The Waiting Game

Stray Cat is on the hard. We pulled her out of the water after the Thanksgiving weekend. After reviewing the list of 25 items we wanted done at the shipyard we hopped on the ferry headed back home and now we wait.

We have used Raven Marine and Blackline Marine at Canoe Cove on Vancouver Island for annual work and upgrades for several years. We trust them and they do excellent work for a fair price. This one though, is different. This time the list is huge and this time I’m not doing much of it myself.

Normally I would be happy to do the annual bottom clean and paint, hull wash and wax and other boat stuff myself but this time we are having an arch fabricated, the standing rigging replaced, a new double helm seat installed , solar panels installed, dynaplate installed, rudders basically rebuilt and the sails taken to a loft for a tune up just for starters. The boat will be out of the water for a while (probably a month or more)

Its a tough decision but it was better to bite the bullet and pay someone to do the work while I go back to my job and keep earning and try and keep the cash flow in, somewhere close to the cash flow out.

Ha! Who am I kidding that’s not going to happen.

Cruisers have their own language. When it comes to spending money on the boat. We talk in “boat units” not dollars. One boat unit equals $1000. The upgrades this time are going to be many, many, many boat units.

I hope I don’t chip a tooth biting the bullet 🙂

That’s the thing with heading off into the unknown you need to try and plan for any eventuality. You end up looking at equipment that is working now but nearing the end of its useful life. Then the question becomes do you think it will last? Or to quote Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry, “So are you feeling lucky?”

If it fails out in the ocean how are you going to fix, replace, or work around it? Or do you change it now while it is easy and convenient? And that’s how a new mainsail, re-bedding the port and starboard secondary winches, moving and replacing the fuel filters, and various other smaller items got added to the list.

I’m starting to feel like I’m hanging on to the caboose of a runaway train.

Oh well it’s only money er …. boat units.

Collecting and list making

So what does one do while waiting to set the plan in motion.

You collect.

You collect books.

You save websites and blogs in your favorites. You end up dedicating a room in your house for new or new to you boat parts that you will use as you set up the boat.

But most of all you collect knowledge.

Our plan originally took shape in 2016 as a 5 year plan with a departure date in 2021. As such we thought we had time to learn the new skills that would be needed gradually. The more we looked at things, the more we saw that we could shorten the departure date to three years, then two and then one. Holy crap! Now its like cramming for the final exam!

Thank goodness for a group in Vancouver called the Blue Water Cruising Association. They have branches in Victoria and Calgary as well. www.bluewater cruising.org

This group has been an a huge help in both building our knowledge base as well as meeting with like minded people who can share their experiences and encouragement. They hold regular monthly meetings in which they host various speakers to provide information on all kinds of different topics. The meetings are open to the public. If you have ever dreamed of “sailing off into the sunset” check them out.

Additionally there are  monthly meetings for a sub group called Fleet. These ones are designed specifically for people planning on heading off shore in the next year or two.

I’m not sure we would be at this stage now without the input, ideas, encouragement, hand holding and help of the different members of the BCA. Thanks folks!