Saturday, March 5, 2011

Working Marinas

At Phipps Marina people don't
  • Wax boats
  • Fly burgees
  • Compare rating certificates
  • Wear uniform polos and shorts
  • Replace lines because they are--gasp--dirty
  • Talk about racing
  • Strut anything new
  • Drive BMWs

Instead they

  • Clean fish
  • Saw, nail, and paint wood. Sometimes the smell of Coprinol lingers for months. It's different from the smell of varnish, I wouldn't want it on my boat, but I like it around. Something like the smell of freshly mowed grass, to me.
  • Talk about years spent in the Merchant Marine
  • Bring the kids along
  • Work on engines
  • Share information about WHERE and HOW to catch fish... and then catch them, without any teasing for striking out.
  • Drive pick-up trucks 
I exaggerate, of course. Of the 16 slips, 4 are sailboats, soon to be 5. Most of the boats are in fine condition; they just tend to be traditional and utilitarian. A few charter. It's hard to convince anyone that there's much practical about a sailboat, not in a fishing marina, although the day I slapped a pair of 30-inch rockfish on the communal cleaning table I bridged some of the sailor-fisherman gap. We talk boats and fish more easily now.
    Four generations of waterman--that I know of--have lived and worked on this property. I like it here.

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    Marine railways aren't so common anymore; travel lifts have taken over and for good reasons. However, the railway is still in regular use, perfect for wooden boats that can't--or shouldn't--stand the stress of lifting with only 2 slings. Planks are fitted in the old ways and aging hulls refastened. Workboats, always; never a sailboat.

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