Caring For Your Boat!
By Helen MacKenzie

Your boat is now out of the water.

We took it out on Saturday and it has been put to bed for the winter, secure in its cradle, swaddled tight with tarpaulin.

Your Boat in Winter!

The Sailing Fanatic is quietly happy. He watched over the whole process and is already planning the peaceful, solitary hours he will have to spend scrubbing, scraping and generally fixing the boat.

I too am happy – safe in the knowledge that I won’t have to go for a sail for at least the next five months!

For there has scarcely been a week since we bought Sea-Dreamer that we haven’t been over to look at, bail out, or go for a jaunt in the boat. This whole ‘having a boat’ thing has taken over our lives much more than I had anticipated.

In fact, taking on Sea-Dreamer has been a bit of an eye-opener in all sorts of ways. Old, familiar issues have received a new and sometimes acrimonious airing.

Take the question of time, for example:

‘What! That’s the third weekend in a row you’ll be off sailing! When are you going to find time to… [fill in the blank]?’

Or money:

‘How much? You’ve already spent a fortune on your boat!’

‘Darling, I know that the Macho-Mucho-Strongo-Shackle costs six times as much as all the others, but do you really want to compromise on safety?’

Father/Child relationships:

‘It’s not fair! I don’t want to go sailing again! It’s boring!’
‘Well, we’re going – and that’s final!’

Husband/Wife relationships:

‘It’s not fair! I don’t want to go sailing again! It’s boring!’
‘Oh, pleeeeeaaaasssseeee!’

Or even co-owner/co-owner relationships:

‘So, when do you want to use your boat?’
‘I don’t mind - when do you want to use the boat?’
‘I don’t mind – when do you want to use your boat?’

Like Having a Baby!

All in all, I have decided that buying a boat for the first time has a surprising impact on relationships – similar to major life-changing events such as having a baby.

Chief among them being the fact that you really haven’t a clue what it will be like until you get one!

Like a first baby, a first boat brings an entirely new focus to your life – one that may be a bit of shock to the less involved members of the family. It eats money, devours time and absorbs attention.

I console myself with one thought, however. Like a baby, a boat requires careful attention to its nether regions - but this time the person struggling out of bed to tackle a particularly dirty bottom will not be me!

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For the other Reluctant Sailor articles go to the Reluctant Sailor web site.  Helen MacKenzie is a freelance writer. She contributes to the web site The Sea Dreamer web site has articles, guides and news on sailing and cruising on the West Coast of Scotland.

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