How to fix anything on your boat

Published on September 14th, 2021

If you sail long enough, or at all, something will happen to the boat. Fixing boats is not brain surgery, or so it seems until the mis-matched gelcoat color hardens too soon. Or the undersized gear explodes. Damian Lord has some thoughts on the topic… enjoy:

There are three types of dinghy sailor in the world:

1. Those that can do boat maintenance, and are very good at it
2. Those that can’t do boat maintenance, and should be banned from even attempting it
3. And those that can’t do boat maintenance, but think they can do boat maintenance

People from category number one are relatively rare. If you know one, you should treasure them. Feed them their favorite type of alcohol. Laugh at their jokes. Tell them the color of their wetsuit really brings out their eyes. Whatever it takes, look after them because sooner or later you are going to need them.

Sail GP

I fall into category two. I’m not one of these people that takes pride in my ineptitude, but I have come to accept it over time. I long for someone to ban me from trying to fix things. My boat maintenance generally follows this schedule:

1. Something breaks on the boat.
2. I consider whether or not I can get by without fixing it.
3. If it is still possible to sail my boat without fixing it then I leave it.
4. If I have to accept that it needs to be fixed before I can sail the boat then I get irrationally angry about it for a while.
5. Having slept on the problem for a couple of days (while hoping for a solution that will not involve any manual labor), if no solution has come to mind then I make a list of the things I will need to fix the problem.

For the full list of 23 steps, click here.

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