A philosophical divide? - Page 6 - SailNet Community
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post #51 of 56 Old 09-03-2013
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Re: A philosophical divide?

A lot of maintenance is just a chore, no fun at all.

But other maintenance projects are an oportunity to improve the boat. It can involve making a modification to make it work better, relocating it to fit my preferances, or replacing it with something better. That type of maintenance is much more enjoyable.

And in the process, the boat slowly transforms into my boat.
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post #52 of 56 Old 09-03-2013
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Re: A philosophical divide?

I enjoy doing regular maintenance, although not as much as sailing. For me, I owe the boat the time and effort to keep things in very good condition. Did I enjoy spending half a day last month re-tuning the rig/cleaning the turnbuckles/replacing cotter pins? Yeah, a little, but I really enjoyed the noticably improved performance. Do I enjoy inspecting and tightening the engine mounting bolts every month? Not really, but I really enjoy the peace of mind I have knowing that the maintenance on the engine is up to date. I have a fairly detailed maintenance schedule and I am pretty disciplined about keeping maintenance current.

Most maintenance pays for itself, not just in terms of dollars, but in increased performance, increased reliability, time saved in the long term, resale value, and peace of mind. Last thing I want to when sailing is be worried that something I have neglected is might be about to break at the worst possible time.

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post #53 of 56 Old 09-03-2013
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Re: A philosophical divide?

I often do maintenance that my local yard tards would screw up, if I left it to them. Sometimes, when they fail to show up as promised, I tell myself its just better that I don't have to fix what they fixed.

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post #54 of 56 Old 09-03-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: A philosophical divide?

I am surprised that the question prompted this much discussion, since it was primarily a throwaway post in the spirit of the LABOUR day weekend.
It's great to see the responses, and Mark is right, in his typically abrasive dismissive fashion- to some of us it IS a ridiculous question, because our frame of reference doesn't accept the idea that maintenance could be a process to be enjoyed, because the paradigm is that one uses a boat as a cruising instrument, and maintenance is a grudging obligation necessary to get to the next destination, or we're day sailors who view an hour of maintenance as an hour that could be better spent sailing, or whatever your "maintenance is the debbil" mindset is.

But, i think there are a whole lot of sailors, especially small water seasonal sailors, who are one step removed from boatbuilders- they'll constantly tinker and tweak and fix and refit a GOB- sometimes the sailing ins entirely secondary- i think there is at least one or two folks in every marina who spend years working on a boat on the hard, get her in the water, and at the end of the season the for sale sign is up, and they are on to the next project. These are people who enjoy the process, as much as, maybe more than, the result, like model railroaders who spend years build an HO scale layout in their basements, always adding more trees, another house, one more little waving person, who rarely run a train on the track.

We all probably know one or two aspiring cruisers who pulled the trigger on buying a boat with the goal of spending a year outfitting her and refitting her, and five years later they are still finding one more project that needs to be completed, or one more system that should be reworked, or... they got addicted to the process, and, like most addictions it happens without anybody realizing it has happened until boom, as a refit addict said to me, one morning you wake up and realize you don't own a shirt or a pair of cargo shorts without, paint, stain, epoxy or caulking dribbles on them.

There are boat jobs I don't love, but when your boat is on the hard six months out of the year because the water gets too solid to float a hull, maintenance gets you through those long winter months when you CAN'T sail. it keeps one connected to one's boat, even if at a remove.
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post #55 of 56 Old 09-03-2013
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Re: A philosophical divide?

While we feel your pain when it comes to snow and icebound winters it does I suppose at least give you denizens of colder climes a nice line in the sand twixt work and sailing.

..... not to mention less UV damage.

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett.
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post #56 of 56 Old 09-03-2013
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Re: A philosophical divide?

i cant say that I loved changing my kids diapers, or cleaning up vomit, or staying up all night with them when they were sick or scared of thunder.

But I love being a dad. I never viewed those as chores, I just saw them as part of the deal ... its part of being a dad. I never dreaded them, or resented them, or saw them as things that were taking me away from playing catch with the kids or taking them to the park.

Knowing how to anchor safely, how to coil line, how to bleed a diesel, when to reef, bedding stanchions, organizing, running a jack line, replacing a throttle cable, reading the water, navigating (etc etc etc) to my mind, these are all part of being a sailor.

to my way of thinking, needing to replace that racor, or rebuild that water pump might be time away from sailing, but its not time away from being a sailor.

Oh and I too plan my chores and maintenance for the wintertime when possible. I agree it keeps you connected. And from a practical standpoint its a lot more pleasant working at the docks in winter here (less sweaty and fewer mosquitoes).

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