The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 27, 2003


Why isn't your boat in the water?

"Why isn't your boat in the water?" Now there's a question boaters just love to hear. People who don't own and maintain boats have no idea of just what it takes to get a boat ready for the water each year. Whether the boat owner or the boat yard does the work, the same amount of work has to be done.

This year, you may have noticed, has been rather rainy. Actually, it has been very rain, damp, wet, and cold. None of these factors make for good paint-drying. Yes, we have to wait for the paint to dry. You can't paint your house and trim, or repair your roof in the rain, neither can you paint the boat, and do many of the other repairs needed each spring in the rain. You can try, but you get soaked, the paint gets soaked, doesn't dry, and you catch cold.

There are several boats still sitting in backyards here in Carlisle, and many more in boatyards along the ocean just waiting for a few nice days. Even if the do-it-yourselfer is ready to launch his boat, the boat yards are all backed up with all those big boats that belong to people with deep pockets who can afford to have someone else do the maintenance and they are also waiting for the paint to dry.

If you keep your boat in the ocean, you have to put bottom paint on it. It doesn't matter whether the boat is one of those "maintenance free" fiberglass boats or a "high maintenance" wooden boat. The bottom has to be painted. The "topsides" have to be either scrubbed and waxed, or sanded and repainted. The engine has to be winterized at the end of the summer, and de-winterized at the end of the winter. All of these chores require people to leave the warmth and dryness of their homes, and venture out into the elements. And even when the work is done, you have to wait your turn at the boat yard, unless you launch the boat yourself from your own trailer, but that's another story.

I might add that even if the boat were in the water, there is nothing quite like sitting on a wet boat on a cold and rainy day just waiting for the sunrise. Personally, I'd rather wait at home where it is warm and dry.

So please don't ask the question, "Why isn't your boat in the water?" First step outside your house and stick out your hand. If it comes back all wet, then you know the answer to your question.

2003 The Carlisle Mosquito