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  • Capt. Eric

Working Retirement. Messing About In Boats.

As an ex sailor before I Captained a desk ashore, I always wondered if retiring on a boat would be too close to work for comfort.

The answer so far is a resounding NO!

In many ways of course, some tasks here resemble my time on ships. Doing preventive maintenance, repairing broken stuff. Navigating, planning and overall being in charge of a little ship that generates its own power, its own water, is air conditioned, heated, etc.

But it's not work. It's fun. I'm doing the best bits of sailing and cruising, not the tough ones. Not being away from my family and loved ones for months. Not eating crappy food prepared by cooks that never went to any school and work on a $6 a day per person budget anyway. Not being 50 miles away from the nearest town, in a container, coal or oil terminal and staying for such a short time that an expensive taxi to the city makes no sense whatsoever. And you have too much work anyway.

I often compared modern sailing on commercial ships to being in jail, and many of my colleagues understand what I mean.

Enfin is just the opposite: Freedom. Freedom to go where and when we want, to live where we want, to be independent and to enjoy our little family.

Doing regular maintenance to achieve this is not work, but part of our normal lives and quite a joy I would say. Or as the saying goes:

There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats. Kenneth Grahame

That quote is actually in full display in Enfin's pilothouse, thanks to my friend Eric's kind hand made gift years ago.

So maintenance is the order of most days at the moment, together with upgrades and just messing about.

Glass and epoxy layers being added

The cockpit gate was the first item needing maintenance. The aluminum bar inside had oxidized and swollen, cracking the gelcoat and making the gate impossible to close. So off it came, and with some persuasive percussion and drilling I got the aluminum bar out before rebuilding it with layers and layers of epoxy. To date about 30 layers so far.

When I'm done this gate isn't going to go anywhere!

Amazon makes made to measure Nordhavn cockpit gates

In the meantime, to keep Princess on board I ordered a gate from Amazon. It won't gain us any elegance prize at any boat show, but boating isn't always about that.

This is on top of the many other little projects and normal preventive maintenance that naturally come up. A short non-exhaustive list of projects since getting back:

  • Upgraded the salon A/C outlet hose.

  • Redid all pilothouse dashboard screws.

  • Redid head liner screws.

  • Checked Head Fan electrical connection.

  • Cleaned battery terminals.

  • Equalized the batteries.

  • Changed oil, main engine.

  • Changed oil, main gearbox.

  • Changed oil, generator.

  • Changed oil, wing gearbox.

  • Worked all through hulls.

  • Full deck wash.

As well as dozens of other little things that just "pop-up" and are done on the spot.

"Messing about in boats". What a great retirement.

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