The ‘Vessel’ Upkeep and Repair

I’m writing between Christmas and the mark of the New Year.  It’s relatively quiet.  ‘Splash’ day is four months from now.  This is a good time to look at improvements on Lifeline.  Let’s check the ‘wish list’ at

Lifeline on Alum Creek Lake

Lifeline on Alum Creek

First on the list has to be that new tiller.  Son-of-a-gun if I didn’t show up one day for Learn-to-Sail class and find the current one split by weathering and leverage.  On my 1974 Catalina 22 the traveler bar acts as a fulcrum.  I’ve pulled up against that for five seasons without recognizing I was stressing the tiller.  It had split.  Forty-five minutes, a trip to Menard’s, home for the drill, and insertion of two bolts and nuts sufficed for class, and the few remaining sails I would do last year.  But now, a new one to replace it is required.

There’s the ‘pop-up’ mast lock assembly.  That will hold the pop-up cabin top in place.  That’s only a couple of bucks, and an easy insertion, should I remember BEFORE stepping the mast this year.

Spreader boots need replacing.  They needed replacing last season and my foresail paid the price.  That hole is taped, but I don’t want another one.  Another couple of dollars, but not too big a bundle.

A new fore cabin lamp should be picked up.  The main cabin ones were replaced two years ago.  Time to finish the job.

There is much more on the list, mostly running rigging for sails I still dream of flying.  But school tuition demands come first.  I’ll sand and varnish woodwork, see about making new companion way boards, think about how to fill all the cracks in the deck, and polish the hull up better this year than last.

Christmas and the New Year give me pause to look at what we can fix-and-repair.  Before splash, the liturgical calendar at Church will roll us through Lent and bring us to Easter.  While I’m repairing and up keeping Lifeline, I’ll be working on my character to see what upkeep and repair it needs as well.  I can never work on the boat without reminding myself what this ‘vessel’ needs as well

Sailing Instructor



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