Updated: Jan 6
With our trial season coming to an end, we are now starting our Autumn and Winter of maintenance and preventative maintenance; and there is much to do. After passing our initial survey and gaining our stability certificate from the YDSA (Yacht Designers & Surveyors Association) we now have to work hard to get Shadow Wind up to the standard to complete her to category 2 MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) coding status. We also have a long list of work we want to do which isn't part of the coding, so it's going to be a busy season if we are to running sailing lessons and sailing adventures soon.
There is rigging to replace, new safety equipment to buy, electrics to update, and of course the engine to service. She needs some new hoses and valves. She will need to come out of the water for a clean, an inspection, and a coat of paint under her belly. And then we decided that she needs new mattress covers too. She is going to be a nearly new sailing boat by the time spring arrives!
Everybody from the directors of Shadow Wind CIC through to the newest land lover gets down and dirty, and may find themselves sanding, painting, cleaning, but always bringing something to our crew, even sometimes when they don't know that they are even doing it.
And people learn new things... how to tie useful knots properly, how to fit a pipe or connect up some electronic device. Nobody has to go up the mast if they do not wish to, but they get some great selfies if they do!
And we like to have fun too. Sailing itself always requires a good sense of humour, and the work we do is no different. We work hard, and we learn every day, but we also laugh a lot too. And sometimes I have to laugh at myself, like the time I had the guys trying to turn the engine over by hand for 15 minutes, before I realised I had not turned the ignition on... but hey, all practice is good.
One of the best moments is when you look back at what you have toiled over, changed, repaired, and simply created over the last few months and know that you've been working on something that yourself and other people will be relying on out there at sea. When you see what you have all pulled together to do and know that it has been very worth while, you can sit with the team and feel a part of it.
Guess Id' better stop typing and pick up my tools if I am to be sharing that moment anytime soon...
If you are interested in volunteering to work with Shadow Wind in Liverpool Marina, and would like to get involved in learning to sail or anything else that we do, please go to the contact page and get in touch!
"Choose a job you love, and you will never need to work a day in your life" Confucius