Who is Dear Krabby?
Joanne and Tiffany caught me at a weak moment (I was sober) and convinced me that I should write for SDYC’s Mainsheet on the subject of caring for our beloved boats. “Why me?” I asked, making every attempt to get out of this duty (I even thought I had them convinced I was illiterate.) They reminded me that many boat maintenance issues are “common sense” from my perspective – as a second generation owner of a boat yard, I have over 40-years experience (am I really that old?!?) building, re-building, repairing, maintaining, and sailing boats – but for many of our newer members, or newer boat owners, boat maintenance and repairs are not common sense at all, some are overwhelmed by where and when to start.
Where do we start? One idea was to have each article based on a question of interest from the membership. Kinda like the Car Talk radio show, or Dear Abby, but a little saltier - and thus, “Dear Krabby” was created. For the first article, my fans have asked me to write about Opening Day from a caring-for-your-boat, perspective. Let me first say, if you are reading this now, it may be a little ambitious to ready your yacht for Opening Day Inspections. However, opening your yacht for Hospitality is still an option.
Opening Day Inspection requires a level of spit and polish that challenges even most with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, while opening your yacht for Hospitality means making her shipshape enough to have guests aboard for drinks. If at this point you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – you are not alone, being a “ship’s husband” is a daunting task. Start by making a rum and tonic (or your favorite beverage, if you don’t care for mine), take a sip and a deep breath.
To be a Hospitality boat, your only goal is to make her look as best as she can – no need to get into that spitshine and varnish contest with those competing for inspection honors. Just make your yacht a reflection of your boating lifestyle and how you enjoy your time on the water. Of course, you should dress-ship, but I’ll leave the flags and protocol for someone else to write about.
Did I mention being a “Ship’s Husband?” This term comes from a great book of the same name on caring for your yacht - written almost 80 years ago by H.A. Callahan of NYYC ‘s famed round table. Although some of the technical data is dated, the mind set has timeless value. Great onboard reading - if you can find a copy – maybe look in our own SDYC Library.
I can’t resist sharing one tip. An effective, eco-friendly, home-made cleaning concoction: mix white vinegar and water (1:1), with a splash of an evaporating type citrus such as Simple Green or TC1X. Use a spay bottle for small areas, or pump-action sprayer (such as those used for pesticides) to easily cover the whole boat. This solution works on all surfaces, won’t harm gel coat, bright work, or paint - and you can use it inside and out. Spray it around, down below to disinfect and freshen things up (the vinegar odor will evaporate shortly). Cleaning the decks first thing in the morning will save you time and effort, the sun doesn’t dry the solution as quickly and morning dew will help loosen most the dirt. Wash down thoroughly with water, then spray, scrub lightly and rinse. Bright work and glossy areas can be shined up with a dry rag.
By the way, when you are cleaning up, and making ready, and you see something you have a question about – send your inquiries my way (mainsheet@ sdyc.org). Maybe your question will be answered next month.