Thursday, October 29, 2015

Getting to Know My Boat

After a particularly frustrating, hot, sweaty, oil everywhere, tools everywhere, getting taken off my chore and sucked into a job that wasn’t mine, boat maintenance in a rolly anchorage kind of day, I posted my frustration on a Facebook group to which I belong. One of the first comments told me to “Get to know your boat and you will not be so frustrated when this happens.”

So in the interest of “getting to know my boat” I have compiled a list of ways to do that and checked off the ones I’ve done.

   Spend hours hanging your head in the bilge changing hoses, wires, and equipment.

        Go to the top of the mast to repair lights or clean and inspect the rig.

        Dive for hours cleaning barnacles off the bottom; repeat monthly.

        Spend an hour with your arm wedged in the bow thruster in a rolly anchorage cleaning off barnacles.

       Spend hours in the chain locker installing a new windlass. 
      ✓        Crawl into the chain locker whilst beating to weather to stuff things into the hawse pipes.

        Spend hours behind the engine replacing all the belts and hoses.

        Wrestle a 4” x 30’ exhaust hose out from under the engine, batteries, and lazarettes then weasel the new one in its place.
      ✓        Remove the old head, hoses, and holding tank.

        Remove the mast with your own crane, install all new rod rigging, and re-install it with your own crane. (Admittedly, I didn’t operate the crane, but I was down below giving the proper hand signals to guide the butt onto the mast step.)

        Lay under the cockpit floor for hours removing the steering idler and rotten wood, then replace the idler, chain, and cable.

        Spend hours wedged into the tiniest spaces running new wires up through the deck and into bow pulpits and such for new lights, radios, and antennas.
      ✓        Paint your boat's bottom and wax the topsides at haul outs.

      ✓        Rebuild or repair things whilst bashing to weather.

Now live aboard for over a year whilst cruising in foreign countries, cooking three meals a day (even underway), living at anchor (we haven’t seen shore power in over six months), making your own water and electricity, showering only on your boat, and I think maybe you will “get to know your boat”.
Oh, wait, I’ve already done that too. Maybe I have “gotten to know my boat” after all.


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