Why knot

Author: Steven Neiland

Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Up until now I have mostly blogged about programming and technology. From time to time I have strayed into more fringe subjects in terms of politics and economics, but otherwise this has been a technology focused blog.

From today onward though I plan to start writing about my other favorite pastime sailing. The reason for this change is quite simple, as of a few weeks ago I now own my first sailboat.

While I have ASA 101 & 103 certification and have been sailing club boats for the past two years, this is the first time where I am not just showing up and crewing for someone else. I am now the captain of my own vessel, which is both exhilarating and terrifying.

From now on I am solely responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of the boat I am sailing on. More than that I am now solely responsible for the health and safety of anybody I bring out with me.

The must do list

BOAT short for Break Out Another Thousand.

It really is true, owning a boat (especially an old boat) can be very expensive. Even though the boat is in generally good condition it still needs a lot of work. Here is a short list of the jobs I think need doing.

  1. Replace engine mounts
  2. Replace rigging (running and standing)
  3. Buy flare kit
  4. Order additional handheld vhf radio battery
  5. Rewire and relocate switch panels
  6. Check and replace sacrificial zincs
  7. Green navigation light not working
  8. Rapair damage to deck
  9. Repair stanchions
  10. Order and install fixed vhf
  11. Replace forward hatch
  12. Replace missing bulkheads
  13. Buy Dingy w/ outboard (figure where to place on deck or davits)
  14. New sail cover
  15. Resize sails
  16. Fix leaky windows

The would like to do list

Apart from all the above which I consider essential items, I also have started a list of things I would like to do to the boat.

  1. Buy and install head (While a convenience item, this really is essential)
  2. Remove additional berths bulkheads
  3. Install solar/wind power generation
  4. Reinstall cabin table
  5. Install bow roller

The joys of it :-)

Looking at the above lists you are probably thinking that I am nuts. Why would anybody take on so much work.

The answer is quite simply this

When the engine is turned off and the wind fills the sail. When there is no sound except that of the hull cutting through the water and nothing in sight but the waves and the sky.

It is then that you are truly free, master of your own fate with no other purpose than to enjoy simply being alive.

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