The last time I outfitted a boat was 30 years ago. There was no internet. Therefore we relied on the advice of other boaters, and professionals at the shops and marine stores to determine which products to buy for our boat. Things such as the best wax, the best anchor, the best bottom paint.
Now, with the internet, we find ourselves endlessly clicking on different sites and products and videos, causing general overwhelmed-ness at least 3 times a day. Sometimes 10. There’s a downside to having so much information.
The other thing is, boating is so different down here in FL than up north. First of all, we’re in the water 12 months here. Up north it’s basically a 5 month season from May to October. Of course, for the most part this is great, because you get to use the boat year round, and can schedule maintenance that needs to be done on dry land whenever you feel like it.
Second of all, the water in the summer gets to be 90°. This is the biggest problem, really. Apparently 90° water is like steroids for critters in the ocean that like to adhere to boats, and their props and the water intakes. We’ve been told that in the summer, all it takes is 3 days to grow enough stuff to affect its ability to run. Almost everyone has told us to dry store the boat, which means in rack storage here, or on the trailer between uses. The problem is, we want the boat in the water. We want to be able to run down to the boat, say, after open mic night, and have a drink on the boat with friends. Or just hang out there when it’s too windy to go out.
While we will be enjoying the boat, so will the critters. They’re setting up housekeeping in the through-hull fittings and hoses while we sleep. It appears that it’s a constant battle to evict them, and even if you kill them, their bodies lay there, attached to wherever they were. Which can cause the engine, or the generator, or the air conditioning to overheat and shut down. How to clean them out, regularly from hard to reach places is something we have to figure out.
So right now, the boat is at the marine engine repair place, being serviced. It should be done today or tomorrow. In the meantime we are constantly online, and talking to people trying to find out the best way to deal with the issue of having stuff grow on and in the boat. Which means, of course, trying to cut through all the information and misinformation to come to the best solution.
I’m pretty glad that I already know how to tie a boat up, and anchor a boat, and chart a course confidently. That would be an awful lot to learn to do, on top of all the other parts of owning a new-to-us boat, in a different climate than either of us are used to. I’m also really happy that Dan and I deal with being overwhelmed by talking to each other and not at each other. We don’t take it out on each other. We struggle individually and we have our moments, but they are only moments. We’ve learned to shut it down, and walk away for a little while when either one of us, or both of us, go there. In the end, our relationship is strengthened by solving these problems.
I realize that this post might be pretty boring for people not into boating, or boats, but it’s front and center in my head at the moment. I’m hoping that once we’ve got the boat in the water and are sitting in it, watching the sun set over the Gulf, that the sea will become my muse and inspire some real writing again.
As ever, love and light to everyone.