Getting Closer

I noticed a definite change in the air as I was out walking along the Union Canal today. After a week of cold, wet weather (it was snowing on Saturday), there was a definite feel of Spring and a very pleasant 16°.

I suspect that like many other boat owners, thoughts are now turning to the coming season and I hope that the weather keeps up for the next couple of weeks when I’m carrying out annual maintenance on Jess. I have a lift out booked for a week on Saturday and a cradle booked for a couple of weeks. However, I hope for a quick turn around and getting Jess back in the water as quickly as possible, hopefully by or before the following Thursday.

Largs is about an hour and a half from Edinburgh and whilst extremely tedious, it would be perfectly feasible to drive back and forth each day. The major drawback of this is that if the weather changes for the worse during the day it either means driving back home or hanging around in the hope that it clears up. For the past four years I have been renting an AirBnB property in Fairlie a couple of miles from the marina and this year I have it booked from the Saturday for 5 days. I’m a big fan of AirBnB and you can find some real bargains. Later this year I’m off to France for a few weeks, taking in a Guitar Retreat, staying with friends then doing a bit of touring and I have booked various properties and saved myself a fortune compared with hotels. The great thing about being so close is that I can start much earlier, finish later and i the weather does change I don’t have far to go to wait it out. Sure, it’s going to cost more but it does mean I should get the work completed by Thursday.

Every year I buy the materials for cleaning, painting, polishing, etc, and every year I go into one of the boat lockers and I find I already have polish, wax, rubbing compound or whatever. This year I took an inventory of what is on the boat and have only bought what I know I absolutely need.

I never buy expensive anti-fouling, I just don’t see the point particularly when every year Jess comes out of the water there is just a thin film of muck which is easily washed off with the pressure hose and after the removal of the flakey bits, the hull is ready for anti-fouling. I can get 3.5 litres of perfectly adequate anti fouling for under £60, a premier brand will cost half as much again and for something that is just going to dissolve in the water anyway!

I’m hoping to keep cost to a minimum; there’s not that much to do on Jess this season save the usual scrubbing, cleaning, painting, replacing anodes, engine and outboard service. I have a bit of a drippy stern tube at the moment so that’s the only extra bit of maintenance.

Alan is joining me for the week and as long as the weather keeps up and we keep out of the Waterside pub in Largs, we should have it all done and dusted fairly quickly. Perhaps even quickly enough for us to have a shake-down to Lochranza!