal maintenance projects of course. But do you have a guilty feeling deriving from knowledge that the mizzen spreaders should be replaced? That there is rot in the bowsprit? That the primary bilge pump down in the deepest part of the bilge needs a spelunking expedition to repair? Well these items go on The List.
And sometimes there is something that you want to do as a present to your boat in exchange for the good times she has given you - not something required, but rather as a gift. Perhaps this could be a radar upgrade (not required, but nice!), or just something for her vanity.
Some of these List items are inside work, and some depend on decent weather to be done. But they all go on The List. And it is working down The List which keeps us in mental and emotional contact with our boats over the winter hiatus, and which fuels the dreams of the coming new season with romps under full sail with blue skies and shining water.