The Annual Launching Routine

When March arrives, we know that boating season is only weeks away, okay, maybe months, but we hope it is only weeks. The winter is ending and “hope springs eternal” that the weather will soon be reasonable enough to start the preparations.

  1. Make a list of all the things that we want/need to get done before the launch date.
  2. Decide and reserve a launch date.
  3. Al has to clear the interior of all of his tools and covers so that I will agree to help.
  4. Remove the shrink wrap.
  5. Prep the exterior – clean and wax (We hire someone to do the waxing. The total DIY days are long gone now.)
  6. Set up the bimini on the flybridge.
  7. Put the mast up and attach the boom.
  8. New zincs.
  9. Bottom painting.
  10. Clean all of the wood inside, all of the floors, all the surfaces.
  11. And finish any of the maintenace and new projects.

Clearly, most of that list falls on Al’s shoulders. I would feel badly for him except that I believe he truly loves it all. Most of it, anyway. 😉

The view from Kindred Spirit on the hard. In early April, no one is in the water yet.
A sea of shrink-wrapped boats.
Time to take off her winter coat of shrink wrap. Our method is to cut the wrap apart in sections.
And let the pieces fall to the ground.
We gather the fallen pieces up, roll and tie into bundles, and take it to the disposal place. We were so early the recycle bin for shrink wrap wasn’t even in place yet.
“Ahhh, I can breathe again”, says Kindred Spirit with a happy sigh.

We had our launch scheduled for May 2, but as the date loomed ahead the weather looked windy and rainy. Checking the sign-up list and realizing we were ready, we moved the date up to April 29th. It was a good decision. The light breeze and warmer temperature made it comfortable.

Kindred Spirit gets her twice yearly ride on the lift.

Everything went well, all systems functioned properly. When we left the lift well, we took her out past Pine Island, turned around and came back to SYC. We were too occupied with the task at hand to take any photos until back in the slip.

Once we were in our slip, I held the boat against each piling so that Al could set up our docking lines for the season again. Port side, then starboard.
She looks good but a little lonely. By the weekend, she had a lot more company!
Our old Kindred Spirit #3, the Mariner Orient 38 (formerly Sweet Liberty and now Ventry) beat us into the water. She is still a sweet boat!

Later that week we packed the car with boat stuff to bring to SYC and load onto Kindred Spirit. Every year that task seems unending. Where does it all go? Somehow it does all fit onboard. We decided to stay overnight to get a full work day in and check that all the systems work. 👍 The heating system got a workout that night – it was 47 degrees outside!!!!

A welcoming visit from Dean and Mary Jo.
New drinking water hose – it was time. With extra filtering and the new hose, the water tasted quite good.
The brass clock and barometer became very tarnished last year (or is that every year??). I spent hours and used different products to finally get it to shine again. Ugh.
A few of my winter projects for the boat.
We took the grandkids to a ceramic painting studio and I made the little whale spoonrest for the galley. It was a lot of fun for the young and the “old.”
I expanded our photo display of the family located on the stairs from the salon to the pilot house so that we can see them every day.
I wove the tablecloth – we shall see if I can bear to have food spilled on it! 😳😩
The quote and picture from the Wind in the Willows (“There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about on boats.”) has been featured many times in this blog because it just suits Al so much. The sweetest thing happened. Sandy, a fellow Shenny member on Nokandolah, reads the blog and painted this watercolor for us. Above the engine room door (Al’s man cave) was the perfect place to hang it.

We are sooo ready to begin “messing about” on Kindred Spirit!

2 Responses

  1. Rob length

    We’re launching on Wednesday and hope to see you on the water this summer.

  2. Ellen Seltzer

    i love this…who knew what it is like to begin a new season…thank you once again for sharing…i won’t let anyone use my new black and white towel so i don’t recommend using your new tablecloth! enjoy the season…i will look forward to your posts! xo

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