Saturday, March 7, 2015

Preparing for Spring, a Livaboard Checklist

So, on this, what is hopefully the last nasty cold day of winter, I thought I would share with you guys our list for prepping the Floating Empire for Spring.

First Phase (before last frost date)

1) Move to storage our murderously heavy coats, scarves, snow boots, mittens, etc.

2)  As the winds will be shifting to the South/Southwest from the North/Northwest (predominantly, of course), reset the south facing stern lines, replacing the chafed ones with new line and shortening the length slightly so a strong south wind at high tide won't bring us into a close encounter of the dock kind.

3)  Put away the acrylic thermal blanketing covering the door and windows at night.

4)  Use up the stuff in the 'redneck refrigerator',(the cooler on the bow outside) as we won't be able to keep it cold there in a few weeks.

5)  Begin shifting over the pantry to things that don't require refrigeration or are less sensitive to heat and humidity.

6)  Tidy up the deck on the bow and stern to make room for the stuff that normally lives outside when it isn't freezing outside.

7)  Check all the systems that weren't used over winter; running lights, fire extinguishers, life vests, dinghy anchor lines. . . .anything that you might suddenly discover wasn't in working order when you needed it.

After the Last Frost Day:

1) Move to storage our winter duds, heavy blankets, and comforters.

2)  Drain and burn out the Kerosene heater. 

3)  Move the heaters to storage.

4)  Shift our fenders into positions more likely to protect us in the new wind directions.

5)  Check new line lengths to make sure we don't hit the docks.

6)  Remove additional insulation and open all the windows.  Do any repairs on screening or glazing, as needed.

7)  Clean and inflate our dinghy.  Attach outboard mount and electric motor.

8)  Bring out of storage the bathing suits, summer clothes, sun hats, sunblock, water socks, and other summertime accouterments.

9)  Shift stocking of our breakfront to things for our summer menu.

10)  Drag out and clean the grill and do any touch up painting necessary.

11)  As soon as weather permits, to exterior paint and touch up on the shanty boat, painting over the spar varnished things that didn't hold up well with a good exterior latex.

12)  Finish the sign for 'The Drinking Tree Grove', restock the wine cabinet, buy decent sunglasses, and in general shift into social/party season mode.

13) Assemble and plant our vertical garden on the bow.

14)  Enjoy the decent weather.

I have never been so glad to see a Spring arrive.



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