Updated: Jan 15, 2019
“What’s the question for the month?” I asked the Editor. “After the Koehler Kraft Christmas party the East Coaster and I are off for a couple adventures, so I want to get a head start on the February Dear Krabby column.
“I don’t have anything for you, Krabby...perhaps everyone has followed your sound advice and their boats are now perfect. Ha! Either that or they are up in the mountains hitting the slopes,” replied the Editor with a smirk.
“Maybe they are all skiing instead of sending questions in, but I doubt they are simply reveling in a perfect boat. Even on the newest or most bristol boat on the dock - there is always something to attend to,” I replied.
“Why don’t you talk about the boats in the shed at the yard getting work done during the ‘winter season’ as you like to call it” chimed in the East Coaster with a grin. “Back East the smart boat owners have their projects done during the winter so they could enjoy the boat during the precious summer months. It’s almost always summer here, though I’ll admit, the days are short and the water is a little cold for swimming in January and February,” she continued.
“Well, there are those that plan ahead and have projects done in the winter months so they can enjoy their boats without interruption during the spring and summer. Though winter here is not severe, by any definition, it is still a good time to get caught up on maintenance and/or refit projects. I am often asked ‘when is your slow time – I’d like to have some major work done on my boat’. My response is ‘I hope we never are slow’, because staying busy is essential to keeping the doors open. That being said, the traditional slow time for all boatyards is the summer - because most people do not want to have their boat out of commission during peak yachting season.
The short-term workload for a boatyard in the summer time, for the most part, unplanned repairs or as I call them, ‘tasks that should have been done in January when it was ever-so slightly less desirable to go boating’. Of course $#!& happens and issues may come up that need to be addressed in the summer. The long-term projects in the yard are the multi-year custom build or re-build projects that are not scheduled for completion yet.
To talk about the projects in the yard’s shed in detail might be a bit too much for our casual readers, but for the most part the projects are geared toward completing regular maintenance items while the owner is off skiing or chartering in Caribbean or Mexico. The point is plan ahead and do the big maintenance projects like major paint/cosmetic, engine, or spar work in the winter months when there is not a high demand for the boat. The reward for planning ahead is that it decreases the likelihood of breakdowns during the high-use summer season. ” I explained.
“Naturally, and that’s why our favorite boat, Sally, is on the hard - getting prettied up now,” said the Editor, “so she will be ready for her peak season come Opening Day! Right?
“Exactly, though I hope it won’t take quite that long. Besides, The East Coaster threatened to have me keelhauled if I wait until March to take care of the annual maintenance projects, and she is right. If we just get it done now then we can start enjoying the extra-long San Diego yachting season. Speaking of extra-long, this has been a long answer - don’t I get a drink about now?”
“Yes, I suppose you do. To set the record straight - I think you are exaggerating about the keelhauling thing, but if that’s what it takes to get back out on the water sooner then, alright, a good keelhauling it is,” the East Coaster agreed, doubling down. “Here come the drinks! Hey, I like what I am hearing – short of the keelhauling! This is what we need to get our readers engaged and hopefully they will send us some questions for next month’s column. It’s a great opportunity to get information about boating from maintenance to lifestyle questions,” explained the Editor as she distributed the libations.
“You are right, I really enjoy hearing all types of questions about all aspects of boating, whether it is the technical, social – or about the weather. I wonder if some folks are a little shy about asking because maybe they don’t want to appear in print. By now, I hope everyone reading this realizes that contributors remain anonymous in our articles. The questions from our audience helps keep me on my toes too, which is always a good thing. No good sailor sits around resting on their laurels.
“You are on to something, Krabby, a lot of our readers enjoy our column from the sidelines, but I’m fairly certain that they have also have questions. Let’s make sure our readers/potential contributors know that they can ask a question without being put in an awkward situation, or called out in any way,” said the Editor.
“That’s how our team works. The readers ask the questions. I provide an off-the-cuff answer, the East Coaster does the technical editing, then you - our Editor cleans up my language and makes our fun, monthly column readable, and then we are printed.” I said.
“Now that everyone knows the process, perhaps we will get more questions. But even if we don’t get input from our readers, you and the East Coaster usually come up with something to talk about during your adventures together! Thankfully, otherwise what would we write about? Send us your questions!