Sunday, June 13, 2010

That's the charm of it...

My weekends lately have been filled with getting the boat ready for the summer cruise (more on that later in another blog post). It's rumored that BOAT stands for "Bring On Another Thousand." Well that thousand can be dollars or hours. Last fall I created a list of 27 to-do items. I am now down to the final 6 items. Some of these items were routine, and others were not. Here's a sample of a few of the maintenance items that were on my list. Change oil (engine & injector), change fuel filters, replace raw water impeller, clean foreward head, clean flying bridge, paint foc'sle deck, paint aft cabin deck, remove stains on bow, grease radar, new bilge pump switch, clean bilge, paint mast, patch & paint spots on cabin, touch up teak trim, clean inside of main cabin, wash windows, vacuum all cabins, replace starter battery, replace transmission oil cooler, clean main heat exchanger, replace all zincs, check all hoses, replace alternator belt, and the list goes on. Some of the above items are cosmetic and others are required for trouble free & safe cruising.

As I check off items on my maintenance & work list, I routinely find more items to work on and the list then grows. To mitigate that I keep the galley refrigerator stocked with beer and the larder stocked with snacks. Another mitigation is to keep my work and attitude in check. Sure, I put in the hours on my projects, but I also make sure I take beer breaks and time to recognize what I have accomplished. For example, the foc'sle deck looks great. I think I'll sit on my freshly painted deck, lean up against the cabin, relax and enjoy a beer. I think about the future anchorages this summer - some new and others I revisit like old friends. Then my chores are not so much drudgery, but part of the enjoyment of boating.

I also learn along the way. For instance... install the transmission oil cooler hoses first before connecting the raw water hoses. That way you can spin the oil cooler to tighten the first hose on. Or, coat the impeller with dish soap and use a hose clamp around it to easily insert it. It seems this year that I have learned so many new tricks that made some of my chores much easier. Maybe, just maybe, I'm just another year older and wiser. Finally in all my thousand hours of work or dollars, I am reminded of Ratty's words in Kenneth Grahame's classic, "The Wind in the Willows"..."There is nothing- absolutely nothing- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. In or out of 'em, it doesn't matter. Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it." Whether you celebrate Ratty's notion sailing, motoring, rowing, paddling, boat maintenance, or... whatever... "it doesn't matter... that's the charm of it".

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