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Old 17-11-2013, 14:39   #1
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Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

I got back to my boat on Friday after being away from her for almost a month (sniff).

Woke up on Saturday morning with an awesomely long list of work to do on her, plus some things I meant to do for my own job. But it's November 17, the sun is shining, it's not so cold, a gentle breeze is blowing -- WTF am I doing sitting on the mooring??? Was my first thought.

A 54 foot (60 feet LOA), 25 ton boat is not my idea of the ideal single-hander, but, well, you work with what you've got. So instead of doing my work, I got the dinghy up, the canvas down, powered up the electronics, tested the bow thruster, checked over the machinery, secured the cabin, rigged slip lines, slipped, and headed out to sea. Sailed down the Solent to Yarmouth on a lovely close reach, passing every boat I encountered.

A friendly sailor took my short midships spring for me, saving me the terror of jumping off my boat with no one left aboard.

I was going to go to the George for dinner with a book, but in the event it got to be too late, and I ended up eating on board, just as I would have done on my mooring. And in order to get back to my mooring right at the high water stand, the only time when I would have any chance at all of getting tied up single-handed, I had to leave first thing in the morning, so no cycling up the Yar as I had planned. So other than a welcome night on shore power (equalization) and topping off my water, little actual benefit from being in Yarmouth.

Tying up was quite a trick, as I had forgotten to leave a short spring on the pontoon that I could pick up with the boathook. But I managed to get one of the pile lines on before the boat drifted away, powered against that with the rudder over, got the other one on, the trimmed everything up using a sheet winch.

As hard as I try, I'm still finding it nearly impossible to feel guilty about having played hooky yet again from boat repairs and maintenance, with which I am now seriously behind, not to mention my real work.

How do you guys deal with this situation? Why if you just sail every time you get on board, the boat will eventually fall apart from neglect.
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Old 17-11-2013, 15:17   #2
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Eventually (at least in my case) the guilt feelings outweigh the desire to go sailing and I knuckle down (at least for a while) and do maintenance things.

I have found with years of practice that the guilt weighs less and less... but as a very long time cruising live-aboard gravity is a vairable.

Jim
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Old 17-11-2013, 15:22   #3
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

We've got two steel boats.

What is this sailing thing you speak of?
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Old 17-11-2013, 15:27   #4
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

We have a small boat at the moment, 20', I figure that if we just sail it and ignore the maintenance, it's not a big loss when it's gone too far and just go and buy another one with the money we saved on maintenance. But, when we get another big one, wonder if I can get away with the same idea?

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Old 17-11-2013, 16:53   #5
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

It tips the scales. I once worked more then sailed. Now I'm sailing more then work. It all comes down to priorities. How much do you want to spend at one time. It's all relative!
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Old 17-11-2013, 17:07   #6
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
How do you guys deal with this situation? Why if you just sail every time you get on board, the boat will eventually fall apart from neglect.
Living 400 yards from the boat helps but even so some projects like more solar, climbing the mast to fit a new Galaxy VHF or replacing the Delta at an affordable price do get cancelled once the true cost and time are considered.

BTW prices of solar panels in the UK seem to be on the rise.

Pete
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:04   #7
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Dockhead,
Your Moody is a beautiful boat, however, 54 feet is a bit much for a daysailer. The problem with those of us who are working is that we must balance the need for work, the needs of family and friends, the need to maintain our boat and the desire to sail. This is not easy. The boat I sailed the most, when working, was a well found, nimble 25 foot tiller boat with an auxiliary outboard and a single battery for our minimal electrical needs. It was a joy to sail, a joy to maintain and we spent more time on the water than we did at the dock. When we took a ten year hiatus from "work," we bought a 34 foot boat with an inboard diesel and all the complexities of a larger vessel not because we couldn't have used our smaller boat but because when you sail with a female they tend to need more space and amenities than us brutish simplistic males. I am happy with my present boat, but now that it is a daysailor and not a full time "cruiser," the maintenance to keep it shipshape is considerable since you are always working against the clock. So, your choices are simple: sail your boat and neglect the maintenance until it becomes a derelict, combine maintenance and sailing EVERYTIME you go to your boat or buy a smaller boat which is less labor intensive if you know you will never cruise full-time and just daysail. This is a very good post and a subject of which most will not readily admit but, is very common among those with larger, more labor intensive vessels. And, if you have a obsessive/compulsive personality which requires manic perfection, as some of us have been accused of possessing, your road in the future will not be a happy one. Good luck and good sailing.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:12   #8
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

My hubby gets an amazing amount of work done while underway and at anchor. Try taking small bites.
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:58   #9
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Loved the post, 'cause that's exactly what my dear wife and I did on Sunday. Went down to the boat for a bit of work, it was just too nice, so we took the boat out.

As long as the boat can get out/in the marina, the work can wait.
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Old 20-11-2013, 12:51   #10
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Before I started rigging ways to warp singlehanded in and out, being in a slip was like being caged at times.

Kudos
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:17   #11
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Something on the "to do" list that if not done doesn't stop you from sailing or is going get worst or cause something else to break if you don't do it is just busy work!

I have things that have been on my "list" for 3 years. The only reason I still even know about them is because they are on the list when I look at it.
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:58   #12
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

Nothing worse than working on your boat and she starts tugging at the lines. It's not your fault, it's totally the boat's idea.
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Old 20-11-2013, 17:27   #13
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

I have this 1929 guitar and the luthier told me that playing it often is part of caring for it, so I apply the same logic to the boat
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Old 20-11-2013, 17:48   #14
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Re: Sailing Instead of Working On the Boat

I came to my homeport slip early this month to complele some work. I currently have a piece cut out of my deck where I'm replacing the core. It's sealed now, waiting for the rain to stop. So what's happening tomorrow?.... I'm out for a day sail with friends and the unfinished deck. I can sail on a rainy day,- the work will have to wait 'till the sun shines!
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Old 20-11-2013, 18:24   #15
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The only way to get it all done is to ditch all landlubbing attachments (car, house etc) and live on said boat.
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