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For Sailors, Lists Never End
Right about now, sailors in northern latitudes are trying to carve out as much sailing time as possible before the dreaded process of winter decommissioning rolls around. Putting a boat to bed for the winter is a sad process. Fond memories from the previous season flood in and you can’t help but plan future adventures. And that is what you should be doing. Planning. Putting a boat on the hard for the winter isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it process–starting a list of things you can do during the off season will help you be more efficient when it comes time to pull the boat out of the shed. So while you’re out on your last sailing trips of the season, start making a winter to-do list.
One key area to focus on when compiling an offseason to-do list is rigging and canvas, especially if you plan on dropping the rig. As a rigger, I know that when the scent of spring hits the air, our line snakes out the door. The phone never stops ringing, and customers expect a quick turnaround so they can get out on the water. But as sailors know, jobs on boats take longer than expected and rigging projects are no different. Here is a short list to get you started:
- Check all your standing and running rigging for chafe, wear and signs of corrosion. If you are unsure about a piece of rigging, bring it to a rigger for inspection.
- Inspect, clean and service winches, cleats, blocks and clutches.
- Look over your lifelines, stanchions, pulpit and pushpit.
- Thoroughly inspect and clean your entire sail inventory. Check all the stitching, slugs or cars, batten pockets, leech and foot lines, tack, head and clew.
Completing projects like these will not only get you out sailing faster come spring…it will also help stave off the doldrums of winter.
Enjoy this week’s Cruising Compass!