I believe in sailing, not sitting on land. I believe in material maintenance and functional improvements and not in primping. Yup, another rant.
1. Wax-on/Wax off
From what I've seen gel coat can do 40-50 years without real attention, and then there's Imron if I'm still on this side of the dirt... which I doubt. I'd rather paint the boat once than wax it 45 times. Caveat: windows are easier to see through and last much longer with regular wax and covers. They are also harder and more expensive to replace, per square foot, than paint. I pamper the windows a bit.
I use ablative or self polishing paints, and if sailed enough and scrubbed just a few times, there is zero build-up. My last boat was never stripped in 29 years, and frankly, she didn't need it. We hit 15 knots in 12 knots of wind on her last sail with me at the helm, a sea trial for a prospective buyer. Some people worry that soft paints release more copper into the water, but if used until spent, there is little difference; all of the copper in either type is in the water. Caveat: if you race, you'll want a hard paint that you can scrub every few weeks - but not me. That first spring scrub is going to be in cold water, or if you wait until it's warm and things can grow, it's going to be a bear.
The trouble is, unless you truly get the carburetor dry, it will always dry out and leave gum. On the other hand, if you leave the carburetor full and start the engines each month, even in the winter--what I've been doing for 25 years--the carburetor won't dry out. A carburetor vent filter slows the process even more, reducing water absorption and oxygen as well, combined with a fuel tank vent filter. After a few seasons of winterizing the boat and having troubles in the spring, I've learned sail all year--even if on a limited basis-- is simpler. Filter/separators help, even with gasoline. If I hauled out for 3-4 months my practice would not change--fuel doesn't evaporate or deteriorate that fast when it's cold, and when it gets warm, I'm back in the water. I love it when calculated sloth is best.
4. Projects Requiring Epoxy...
... or any other temperature sensitive adhesive, sealant, or paint. I hate big spring projects. They delay the sailing season well into summer, waiting for enough good days, on week-ends and in a row, to get anything accomplished. There is a temptation to start earlier, to do it anyway, since 50F seems warm after winter, but the results typically suffer. Even if the days are fine, the nights are too cool for optimum curing. Some products - 3M 4200 and butyl rubber tape - have lower temperature limits. Paints are generally very fussy. Check the labels. Epoxies will eventually cure, but unless specifically formulated for low temperatures they will never reach full strength. Some adhesives will never cure properly. Instead, haul-out briefly in mid-summer, when the weather is dependable. Pre-fab what you can and knock it out swiftly. Chill the epoxy before use, so it doesn't go off too fast in the heat. Paint in mid-morning.
5. Varnishing Exterior Wood
I love to watch other people bending over the rail, sanding away. I admire the results and I love classic boats.
Surely, you jest. I clean the windows, vacuum as needed, and maintain zero clutter on deck and in common areas. Cushions covers get laundered when needed. That's it. I hose off the bird poop when it becomes unbearable, but I can bear much.
I sail all year. Spring commissioning, for me, is filling the water tank when the dock water comes on (flushing take only seconds), swapping the storm windows for screens (10 seconds each), taking the electric space heater home, and by summer, taking some blankets home. Caveat: if I lived in the far north, where harbors freeze for months, I would act differently.
And then there is the more traditional list:
1. luxuria (extravagance)
2. gula (gluttony)
3. avaritia (avarice/greed)
4. acedia (acedia/discouragement)
5. ira (wrath)
6. invidia (envy)
7. superbia (pride)
Unfortunately, I enjoy these.... The boat is an extravagance, I like beer, I covet large and small catamarans, I discourage myself continuously, I enjoy swearing at old engines, I wish I could take a season off like others, and think my PDQ's pretty cool. I'll focus my effort on my personal list--I have a better chance of success.
I love to tinker--the evidence is all over this blog--but it will not cut into my sailing time. The focus will be function, but I will slip in some primping here and there. Please don't tell.
So many Chesapeake sailors park their boats in September and don't get them wet until May or June; over 60% of the sailing season is spent on blocks or at least with no intention of moving. I don't get it.
- Introduction to Sail Delmarva
- Site Map
- Anti-Chafe Gear
- Marine Winterizing Primer
- Diesel and Biocides
- Man-Overboard Recovery and Climbing Gear
- Silica Gel Vent Filters to Keep Gasoline and Diesel Dry
- Solar Panels
- Holding Tank Odors vs. Carbon Vent Filters
- My Other Blog (Chesapeake Gunkholing and Kayaks)
- The Purpose of Work
- The Book Store
- Book Questions and Comments
- Practical Sailor Magazine
- PDQ 32/34 Shoal Survivor--Under Contract