Expecting the Unexpected

Things happen in 3’s right?  So as we’re preparing the lake cottage to leave for the winter, first the septic motor stops running, then the blind with the inside strings won’t go up and yesterday our “Roll-A-Dock” wheels fell off.

Hauling is always a major trauma - the dread of what the bottom will look like is never fun.  Bad, but not as bad as I had envisioned ...

Hauling is always a major trauma – the dread of what the bottom will look like is never fun. Bad, but not as bad as I had envisioned … and all better now – can’t wait to see the glistening new white bottom!

But all that’s OK because shortly we’ll splash s/v Winterlude.  In the meantime, we already know to expect the unexpected when we return to the boat.  It happens every year and every year I’m depressed and anxious – which is foolish because every year we get everything sorted out and eventually it all works again.  Being back in the good ole USA makes it much easier – if we can’t fix it on our own, there are always other cruisers for resources and, as a last resort, we can pay a professional.

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Experience tells us we’ll have a lot of clean up to do, but that’s elbow grease, copious amounts of water and some Dawn dishsoap and we’ll be better than new – especially with all the work that’s been done!

Our AB Dinghy & kayaks stored on the ground next to the boat.  Hopefully the dinghy won't have a rat family living inside chewing holes like when it was on our deck last summer.  Ugh!  At least they were outside & didn't get in.

Our AB Dinghy & kayaks stored on the ground next to the boat. Hopefully the dinghy won’t have a rat family living inside chewing holes like when it was on our deck last summer. Ugh! At least they were outside & didn’t get in.

When the boat’s laid up in the water, we immediately move aboard as soon as we walk down the dock (because I can’t wait) and live with stepping over sails and grime for a couple of days.  But this year with the boat in the yard, we’ll  have to stay ashore for a couple of days until we launch.

Caprail with the perforated drainpipe in the background.

Caprail with the perforated drainpipe in the background.

I’m a bit concerned about the varnish … we decided to do an experiment.  We bought inexpensive perforated (i.e. drain, or in our case ventilation holes) corrugated drain pipe from Home Depot, cut a slot in one side and put it over the caprail to protect the varnish from UV.  The handrails were left unprotected (except from the sunshades).  My concern is there won’t be enough airflow inside the drain pipe and the varnish will either melt off or grow a coat of mold worse than anything we’ve seen since we left the boat under a full cover in Panama. We’ll find out when we return & I’ll be sure to report.

The varnish caprails covered with the performated drainpipe.  I hope it didn't either melt the varnish or grow mold an inch thick....   time will tell.

The varnish caprails covered with the performated drainpipe. I hope it didn’t either melt the varnish or grow mold an inch thick…. time will tell.

Other concerns – at times a 30 year old boat requires more than minor maintenance.   Like the rudder assembly rusting out to the point it needed rebuilt … and the transmission being beyond just replacing seals.  Both of these projects live in the lazarettes under the cockpit – as do many other systems — for example, our main belowdecks autopilot.

The rudder assembly required rebuilding ... hopefully it's better than new!

The rudder assembly required rebuilding … hopefully it’s better than new!

It wasn’t quite working properly when we arrived, but David, sometimes being the optimist, thinks that the rusty rudder assembly might have impacted how the hydraulics cylinder could move the rudder.  I must admit the wheel was getting more and more difficult each year.  So hopefully he’s right and our autopilot will be happy now.    And will replacing the transmission impact the pitch on the feathering prop?  So many things impact so many other things.  It’ll be what it’ll be and we’ll sort it all out.

No matter what we find, eventually when the sun goes down with the boat bobbing at anchor, we’ll be all set to enjoy another winter cruising season!

At the end of the day, even the sunset from the boatyard is stunning!  Can't WAIT!!!

At the end of the day, even the sunset from the boatyard is stunning! Can’t WAIT!!!

When are you headed back to your boat?   Please leave a comment and share!

Cheers!  Jan & David

s/v Winterlude, currently Marathon Boatyard, Marathon, Florida

Comments

  1. Keith Davie says:

    Sadly we have to wait until Spring. Sionna is on the hard in our yard, where we’re doing a basket full of projects in preparation for becoming commuter cruisers next fall! Hoping we cross paths. 🙂

  2. Nice idea cover the cap rail. I’m interested to know how it worked out. I bet it is fine.

  3. Brian Wise says:

    Hi
    I am trying to get Ambergris seaworthy again after a long year in Green Cove Springs nursing… Right now it’s cables for diesel shutoff, throttle, bottom cleaned and prop greased, serpentine belt for a new high output alternator, remote Balmar regulator and the requisite wiring to handle the new amps. And there are always issues with a 37 year old boat in the engine wiring arena. I am hoping to be making my way to Marathon the 7th of November. Might cross paths. Be nice to see you both and say hello.
    My best.
    Brian

    • Hi Brian! It would be great to see you again, what’s it been, like 2 years? We’re hoping to spent the last two weeks of November in the Boot Key Harbor (Marathon) mooring field and from there, we have several options and we’ll wait & see which way the wind (and weather) blows us. Cheers! Jan

  4. Gary and Judy Coppola says:

    We are back in Punta Gorda getting the condo and cars ready for this season. Tomorrow we drive to Safe Cove boatyard and start the pre splash checklist. We are hoping for a season with no major problems but it seems like that is always just a dream. The plan is, Fishermans Village for January then off for the Keys and finally the Bahamas. Maybe we will cross paths.
    SV Cool Runnings, Catalina 42

  5. as always…really like the perspective and thoughtful ponderings. looking forward to the cap rail results….blessings and fair winds. scott

  6. Anxious to hear about you drainpipe and what you do about the stiff turning wheel. I’ve being concerned about ours too and after lubing chain, cables etc … think I may have to drop the rudder and check the shaft. Glad to hear you are nearing splash time.

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