What to do first?

I managed to back the sailboat into the shed without knocking anything down.

Boat in Shed
Boat in shed

Ignore the condition of the shed.  It’s not mine and there isn’t anything I want to do about it other than seal it up so I can work in a heated space over the winter.

From this angle, it looks crooked, but it isn’t.

So, what is the first step?    Winter is coming, so I think I need to make sure freezing temperatures won’t damage anything.  Water will be the culprit to look for.  I think there are two places to worry about.

1. The motor: These things are a necessary nuisance.  I hear of people winterizing these things, so more research is needed here.  I did find the outboard’s manual scattered about the cabin.  I’ve rescued it and most of it (although moldy) is readable.

2. The bilge:  This poor boat has been pretty neglected, and I believe it has been awash with water inside.  It has a bilge pump that pumped it dry for the sale, but I’m guessing there might be water in the lines and the pump.  That probably needs to be emptied before the first hard freeze.

Why do I live in the frigid wastelands of Maryland? – oh yeah, for love, the wife’s job is here.  Someday I’ll move back to my beloved Florida,  (or as we like to say Flor-i-duh)

Mecury 7.5 hp
Mecury 7.5 hp

So back to the motor.  It’s a 7.5 horse power Mercury.  Built between 1974 & 1976, it’s younger than me, but not by much. The boat was build in ’75, so this motor is probably the original.  I know it runs, because the previous owner powered it around the point when bringing it from the slip to the boat ramp.  So I’m pretty confident it can do what I need.    I just need to learn how to take care of it.

So here’s the plan:
I want to sail, not just work on boats.  This is a trailer sailer, so I plan to get good at zipping down to the marina, pop up the mast, and zip out in the water.  I have two public ramps within 1/2 hour drive, and a couple more within an hour.  I may resort to a boat slip for the summer, we’ll see.
Over the winter, I plan to :
    1. gut the interior, clean it out and leave it that way till next winter’s project
    2. repair exterior items as needed – for example, the leaky windows
    3. check the rigging and repair anything needed to hold the mast up
    4. check the sails
    5. repair the trailer – lights don’t work, missing a spare, etc.
    6. Build any props, helpers, etc. to raise the mast easily.  Then practice!
    7. SAIL!
 When spring comes, I sail.  Would like it to be nice, but I don’t really care how it will look, since I don’t need external approval.  Looking for friends that want to go sailing.  All positive commenters are considered friends.  All commenters with beer are considered good friends and get priority seating over people who are just friends.
Oh, don’t forget I need to find a trailer for that O’Day 23 pop-top I’m aquiring this weekend.  Any help with that appreciated.
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2 thoughts on “What to do first?

  1. Brad,
    Check out Don Casey’s Complete Illustrated Maintenance Manual, it’s a gold mine of easy-to-understand information for repairing and fixing up your boat. For dealing with the water issues with your boat, just go ahead and google winterizing boats. With an outboard there shouldn’t be too much you have to do, but there is some work. Good luck and keep up the posts! – Pete

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