Monday, October 19, 2015

For Better or For Worse

The great wheel of the seasons turns; the Earth continues inexorably in her orbit around the sun.  To those of us here in the north temperate zones, that means that the boat is put into "winter mode".  For some that means a haulout so that the water can freeze up without the restraint of an interfering hull.  For us in the Pacific Northwest, it means a backup set of docklines and an additional four fenders so that the boat can weather the winter storms safely in her slip.  (And to those of you in the South Pacific and Caribbean... pbbbt!).

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.



Rick said...

I've been thinking about the list recently. As you say, it's that time of year. Currently stalled on trim/eyebrow renewal due to unseasonably cool temperatures, but hope to resume today. Maybe I'll finally get to that shower sump box this year - i've been threatening to do that for several years now. May also get to repainting the shear stripe in the spring. Certainly needs more than ever at this point. What's on your list this winter?

Robert Salnick said...

Hi Rick -

So far, I expect to make up the dodger top and the panel that connects the dodger to the bimini roof. Rain and wind permitting, of course.

Finish the gelcoat repairs (I still have more to do)

Interior varnish at the "touch" places...

Just that and the normal winter maintenance items like engine oil change, etc.


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