Saturday, September 29, 2012

What do I do next?

For anybody who has attempted a task that they knew nothing about, this should be a most familiar question.  Well today, we took the Constance Marie out of the water.  I would have liked to sail her as October is a beautiful month for sailing but my skills are not there yet to attempt going solo. Prior to pulling the Constance Marie from the mooring field, I learned that I had to take down the Genoa, unhook the forestay, set the dock lines and motor over to the dock so that the traveller can pull her out.  I took Russian in high school for four years, but this was the beginning of learning to speak "sailorese".  Genoa, is that not a brand of salami?  Forestay, isn't that something a couple does prior to getting serious! 

Figure 3
Not the Constance Marie but very much the "pulling" process
We positioned the Constance Marie getting her ready to be placed on her boatstands.  Right away I noticed that the marine plywood footers were older than sin. 

Lesson learned: Prepare your boat storage area the day before you pull your boat.  Check the stands welds, lubricate the screws, inspect the wooden tops and footers, lay landscape fabric under the entire area of your storage site.

Too late, we settled her and tightened, but not too tight, the boatstand screw supports that snuggled up to the hull.  I then realized that the storage location for the Constance Marie was between two mid-sized cruisers whose owners nobody at the yacht club had seen in 300-400 years.  I was told that I have the responsibility to be the good shepard and maintain the correct tightness of the boatstands for these adjacent "relics" of the previous century.  If I failed to do this, then be prepared for them to fill up with rainwater and incline themselves in your direction.   Ok now that the Constance Marie is settled in.  What do I do next?   I needed a plan.

The first thing I did was to get hold of the professional surveyor who did the last survey of the Constance Marie.  To someone who knows nothing about sail boats, the 153 things he commented on in his report drove my posterior quickly to find a chair to settle my thoughts. 

Lesson learned:  Have someone do a survey on the boat before you close the deal.

One of the yacht club members told me to buy a copy of the book "This Old Boat".  He said it would lay everything out for me.  So I did.  Several days later, my nose was glued to the pages of that wonderful resource.  Good ideas, when they present themselves, are put into action with patience and prudence.  Both traits lacking in most men.  When I find out the guy who has been praying for patience for me, look out!  The ideas of a plan began to flow.  I learned in my field of work that big problems can be divided up into smaller tasks and over a period of time, significant progress can occur.  Within This Old Boat I found the framework I was looking for that encompassed a project orientation within a practical approach.

Hmmm....let's see, the problem is we have a 32 year old sailboat that has been used for local cruising.  Engine, exterior lights, electrical AC and DC, water tight portals and hatches were all known to be unreliable.  The problem seemed overwhelming.  But, I do know she floats with no below the waterline leaks!  Olivia is always telling me to look for the good in everything. This was the fact to a positive start that I needed.