Boaters here in the Pacific Northwest can sometimes feel spring is a tease. One day it’s rain and hail and the next it’s sun and blue skies. Those blue sky days can really make you want to play hooky from work and go sailing so it’s a good idea to get your boat recommissioned for when the mood strikes.
As the weather begins to warm and the days get longer, our feathered friends begin to chirp and sing. This is the time of year that birds begin mating and building nests and you might find your boat’s become the host for this seasons new brood. So, what can you do? If your boat’s on the water you’ll want to check for small areas that are open for nesting.
On Whisper, our Newport 30 sailboat, I check the main sail cover to be sure I’ve secured the end. It would be a great nesting place if left open as it would offer protection from wind and rain plus mom and dad could fly in and out with ease. Look inside any canvass area still up such as a dodger and check under any tarp you may have covered up with. If you’re on the hard for winter, check your exhaust pipes. If you don’t have flapper valves then cover up until you’re ready to get on the water.
Once the days begin to warm we all want to air out the boat. This is particularly tempting if the boat is on a trailer by the side of the house. I know of one boater who slid open (about half way) the companionway hatch and then ‘cracked’ open a forward hatch to allow the air to move through the boat. His boat was still covered by tarp and several days of warm dry weather was lined up. Imagine his surprise when a few days later he went out to close up the boat only to find a stray cat with a litter of kittens had taken up residence in the v-berth!
So take a moment this weekend and give your boat the once over as the first step to spring recommissioning. You can follow this link to find spring recommissioning part two. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to sit in the marina this spring waiting for baby birds to be able to take flight, I’d rather be sailing
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