For my family, taking dad’s ‘yacht’ out of the water was an annual plod down to dad’s moorings, and waiting while the crane took his pride and joy out of the water. The boats came out in a predefined order, planned subject to the winds and tides, and rarely on schedule, so good humoured waiting would be followed by a mad rush of activity and shouting.
Sometimes it would rain. It was always cold. And wet. But also smelling of the sea, and filling our lungs with fresh, fresh air.
My young boys would be bribed with crabbing trips and treats to help us scrub off the wide range of attachments on the boat’s underbelly. Inevitably any good intentions of doing it the ‘green’ way ended up with a healthy dose of stinky chemicals. (Sorry environment!) Often this job didn’t happen on the day the boat was taken out, and winterising the engine and draining water systems would inevitably wait for the following day.
For those lucky enough to have personal moorings and boat sheds, life is simple. For those of us with shared boat sheds, life becomes a bit of a bunfight as space to store things is limited. Boatshed space, plentiful during the summer sailing months, becomes space at a premium.
Once sails had been scrubbed and dried, they were folded and stored, and all kinds of goodies were stored away. At least that’s the theory. More often they were popped in the car, ready for scrubbing down at home, or left for another day. (Winterising a boat takes time.)
Amidst the sextants, maps and endless ropes, strings and other things that looked like ropes and strings (that would a sharp reprimand if given the wrong name) would be more prosaic items. The ride home for family meant leaving dad with his beloved boat, and returning home with cars full of soft furnishings, the contents of the defrosted fridge and endless crockery etc that was to go through the dishwasher after a full season of handwashing.
Often the dinghy and outboard motor would also travel with us.
Underneath enough goodies to fill a chandlery single handed, would be two small boys, tired and sleepy after a day of exercise and fresh air, and somewhat grudging about having been constantly shouted at to get out of the way. (There is little place for small boys when there are cars arriving and leaving, boat trailers being towed or pulled, and lots of tired, stressed adults facing the massive cleaning job ahead and sad that their home from home was out of reach for a while.)
I wish that in those days we had access a service like easyStorage. These things were not going to be used again for months, so having them well packed and put into storage would have been a Godsend.
Cleaning all of those things at home, boxing them up and putting them into a safe, dry storage space would have meant room in the garage, saved mum’s nerves and removed the annual search for things we couldn’t find at the beginning of the next season.
When we took things out of the garage, they were never in quite the state they were ‘stowed’ and inevitably full of eight legged friends! And usually something vital was missing, until we found the hiding place, generally after having bought a new one. (There’s a reason that people joke about B.O.A.T standing for ‘Burn Off Another Thousand’.)
easyStorage even come and collect and drop things back to the door, and are usually a lot cheaper than traditional self storage. Dad hung up his Captain’s hat a while back, sadly too late for us to take advantage of mobile storage, but maybe, just maybe, planting this thought with other sailors currently facing the winter blues may be of use and lead to a more harmonious Winter. Would I get shot for mentioning the C – Christmas – word?
(Please note that easyStorage don’t store yachts!)
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