Thursday, 28 May 2009

The domestic economy of the boat

9-40am: It might look as if one just hangs out in a harbour - and it is true that there is an element of laziness in it. But the boat systems have to be looked after, not to mention the shopping and cooking and clearing up and washing - and cleaning the decks - shaking out the bedding. The boat is a little world of its own - with gas, electricity and water - just like at home except I have to maintain the supply. I am plugged into mains power just now - which means the batteries are topped up and all my electrical kit (phone, laptop some nav gear) can be charged.

In contrast with a house,there is also propulsion to deal with - sails and engine. My main sail is old and needs to be replaced, but I cannot decide whether to get boom roller-reefing (which I cannot afford!) or just a standard new sail with lazy-jacks. At the moment handling the main is a pain - reefing is a pain and getting the sail down is a pain. The lines do not lead back to the cockpit - I think previous owners - like myself - have not figured out how best to do it. It is not clear how to get the lines from the mast to the back; nor is it clear how to bolt the fittings without destroying the internal lining inside the boat. But I do have a lot of new lines which run freely through blocks. The engine is behaving - not overheating as last year - so I speak nicely to it.

And one has to plan the next passage, look at endless weather forecasts and crack the local tides.

So when in harbour I am supposed to look after the ship's systems - not shimmy off to local attractions. Today I am going to get the bus to Blakeney - in order to look at the layout incase I go there on the way south - that is my story anyway.

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