A little manual labor does a body good, especially right now. After all, it’s spring and in more normal times, boaters in the Northeast, Great Lakes and Mid-Atlantic regions would be making checklists to get the boat launched.
Buffing wheels and paint cans get pulled out of their wintery dens. Coveralls blotted in green and blue paint splotches are shaken out. Scrapers, screw guns and plenty of sandpaper are all organized and packed up to take to the boatyard.
While many states have set stay-at-home orders, health officials keep reminding us that it’s okay to get outside and exercise. It’s actually recommended. Turning off the never-ending news cycle and breathing a little fresh air is needed right now more than ever. So why not get down to the boat and start dreaming about the season?
The harsh reality is that many businesses are shuttered, but many states are allowing boatyards to operate as “essential businesses.” After all, those Coast Guard and first-responder vessels need care and maintenance too. Many of the yards I’ve reached out to in Florida are not just open, they’re swamped with work. The snowbird vessels are getting their annual maintenance done before heading north, and when the Bahamas shut down because of virus concerns, all of the U.S. boaters there had to make a move.
If you’ve spent any time in boatyards you know that they’re not really good spots for social congregating. It’s mostly small crews or solitary workers and owners doing their thing. It ain’t no disco.
I’m guessing that most Power and Motoryacht readers with boats on the hard have driven by their winter storage facility to check on the baby. Make a few calls and search the web to make sure you can get to the boat without any hassles and start prepping her for the season. If the boat is on a trailer or blocks at your house, even better. Spending an afternoon buffing out the hull, and the sense of accomplishment that radiates through you when you step back and see your reflection in the gelcoat, will feel rewarding. It’ll definitely take your mind off the current situation for a bit. It may even make you smile. Dust in your hair is a sign of progress.
The summer season is coming, and while no one knows exactly what the world will look like, the ocean isn’t going anywhere. We need to get back on the water.