I've been parsing the percentages here at D6C Mission Control, dissecting the demographics, noodling on the numbers, always looking to get more people to Talk the Dock! and have discovered some cool stats:
A significant percentage of readers are from outside of North America- UK, Australia, Holland, Brazil, Russia, Romania, Nigeria...
Okay, some of the hits might be actual readers, not searchbots.
Yeah, I might actually find a way to make some money from this gig, too.
Diddling the data, I realized that it's entirely possible that some of the rituals and requirements of Great Lakes sailing are completely foreign and incomprehensible to many from outside of North America.
Like the spring sweat-equity extravaganza known as "splashing."
I figure a little background info might help. Locals, feel free to skip to the good stuff.
Okay, if you can't find any good stuff, just skip to the average stuff.
Shut up, smartass. Just scroll down to the part that says "SKIP TO HERE"
This is four-season country. Here on the South Coast of Ontario, Canada, it gets cold in the winter, warm in the summer, and rains in between. The water often freezes all winter, and the marinas, by and large, are not equipped to allow boats to stay in the water year-round. So every fall boatyards are busy hauling boats out and storing them on the hard, then each spring the process is reversed, and the boats get relaunched, or "splashed."
As spring is a time of renewal in the natural world, so it is in a boat owner's world as well. The weeks, days, and hours of spring prior to a boat's splash are filled with scraping and sanding and painting and patching and fixing and varnishing and swearing and yelling and drinking. The "Northern Nautical" version of the 80/20 Rule becomes the practice in boatyards far and wide: 80% of the maintenance a boat will receive all year is accomplished in the 20 days prior to her being splashed.
Then you do it all over again next year.
It's worth it.
SKIP TO HERE
In splash seasons past, we have painted the deck, painted the topsides, stripped the bottom, rebuilt the top end of the engine, installed electronics, refitted the galley and cabin, varnished our asses off and generally made improvements and revisions that were cosmetic or convenience related, not critical to operation.
This season was different.
Climbing aboard to compile this season's punchlist of projects that we couldn't afford to do but couldn't afford to ignore, I checked the steering gear, and found ...
... blocks that were in bad shape.
Last time I had to drill a big hole in my boat and install a deck plate it took 40 minutes.
This time it took less than 10.
Now I can reach the nuts AND the hose clamps.