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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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