Spring is Just Around the Corner
After nearly a week in bed with the flu I have finally gotten up the energy to think about what projects I have left on my winter work list. It appears there are quite a few left and off weeks because of weather (too cold) and illness have not helped. But I did get to thinking about those projects I need to complete before launch and that reminded me that many boat owners wait just a little too long to get projects they cannot or don’t want to do themselves to their yard manager!
For those who have hauled out or stored their boats for the winter, spring commissioning is fast approaching. As those who have been through spring commissioning know their boat yards will be at full steam ahead before long and it will be hard to get needed projects done, especially those projects that should have been taken care off over the winter. The good news, there is still time to get your project list into your yard office or to your sub-contractor.
Now is the time to take a look at your rigging, both standing and running, especially if you unstepped your mast and it is accessible. If your running rigging is old or has chafe spots that require it be replaced doing so now with the mast out is relatively simple process. It is also very easy to inspect the mast when it is laying down to try to identify any areas causing chafe and to remedy them. For those who have winches on the mast now is the time to have them cleaned and lubed. Want new lights, an antenna or windex, installing new wiring and brackets is a lot easier and cheaper with the mast out of the boat. Most of these projects are a one man job with the mast laying down. With the mast in at the very least it will require two people and maybe a crane charge.
Have any engine issues from last season, make them known to the yard so a mechanic can take a look, order any necessary parts (not always, especially on older engines, readily available) and get you squared away before launching. The same goes for all pumps, watermakers, refer units and anything else mechanical.
Winter is also the time to take care of any seacocks that may be leaking, stiff, or impossible to cycle. If you wait to the last-minute to address these items at the very least it will delay your launching or if you get launched and then can’t get the head intake open you will incur a short-haul charge and possibly a charge to sidetrack and block your boat while a part is ordered.
Electrical issues such as non-working running lights or upgrades to LED lights. Again the light fixture you want to have or need to match may not be readily available and come launching time the mechanical staff has their hands full just taking care of commissioning items without replacing or fixing electrical problems that were known in the fall but not reported.
Spring commissioning should be a time to look forward too, a time when one can visit the yard on a weekend, paint the bottom, wash and wax the topsides and deck, visit with friends and get ones boat launched on time without any last-minute problems or added expenses.
So, even though it is still winter, a little to cold yet to really think about that first sail, get down to the yard, climb under the cover with a pad and pencil and make note of all the problems that need addressing before spring commissioning and save yourself some time and more importantly money by getting them taken care of now instead of in the rush to get launched.