The annual shake down cruise is a bit of a tradition. It is usually sometime around the middle of March, St Patrick’s Day weekend if the weather is good enough or there abouts.
The idea is to flush out any problems that may get bigger over the coming boating season. And I have found over time that most boats will oblige by providing you with at least one expensive issue that will need resolving immediately, will cost twice as much as you expected and will take three times longer than expected. Such is boating. The ability to laugh at oneself and one choice of boat is a good quality to have.
In the water Driftwood is alive and spirited, but on the hard she is awkward and tall. That lively gentle motion of a living boat is replaced by a temporary rigor-mortis. I feel I need to get the work done a quickly as possible and get her back into the water without any unnecessary delay.
None of what I’m getting done is going to improve her looks. This is not aesthetic maintenance. Back in the water all the work will be hidden from view. But I’ll know it was done and that’s what matters. I need to add expensive anodes beneath the waterline, like a pretty lady donning diamond earrings that will never be seen beneath her long hair. But still she feels better knowing that she is wearing them.
Today we had Driftwood lifted out of the water to do a few jobs on her bottom. Now the first thing is that boats do not like being out of the water any more than fish do. I get real nervous when I see her balancing on some boat stand where she is putting all her weight on just a few Sq. inches instead of her weight being spread throughout all of her hull as happens when she is in the soup.
Here’s what we plan to do on the Shannon Erne Waterway over the next few days and weeks. We tell you about a bit of work we did and a few bits that still need to be done. Also we reveal our plan to get Driftwood lifted for a paint and anode job.