Feb 072012
 

Boats are so much work. Wooden boats edge into their own universe of time, money and energy sinks. Someone should write a self-help book for wooden boat lovers.

We sand, paint, varnish, replace. We caulk, curse, reef, re-caulk, re-curse, curse, curse. We crawl into small spaces, flash-lights gripped in our teeth, searching for the source of that drip, that smell, that creak. We confidently reassure that all wooden boats leak as nervous friends eye rising bilge levels.

Wooden boat sailors! We argue, we disagree. To salt the bilges or not to salt the bilges? To fill the checks or no? Poly-urethane, Cetol, or Deks Olje? What’s the proper type of filler to use for that epoxy job? Spikes or bolts? Sikaflex or 4200? Sikaflex or tar? Sikaflex or Dolphinite? We peer over rails, we offer unsolicited, unwanted advice. Too many sentences begin with the phrase “On MY boat…”

But we love it. We love it all. We are cursed with an affection for the highest maintenance lady of them all, and we are addicted to her insatiability.

In 24 hours, our crew begins a two-week maintenance period during which we’ll be tackling several major projects including (but not limited to): scarfing a new piece of wood into a rotten bit of our jib-boom; re-caulking a leaky spot on our deck-house roof; sending down, sanding, re-finishing and re-installing our lower topsail yard; re-serving and tarring its foot-ropes; and probably painting our topsides.

God willing, we’ll have it all done by the 25th when our two months of back-to-back voyages begin. We love it. We love it. We love it.

A load-bearing eye-bolt lives in some now-punky wood, covered by a preventer at the moment

A load-bearing eye-bolt lives in some punky wood, covered by a preventer at the moment

The one place our deck-house leaks is above our chart-room, where all of the expensive equipment is!

The one place our deck-house leaks is above our chart-room, where all of the expensive equipment is!

The lowest yard, the course, is in cue for repairs after the lower topsail yard has been serviced. Note the early signs of wear on the foot-rope.

The lowest yard, the course, is in cue for repairs after the lower topsail yard has been serviced. Note the early signs of wear on the foot-rope.