Friday, 22 March 2013

Spring at the boatyard

April is traditionally the time that the boating season begins. On nice sunny days at the moment the boat yard is full of people preparing their boats, all over Britain’s coast people will be finishing off the jobs they had intended to do over the winter and some people will be getting ready to fly back to their boats for the summer. At this time of year all the sailing magazines will be full of spring checklists as people check that they will stay afloat over the summer.

A winch in pieces being given some TLC.
There is nothing magical about April it’s just that before that the weather is so unpredictable and nights can be so cold. Last year in the relatively sheltered channel waters we managed to keep moving, here with longer hops between sheltered harbours, unpredictable and dangerous swell which can close harbours and the spectre of the infamous Bay of Biscay itself what was planned as a 2 week stop in Gijon has turned into 6 months.

Sorting the sails.
We decided that as we were stopped we may as well use the time well to prepare the boat for the new season and sort out some niggles. Storage has been completely overhauled throughout the boat, a new room has been sorted and decorated for the boys, the decks have been painted, winches have been serviced, mast head checked, engines checked and run, sails checked rinsed and refolded and all running lights are working fine. The dingy engine has been checked, we’ve also moved the ‘drivers’ seat (helm) so it is more central, it is only a couple of centimetres but hopefully now we can sit straight on to the wheel rather than twisted and without having our knees pressing on a sharp edge! There have been other little jobs too but you probably get the gist and we even managed to get a new pilot book in English so we’re ready for the off after Easter, all we need now is the weather.

Cleaning sails.

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