BMW? Huh? On Sailing on Snug Harbor? What gives? Don’t think cars, think Boat Maintenance Worker, the role the captain commonly finds himself in.
Today was typical. The captain got up early to go to the fuel dock and fill Snug Harbor’s diesel tanks (all 150 gallons – and you thought putting 20 gallons in your SUV was painful). Pulled up to only fuel dock on the estuary to see “closed indefinitely for maintenance”. So the Captain checked for other fuel docks. There is one on the other side of Alameda, but the water is only 6 feet deep. There is one in Berkeley that only sells “green diesel” made from plants, but the channel to get there is only 4 feet deep. What to do to slake Snug Harbor’s thirst without running its 8 foot deep keel into the Bay bottom? The Captain figured get some crew and try to make it into, and out of, the Alameda fuel dock at high tide. He checked with crew and they had a better idea – go all the way to San Francisco to get fuel where the water us plenty deep and use it as an excuse to go sailing. That is now the new plan for next week.
Next it was on to teak, the bane of all sailors. Boats used to be made of wood, that had to be painted or varnished. Unfortunately, when they starting making boats out fiberglass, which are infinitely easier to care for, the marketing dudes and dudettes, figured that the boat buyers wouldn’t cough up for plastic boats unless they had a good dose of teak slathered on. Accordingly, we BMW’s spend way too much time tending to teak rather than actually sailing. Now the Captain is no dummy, so he got a boat with no exterior teak to take care of – except for the cockpit grates that came with the boat. The captain refuses to varnish exterior teak so he oils it, which is really easy, but needs to be done every 4 months. He has applied lean manufacturing concepts and can get it done now in under two hours!
Teak deck production line:
After the teak was done it was time to vacuum the cooling fins on the compressor for the refrigerator. The only problem is the compressor is in the lazzarette (under the port helm seat). The lazzarette is quite deep and used to store all kinds of items: life jackets, snorkle gear, engine oil, anchor lines, awnings and assorted sailing gear. This all comes out, and then the Captain, all 6’4″, goes in with a vacuum cleaner. Its a tight fit:
See those hooks? They are used to hang a storage bag in the lazzerette. I hate those hooks!
The day was rounded out with a few other tasks, installing a “balun” for the SSB antenna (anyone know what that means?), cleaning raw water strainers, cleaning the vented loop for the diesel exhaust, and finally taking ceiling out of the aft stateroom to inspect, clean and oil the steering cables.
So next time you are sailing with the Captain on Snug Harbor and he is just steering and smiling, you now have some perspective on the BMW part of boat ownership. Fortunately, the Captain likes both.