Boat Maintenance, for the Alberg 30 and other boats

One of the finer pleasures of owning a boat is that of maintaining, repairing and upgrading it. That's something that you don't get by chartering. Sailors who only charter may think they're taking the easy route, and they are, but they don't know what they're missing.

Oh, I've cursed at many inanimate objects that have stubbornly defied me. I've lamented having to work on the boat when there was a good sailing breeze. I've scraped knuckles on raw fiberglass, gotten stuck in inaccessible places and gotten stuck trying to solve difficult problems. I know the down sides of boat maintenance, too.

Still, I think the balance tips toward pleasure. There's the sense of accomplishment when you finish a job. There's the sense of independence at knowing you can do it. There's the sense of confidence in knowing that if you break down out on the water, there's options other than calling the towboat. It's boat maintenance that makes boating more than a pastime — it's a way of life.

It's also a bond of brotherhood. The sailors that I've known have been more than willing to share advice and the benefit of their experiences. Many have also been willing to jump in and help with the job. In turn, this web site is my way of sharing back — of doing my small part in making the world of boat ownership more enjoyable and less worrisome.

But you must remember, you are still the master of your own boat. Advice is often worth what you pay for it, sometimes less. Situations may be different and the advice may not be applicable. Or the advice may be one way of approaching a problem, but others may be better. It may even be bad advice. Just as the prudent mariner does not rely on a single aid to navigation, the prudent boat maintainer does not blindly follow the advice of others. You must question the advice, convince yourself of its worth, and proceed with your eyes open to possible problems or complications. Ultimately, you are responsible for your vessel, whether on the sea or in the boatyard.

This Old Boat book cover This Old Boat by Don Casey

Subtitled "turn a rundown fiberglass boat into a first-class yacht on a shoestring budget," this book is the best introduction I know boat maintenance for the new or prospective owner of a "modern classic" sailboat. Starting with guidelines for selecting a boat, Casey proceeds to fiberglass repairs, cabin and deckwork, spars and rigging, boat equipment, woodwork, electrical, plumbing, refrigeration, painting, canvas work and sails. All of this is described in clear, simple terms perfect for the inexperienced. This is the book that taught me fiberglass work. But don't let it fool you; this book is appropriate for experienced boatowners, too. I still refer to it.

Other books by Don Casey

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Last modified: Saturday 29-Jun-2013