Many hands make light work
is Parklawn Sailing's maintenance mantra. We take maintenance seriously because poorly maintained boats are dangerous, and skippers that can't deal with minor equipment problems get into trouble. Doing our own maintenance reduces costs, makes for better sailors. and keeps the boats shipshape.
Boat maintenance must be a year-round effort, but major projects can be scheduled for winter, when the boats are out of the water. During the sailing season, we work on each boat to about one Saturday a month. The club's fleet captain divides the needed work into manageable tasks and assigns them to the available members. There is nothing particularly difficult about most routine maintenance and knowing when to refer a problem to the yard or the sailmaker is a critical sailing skill. For any problem that arises there is usually someone in the club that can do the job or pass on the skill.
Lunch at the gazebo turns each maintenance day into a social occasion, and an occasional boating talk can make it a training opportunity. The day usually ends with an afternoon sail, to check things out. And each volunteer earns a maintenance coupon, that offsets the cost of future sailing.
Aside for building a horde of coupons, working on the boats makes for better skippers. Some members have found it way to take the mystery out of maintenance before buying a boat.