You would think after so many years I would have this prep thing down. It always sounds easier than it is. There are the usual things that must get done. Like protecting the bottom from slime and critters, usually by painting it with stuff they hate to adhere to. That stuff is fairly expensive. Nevertheless, it must be done. Then there’s the running gear, or the moving parts underwater, like propellers, rudders, and shafts. I have yet to find anything to coat them with that will effectively protect them from barnacles. Apparently, because they spin and move, anything you put on them wears off pretty fast. All you can do is attach sacrificial zincs to them to protect the metal they’re made of from dissolving and corroding. Electrolysis will attack the less noble metal, zinc, instead of the bronze and stainless steel.
I try to get the bottom things done first because everything else can be done while floating. I want to be ready when the guys at the marina say it’s my turn to get launched.
The usual stuff above the waterline includes fluid and filter changes for the engines and transmissions. No easy task either, but again, it must be done. In a way, I envy the guys who can afford to have someone else do it, but then again, it’s rewarding to accomplish these things myself. It gives me a more personal relationship with Ginger Lee, and helps me come to a better understanding of her wants and needs. It’s not so unlike our relationships with humans.
Every year, I usually try to make improvements, but because our schedule for this year includes lots of long-range cruising, I have especially lofty goals. Many of these goals have already been reached, like the new extra-large waste holding tank, the added fuel capacity, the extra fresh water tank, new isinglass for the flybridge enclosure, and the new safety rail inside the salon. I’ve also replaced all the broken windows with new safety glass and channels so they open and close smoothly.
I plan to add extra in-line mufflers to further quiet the loud Lehmans, and I’ve got to do something about the crowded flybridge interior. Oh. And I have to get more storage capacity in the vee-berth area, probably by adding shelving. Then there’s the new transmission coolers to install, and I will add more solar panels to beef up the power. Piece of cake. Right? You got this Rick!