Shake Off those Winter Blues, it’s Time to Prepare
For those of us facing ice, snow, and all that Winter can throw at us, fear not Spring is only a few weeks away and with it the advent of the new season. The excitement is building, and the Sun is heading North again.
January and February are slow months when the days seem to be darker and in some parts there is little daylight to be had at all and the Winter weather conditions rule out most forms of boating activity North of the Equator, however, in order to make best use of the Spring weather when it arrives there are plans to be made, where to go for the holidays, which boat to buy – new or pre owned and so much more?
So, what can we do to prepare?
Check it out. Do your homework on the boats that fit your experience and your ability – as well as your budget. Include in your plan what you want to do with your new boat, sail inland waters, join a Club and participate in racing or cruising, coastal water sailing, join a Marina and sail your preferred coastline extensively, or set your sights on deep water sailing and maybe a new project – living the life?
Many of our friends have hauled their boats out onto dry-land so now is the time to pay attention to refitting, refurbishing and completing maintenance and servicing to ensure that your boat is in the best possible condition early. If your boat is undercover maintenance can continue regardless of the weather. This is a good time to look at replacing sails, checking seals, replacing and upgrading electronics and other important consumables that are essential for safe boating.For folks looking to take the plunge and buy a boat we suggest where possible that you book some time to attend a Boat Show. On display you can expect to see, side by side, new models, boats of every kind, sail and power alternatives, motors from outboards to marine engines suitable for almost any powered boat, plus all of the smaller items that make a boat your own and, in some cases, make a boat your home.
For example:London Boat Show from 9th Jan to 13th at the ExCel. Miami Boat Show mid-February. Dubai Boat Show 26th Feb to 2nd March.
We plan to post additional Boat Show dates and information in the monthly newsletter. Members who know of a local Boat Show send details to us or postof our SM pages and we will circulate the details. Please, allow plenty of time for us to provide the best service.
Check out your Trailers, key to many boating people is getting the boat to the water. Sensible boat owners, where practicable, take their boats home for the Winter. Trailers need to be road-worthy, correctly fitted with brake lights, turn indicators etc. It is worth pointing out that a boat trailer must be appropriate to the size and weight of the boat, if one’s boat and trailer are too heavy for the towing vehicle it may jack-knife meaning that the trailer and load try to overtake the towing vehicle – this rarely ends well! Likewise, the towing vehicle requires to have the pulling power needed to travel safely at a legal speed on the highway and on smaller roads, destroying the gearbox or traction drive of the car will end in tears. Check out the brakes on the trailer, inflate the tyres (tires) and lubricate where required, replace the pads on the cradle if needed so that there is no metal on hull contact.
Finally, for now at least, decide where you are wanting to sail/cruise and brush off the maps/charts, plan the route, book the days off work and head for the shops to buy a new boating rig.
Go for it as soon as the sun shines!